How to Cookie with Science
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How to Cookie with Science


Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, but we all enjoy them in different ways. And let’s not even get started on nuts. But how can you get your cookies to turn out just the way you like them? Well, you get it by playing with the recipe. Changing up the ingredients,
manipulate the technique. Hey that Kind of sounds like – science! [SPLASH – Reactions logo] Baking has a ton of chemistry going on, but let’s start with chewiness. A cookie’s chewiness comes from gluten that forms when you mix flour and water. For extra chewy cookies, use bread flour instead of all purpose flour. Bread flour has more protein, which
helps with the gluten development. So, Say you like a cookie with more complex
flavors well then turn up that heat! When you bake your cookies at 375 degrees Farenheit, instead of the typical 350, sugar breaks down in a process called “caramelization.” This reaction pleases your tongue by producing molecules with butterscotch, rum, and nut flavors. For a fluffier cookie, add good ol’ sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda. Baking soda breaks down in the oven creating carbon dioxide gas bubbles which keep your cookie from getting too dense. But you don’t have to take my word for it. We’re going to invade our favorite cookie expert: Science News’ Bethany Brookshire’s kitchen, who’s going to use the scientific method to see the difference chilled, room temperature and melted butter make in cookie making. Bethany: “For the past few years, I’ve made over 500 cookies in the name of science. But today we’re just going to make 6 dozen. When your using the scientific method you need to start by asking yourself a question: why does something work the way it does? Why do ingredients in cookies
bake the way they do? For this experiment, I’m going to ask a question about cookies and butter. Most cookie recipes call for butter that’s softened or melted. Why? What’s so important about the butter in cookies? I’m going to make three batches, exactly
the same, changing only the butter. Before I begin my experiment, I’m going to make a few guesses or a hypothesis about how I think this experiment is going to turn out. I think using that chilled butter
will create a harder dough, a colder dough, that will result in a smaller cookie. Using room temperature butter will create a slightly softer dough and a slightly wider cookie. Finally, using melted butter will create a much runny dough, that will spread out on the pan making a flat wider cookie. Now let’s test it. In this first batch I’m going to use chilled butter. This second one we’ll put in room temperature butter and the third one is getting some butter I put in the microwave for about a minute and a half. (Baking experiment in Progress) (Results Time). As you can tell, our hypothesis was correct. Melted butter actually did produce larger
cookies than cold butter did. You can actually do this with any ingredients in your cookies or with any other kinds of food. For cookies try different kinds of sweeteners, different kinds of flower, see what kind of chocolate makes the best chips. It’s all up to you. But remember, if you’re going to do good science, you’re going to have to repeat your experiments many, many times. and this might
mean baking a lot cookies.” And a special Thanks to the ACS ChemClubs
for making this video possible. This year marks the 10th anniversary of ChemClubs. To celebrate, they’re throwing a big food
chemistry-themed party on Nov. 16th, and they’re live streaming the whole thing. Click the link in the summary for more details. Try your own experiments with cookies and let us know what results you find. Tweet us your pictures or
post on our Facebook page. Or email your cookies. We’re down for that too. For more cookie information head
on over to Bethany’s Eureka! Lab blog series — links are in the summary. And hey, thanks for watching!

52 thoughts on “How to Cookie with Science

  1. wait, did she say "in the past year i baked over 500 cookies in the name of science" xD quite alot i guess.. hmm.. wonder if she ever gets tired at eating/baking them lol

  2. Good video! I recommend a video explaining exactly what is happening in the oven to convert different doughs into cake, cookies, bread, etc. Why does high temperature cause a malleable dough that can be pulled apart without "ripping" to bready material that seems like a continuous network of fibers? What are those fibers in bread and why do we add eggs and butter to flour to form them? Would baking flour water form a "bread?"

  3. A fine video, but my one gripe is that scientists don't ask why, they ask how. Philosophers ask why. This may seem like a minor distinction, but for an educational channel centered around chemistry, I feel proper vernacular is quite important.

  4. You changed the amount of butter, but why not also change the amount of sugar? I personally prefer to eat shortbread cookies, and those take a careful ratio of flour:sugar:butter to cook as desired.

    If I am not mistaken, the amount of sugar would also hold the cookie dough closer depending on how much heat is applied over time. Unlike butter, when sugar melts and cools its physical properties do not return to their original form.

  5. this is why I use coconut oil for anything good related, less cholesterol and more healthy fats! The people saying cookies are bad for you; don't know what moderation is obviously. I'd like to see how cannabis affects the metabolism, since I quit every pharmaceutical drug my doctor recommended me to cannabis and it's helped my average weight and in the long run helped my blood pressure immensely compared to when my heart would bottom out from the cocktails of pills that drs prescribed until my doctor said pharmaceuticals will kill me , sounds like the word Ph.D is getting spread thin for the authors

  6. Was gonna say not very scientific if you don't measure the ingredients instead of just dumping them in like that until I seen the scale, lol. Measuring by weight is much better than going by volume. Will always get it the same every time.

  7. the perfect cookie for me is the one thats lactose free and the one that is super soft in the mouth very very chewe (dont know how to spell it )

  8. Thanks for sharing this scientific method for baking.

    One question though, in several of the shots it appears as though you're just dumping flour into the bowl without the use of measuring cups, were you using a scale instead?

  9. The reason to use room temperature butter is that it can be whipped to a smooth foam. The enclosed bubbles of air have a similar effect as baking soda. This effect becomes more impotant with doughs using a large quantity of butter. For cookies it seems to me the ease of preparation is the more important factor.

  10. Bread flour: Chewy cookies
    Cake flour: Crunchy cookies
    50/50 Oatmeal/Fine ground oat flour (Oatmeal in a Vitamix grain mill): Very crunchy cookies

    That was my experience so far with all other ingredients being constants.

  11. SOME ONE HELP! my science fair is 2 days away and this was my project and it turned out so diff the melted butter made a tiny thick cookie. and softened and hard were very similer. could the problem be because I rolled them into balls with my hands then put them on the cookie sheet to bake? HELP!

  12. Taking a survey of which cookie people like best chilled room temperature or melted butter can't wait I think room temperature is going 2 have more likes

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