Have you ever broken down and paid three dollars for a cookie because it was soooo tempting? Of course, being a bargainista, this is not something I do often. But the other day, my daughter just HAD to have a chewy chocolate chip cookie.
What’s a bargain mom to do? Figure out how to do it yourself! I searched and found out there are five main parts to a cookie and they each have a specific role to play (chart below). Here is the skinny.
- Leaveners or Rising Agents are baking soda or baking powder (the stuff you can’t have during Passover). And yes, there is a difference these two white powders. Baking soda gives you a flatter and browner cookie. If you use baking soda, you will need to have another acid ingredient, like lemon, sour cream or buttermilk. Baking powder doesn’t need another ingredient to work. It has a built-in acid activator. Baking powder gives you fluffier cookies.
- Flour is what gives your cookie its texture. Too much or too little flour effect the texture. Different types of flour gives you different textures. If you want cookies that have the texture of cake, then use cake flour.
- Fat gives the cookie flavor as well as determines whether the cookie is soft or crunchy. Less fat makes for a crunchy cookie. More fat makes for a soft cookie. The kind of fat you use will effect how much your cookie spreads out. Fats melt at different temperatures. The higher the melting temperature of your chosen fat (oil, butter, margarine, shortening) the less your cookie will spread.
- Sugar makes your cookie sweet and also effects the crispy/chewy texture as well as the flat/puffy factor. White sugar makes the cookie crispy. Brown sugar makes the cookie chewy. Lots of sugar makes for a flat cookie and less sugar makes for a puffier cookie.
- Binding Agents are what hold the cookie together. Eggs, water, liquor, milk, honey, juice. Eggs make a cookie rise. Use egg whites only for a crispy cookie. Use egg yolk only for a chewy cookie.
So, you can see that you need to play with the amount of these ingredients to get the exact cookie that you want. Here is a chart that I hope will make it clearer to you. Happy Baking and may you never pay three dollars for a cookie again!