The Cookie Monster: How does the type of sugar affect different cookies?

Experiment
Salt Lake City, Utah
Chemistry
DOI: 10.18258/6439
$62
Raised
124%
Funded on 2/17/16
Successfully Funded
  • $62
    pledged
  • 124%
    funded
  • Funded
    on 2/17/16

About This Project

Sugar has an impact on baked goods that goes far beyond sweetness, influencing texture and spread as well as other aspects of flavor. I am curious as to what effect changing the type of sugar (among granulated, dark brown, and corn syrup) has on three classic cookies: sugar, chocolate, and chocolate chip. You should never have to settle for an un-tasty cookie, so with this experiment I hope to learn and share how to adjust the sugar of your recipe to enhance your cookie experience.

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What is the context of this research?

After several semesters of being a teaching assistant for an introductory chemistry class that teaches chemistry through cooking and baking, I started tinkering with my own recipes to create my ideal chocolate chip cookies. From baking blogs such as Handle the Heat and Serious Eats as well as my own experimentation, I have found that granulated sugar produces crispiness while corn syrup makes gooey cookies. However, I have only tried this in chocolate chip cookies, and I am curious if the same rules hold for other types of cookies, such as sugar and chocolate.

What is the significance of this project?

Making cookies from scratch takes time, effort, and money, so if you are going to spend those resources to make cookies, they should be your idea of perfection. Most recipes produce one type of cookie with no options to alter the recipe so that the texture/shape/flavor better matches what you want. With this research, I hope to provide an easy way to change recipes to produce a cookie that better matches what the baker wants.

What are the goals of the project?

The goal is to determine how to adjust the sugar content of a cookie recipe to achieve the desired taste and texture. Three cookie recipes (sugar, chocolate, and chocolate chip) will be tested using all granulated sugar, all dark brown, 1 tablespoon of corn syrup substituted for every half cup of sugar, and in the case of the chocolate chip recipe, the recipe as written with a 3:1 dark brown to granulated sugar ratio. The three batches of sugar and chocolate cookies, and four batches of chocolate chip, will be assessed on a 1-5 scale for taste, visual appeal, crispiness/chewiness, and thickness. All data and conclusions will be made available on Experiment so that you too can make your best cookie.

Budget

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The budget items are all the ingredients necessary for the cookies.

Endorsed by

This will be a fun project. Though one can predict what the effect might be on changing a sugar, there are so many different ingredients in the cookie recipe, one doesn't know exactly what the actual effect might be. To provide an example, increasing the granulated sugar might increase the crunchiness of the cookie, unless, there is enough free water that this water remains dissolved.

Meet the Team

Emma DeLoughery
Emma DeLoughery

Emma DeLoughery

I am a soon-to-be college graduate with a biology major and a minor in chemistry. I love to bake all manner of sweets (and occasionally healthy things).
I'm also a teaching assistant for two undergraduate chemistry courses and a former tutor for math and science, mainly chemistry.

Additional Information

For every $25 over the goal, another cookie type will be tested! Options include peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, brownies, or donor suggestions.


Project Backers

  • 7Backers
  • 124%Funded
  • $62Total Donations
  • $8.86Average Donation
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