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
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?!