How Ingredients Behave In A Cookie Recipe

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Cookie chemistry! Learn what ingredients do in a cookie recipe and how to change them for different cookie results. You'll be creating your own cookie recipe in no time!

Step 1: Fat & Sugar

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The foundation of any cookie recipe consists of five types of ingredients: fat, sugar, flour, a rising agent, and a binding agent.

Fat is added for flavor and controls how chewy or crunchy the cookie is. More fat = a chewier cookie, less fat = a crunchier cookie. Your options for fat are butter, margarine, shortening, or oil. Since shortening melts at a higher temperature, it is the best choice if you want to keep spreading to a minimum.

Sugar is a sweetener (obviously!) and tenderizer, while controlling how much the cookie spreads. Using white sugar will result in a crispier cookie, while brown sugar will help retain moisture, making cookies chewier. Adding sugar increases the spread of a cookie, so cookies with less sugar will be puffier. Ever notice how sugar cookies spread like crazy?!
luxstar2 years ago
I am just glad to hear that the ingredients behave.
Frederbee2 years ago
Thanks so much for this ^^ This has been bugging me, since I want to customize recipes but didn't understand fully the cookie science.
Do you happen to know if cocoa is acidic? I have several cake recipes that are nearly identical, except that the vanilla ones use baking powder, and the cocoa ones add baking soda. I never figured out why
sugarkissed.net (author)  Frederbee2 years ago
I hope learning how ingredients behave will help you come up with some new cookie recipes. Yes, cocoa is acidic.
I'm still trying to figure out how people can just make up recipes! Thanks for all the information :)
sunshiine2 years ago
Thanks for sharing your tips! I will refer to this when I want to make a cookie recipe differently! Thanks again and do have a splendorous day!