The Science Behind Baking Cookies-The Magic in Your Oven
Salutations! The holidays are right around the corner and it’s time to bake cookies! While baking cookies have you ever wondered what is the science behind baking cookies? Well, yummy cookies come with a magical science as a secret ingredient. My favorite is chocolate chip cookies. Yum! Stay tuned for a surprise recipe. Come, on let’s dive into the sweet and yummy science behind cookie making.
What is the Science Behind Baking Cookies?
It's Christmas eve, my kitchen is bursting with Santa's favorite cookies.
When baking cookies for Santa everything matters. Including all the ingredients. Let’s see how each ingredient nourishes our perfect cookie.
Our First ingredient is FlouR
Our first magic ingredient for Santa’s cookies is the flour! The flour makes our cookies crunchy, chewy, or crumbly. The reaction of the flour depends on the ratio of the wet ingredients. If your cookie batter is dry then your baked cookie will tend to be more crunchy and crumbly. If you want your cookies to be chewy and soft, your batter might want to incorporate more liquids than solids. An example of this might be a brownie or cake mix. These mixes tend to include more liquids than solids. The flour that you are using also impacts the cookie. If you use bleached flour then your cookies will have less gluten. Unbleached flour makes the texture of the cookie is chewy. Another healthier option would be using whole wheat for grainy and denser cookies.
Secret Spell the SuGaR
This is probably Santa’s favorite part. Sugar! When we make cookies we use brown sugar and white sugar. The white sugar makes the cookies browner. This is called caramelization. The white sugar helps in making the cookie crispier. This is because the sugar is absorbing the moisture in the dough. The white sugar also helps to spread the cookies as the sugar melts. The brown sugar works in contrast. This sugar helps with making the cookies chewier and soft. This is because it carries molasses. The molasses supplement moisture to the batter. When these two fabulous sugars work together it results in the outside of the cookie crispy and the inside of the cookie chewy.
The Enchanted BuTTeR
Delicious! Butter is an important ingredient in cookie baking. The beautiful flavor of a delectable cookie comes from our one and only butter. When you reduce or add more butter there is a change in the cookie taste. The butter also accommodates in improving the texture of the cookie. Since butter has a low melting point it facilitates the cookies to spread. So, if you add more butter to your cookies then the result is having a slim and crispier cookie. If you add less butter into your cookie dough you will result in having a chewier and fatter cookie.
The Exquisite ingredient EgGs
Can’t make cookies without eggs? Sure, possible in vegan cookies. Here, our cookie gets most of its moisture from eggs. Eggs are the key element in providing our cookies with protein. The liquid that the egg contains gives our cookies a structure, by combining starch and protein in the flour. This imparts a chewy texture to the cookie. All the wonderful moisture the egg provides will eventually evaporate when the delicacy is baked. Adding more egg white will result in more towering and tapper cookies. If you add more egg yolks you will delight yourself with fudgier cookies.
The Levitating LeAveNs
The levitating leavens act as a raising and browning agent. Leavens can assist in browning because it neutralizes acidic ingredients in the dough. The acidic ingredients will prevent the browning to happen. Baking powder gives the cookies a cake-like texture. When the cookie is saturated and heated the alkali and acid in the baking powder respond. The reaction neutralizes the alkali and acid creating carbon dioxide. This inflates the dough, which makes the cookie puffier.
The Satisfying ingredient SaLt
Believe it or not, this simple ingredient is the major flavor enhancer. Without salt, the other flavor will be tasteless, while the sweetness takes over. The salt in your cookies increases and strengthens the protein in your cookies which ultimately, makes them chewier.
Understanding, how these ingredients impact and shape your cookie will guide you to make the perfect cookie for you and your family (and let’s not forget Santa!). Now that we know how all these ingredients work, it’s time to pop into the oven to see the baking process.
What is Happening Inside your Oven? The Magic in Your Oven!
What is magic happening inside your Oven? The cookies are undergoing a chemical reaction in your oven. The heating of sodium bicarbonate causes disintegration and decomposition into water and carbon dioxide. The following equation represents the same thing
2NaHCO3 → Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2
The carbon dioxide and water vapor make bubbles in the cookie, which aids the cookie to rise. This rise makes the cookie less dense and softer. Our friend, salt decreases and slows down the decomposition of baking soda. Salt does this because it doesn’t want the bubbles to get too big because if the bubbles get too big it could undermine and weaken the cookie to make it fall flat. The heat in the oven is perfect for the reaction between the eggs, butter, and flour. This reaction changes the shapes of the molecules of the dough. The gluten in the flour starts a polymer net. The polymer works with the albumin protein from the egg white and the emulsifier lecithin from the egg yolk. This helps to form a dough that can support bubbles. Also, the heat breaks the sucrose into glucose and fructose. This gives each cookie its well known brown look. After baking, while we let it sit for a few minutes more magic happens. If the temperature, is humid then the cookies will take in the water vapor which makes them softer. If the air is extremely dry then the moisture and water will escape from the cookie making them less soft.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Mix the dry ingredients(flour, baking soda, salt).
3. In another mixing bowl, add the softened butter, sugar, and mix evenly.
4. To the sugars, butter mix, add egg and vanilla essence.
5. Then add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt) to the wet ingredients and blend well into the dough.
6. Now add the chocolate chips and walnuts to the dough and mix well.
7. Place the cookie as a small ball with an ice cream scoop 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes.
8. cool for 30 minutes on a cooling rack and serve warm with milk.
That’s all for today! Yum! Don’t forget Santa loves cookies and a glass of milk to go with them. The reindeer love carrots! Keep on baking and don’t forget to be and stay curious. Bye and see you next year! Ho, ho, ho!