Baking is a science. You don’t just throw in some flour, sugar and butter and see what happens–you need to understand the chemistry of baking. If you want your cookies to be chewy but not too sweet, or if they’re going to rise high but not be soggy when they cool down, then there are steps you can take to achieve these goals. In this post we’ll cover why a cookie recipe might be cakey instead of chewy and how understanding the chemistry behind baking can help fix these problems!
Sugar in cookie dough
Sugar is a preservative and source of energy, flavor, sweetness and texture in cookies. It also helps to keep the dough moist.
Sugar acts as an antioxidant by slowing down the oxidation process of fats in baked goods that cause browning on top of your cookies or cakes. Sugar also enhances the binding properties between flour and liquids like butter or egg whites that make up your favorite cake recipe!
Lack of protein in cookie dough
You may not think of it this way, but the protein content in cookie dough is what makes your cookies chewy. The more protein there is in a recipe, the longer it takes for the flour to absorb moisture and become soft in your mouth.
If you have any leftover batter from making cookies and need to store them for later use (e.g., if you plan on freezing them), make sure they’re covered with plastic wrap or parchment paper when stored so that they don’t dry out too much.
More importantly: if you do want to use some of these baked goods as part of an actual meal—like we did this week when we made our favorite oreo-based dessert brownie cupcakes—do yourself a favor and use unsweetened cocoa powder instead! It packs much more flavor into each bite than something like powdered sugar would do (and isn’t nearly as expensive).
Too much dairy in cookie dough
In addition to dairy being added as an extra ingredient in your recipe, it’s also possible that the wrong kind of dairy was used: for example, if you use sour cream and butter instead of whole milk (or even just regular yogurt) then this will have an effect on how your cookies turn out.
Understanding the chemistry of baking can help you make the right recipe.
Knowing the chemistry of baking can help you make the right recipe.
In baking, there are two main components: flour and sugar. The ratio of each determines how your baked goods will turn out. For example, if you use too much flour and not enough sugar in your cookie dough, it will become dense and dry—not chewy at all! On the other hand, if you use too much sugar and not enough flour in your cookie dough, then it will bake up into an unappetizing mass instead of a light-and-fluffy treat like we’re after here tonight (not that I’m complaining).
So there you have it, a quick and easy way to ensure that your cookies are going to turn out the way you want them to. Just remember to keep track of the ingredients so that if something doesn’t go right, then you know what went wrong with your recipe!