Chocolate chip cookies come in all kinds of textures, shapes, and sizes - not to mention the ways to change up the add-ins, chips, chunks,...

Chocolate Chip Cookie Science - A Tasty Experiment!


Chocolate chip cookies come in all kinds of textures, shapes, and sizes - not to mention the ways to change up the add-ins, chips, chunks, white, milk, dark chocolate, M&Ms...but what happens when you don't have enough cookies for all of your friends?

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Featured story: "The Cookie Fiasco" by Dan Santat

You could share the cookies...but why not just make more cookies? Lots more cookies! Giant cookies! And why not turn it into a science experiment? What exactly makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie? Let's find out!

We started with this One Bowl Extra Large Chocolate Chip Cookie from Avery Cooks. It seemed easier to make a bunch of large cookies rather than a bunch of batches of cookies! Plus the one bowl feature would make it go more quickly and result in fewer dishes. To frame our experiment, we knew we needed to have a control - a cookie baked following the recipe exactly - and then to test the effects of various ingredients we would have to change only one thing each time we made a new cookie. We decided to test butter, sugar, and eggs this time. These are the variations we tested:

1. control cookie: softened butter, brown and white sugar, egg yolk (red)
2. swap melted butter for softened butter (green)
3. swap all white sugar for the mix (blue)
4. swap all brown sugar for the mix (brown)
5. swap a whole egg for the yolk (orange)
6. swap an egg white for the yolk (yellow)

To keep track of which cookie was which, we put a single M&M on top of the cookie and wrote down which color was for which cookie. 

As you can see, our cookies all ended up a little bit different! The cookies with softened butter and melted butter were almost indistinguishable to us, both had a little crunch on the outside and were soft inside. But the kids agreed that it was easier to mix up the dough with the melted butter.

The sugar made a noticeable difference though! The all brown sugar cookie spread the least and the all white sugar cookie spread the most and became a little crunchier and chewier - but I personally thought the brown sugar cookie had a better flavor.

The eggs changed the cookie dough immediately. The extra liquid from the egg white and whole egg made the cookie dough very sticky, like so sticky that there was no chance of you forming a ball of dough. We had to scoop the dough out of the bowl and just drop it onto the cookie sheet. They also took a few minutes longer to bake than the rest (the other variations all took just about 16 minutes). After baking, the cookies with egg whites and whole eggs spread a lot more and puffed up more than the other cookies. The texture was strange, a little gummy and cakey. Lil C said they were pancake-like and dubbed them pookies. 

After tasting and ranking all the cookies, both kids agreed that the all white sugar cookies were their favorite! We all also agreed that cookie experiments were tasty and delicious and we should do them again! Next time we could test different flours, using baking powder vs baking soda, testing egg substitutes, testing butter substitutes, variations on the plain chocolate chip cookie (smores cookie, adding pretezel bits or cookie bits or...)...I think we might be baking a LOT of cookies! I hope you do too!