What is YOUR Perfect Cookie? Thin, Chewy, or Puffy?

January 30, 2014 No Comments

What is YOUR Perfect Cookie? Thin, Chewy, or Puffy?

This is the question that I pose to my Bakery students before watching Good Eats: Three Chips for Sister Martha. They write their answer across the top of their journal.

Three Chips for Sister Martha is a great episode to explain the science behind great cookies. My students are just coming off their basic ingredients understanding so it is nice for them to apply that knowledge right away.

Then, during the video, students take notes about what makes their cookie different from others.  I ask them to compare based on sugar, dry ingredients, fat, and eggs. They compile their results into a table:

Dry Ingredients
Butter has a sharp set point so it will spread quickly
A higher ratio of white sugar to brown sugar makes a crispy cookie
Eggs puff up so replace one egg with ¼ C of milk
All-purpose flour

Increased baking soda increases the set temperature of the cookie
Shortening melts at a higher temperature that butter so it will not spread as far
Use more brown sugar than white sugar for a soft cookie
Use two eggs
Cake flour is fluffier and will rise more

Baking powder is more acidic and will rise quickly
Melted butter will increase gluten
Brown sugar makes a chewy cookie because it is coated in molasses
Use one egg, one egg yolk, and 2 T milk because egg whites dry cookies out
Bread flour has more gluten which is chewy

I use their responses to divide them into kitchen groups for their drop cookie lab. Incidentally, the groups ended up being really great. I may have to use this group strategy for all of my classes. 🙂

You can view the recipes on Food Network here:


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