By now you may have noticed my fascination with making cookies. It’s more of a lifestyle than a hobby (#cookiemonster). As such I have observed the ways that altering ingredients and cooking times can transform the texture and taste of cookies.
The first observation that I have noticed is the effect of cooking temperature on the cookies final rise. Baking cookies on lower temperatures creates more of a rise in cookies. This is more than likely because the cookies have more time to rise structurally before the butter melts. To test this, the next time you bake cookies. Bake one batch of cookies on 325˚F and another batch at 375˚F.
Even more crucial than the baking temperature is the choice of fat used. Typically in cookie making, butter (or margarine) and Crisco are the typical choices. However, have you actually considered that these two sources create completely different cookies? Butter creates softer cookies that are almost cake like. Crisco creates crispier, thicker, and denser cookies. Crisco based cookies have a better rise than butter based cookies because Crisco has a much higher melting point. Although, butter certainly has a more appealing taste than Crisco because Crisco is tasteless (this can be an advantage in its own way).
Knowing these differences, it is possible to use both butter and Crisco to create an individualized texture and taste. However, it should be noted that butter takes precedence in terms of texture because of its low melting point. The cookie recipe below has a 1:1 ratio of butter to Crisco and the result is a very soft cookie that has a slightly better rise than pure butter cookies. If you want more of the denser, crispier texture then I would suggest using a recipe that is 3:1 Crisco to butter (6 tbs Crisco and 2 tbs butter).
As you dive deeper into cookie making you may notice even more ways to alter cookies like technique used, use of milk or eggs, and the list goes on. For now, remember that the potential for flavors and textures that can be created by altering the fat content and the temperature of cookies is limitless. In the pictures below, the left picture is butter based, the middle is 1:1 butter to Crisco, and the right picture is all Crisco.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup of natural cocoa powder (NOT DUTCH)
½ cup butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 whole egg
½ cup of milk
6 oz chocolate chips
- In a microwave safe bowl, add milk and cocoa powder. Microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the cocoa powder is completely incorporated into the milk. Allow to cool on counter. Stir occasionally as it cools.
- Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in small bowl.
- Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.
- Add egg to the dough.
- Gradually beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture then beat in 1/3 of the cocoa powder mixture. Repeat this step until all of the flour and all of the milk is introduced to the dough.
- Stir in morsels.
- Freeze for at least 30 minutes (longer time preferred). Bake on 325 for 14 minutes or until done.