Cookie Science – how to make cookies more soft, chewy, fine, thin, cake-like and more

How to change the texture of your cookies

Cook’s Illustrated and other cooking science books explain all this – I wanted it in one place so I could always find it.

Here it is!  By adjusting key ingredients, you can change the texture of any cookie recipe.
If you want chewy cookies, add melted butter. Butter is 20 percent water. Melting helps water in butter mix with flour to form gluten.
If you want thin candy-like cookies, add more sugar. Sugar becomes fluid in the oven and helps cookies spread.
If you want cake-like cookies, add more eggs. Yolks make cookies rich, and whites cause cookies to puff and dry out.
If you want an open, coarse crumb and craggy top, add baking soda. Baking soda reacts quickly with acidic ingredients (such as brown sugar) to create lots of gas bubbles.
If you want a fine, tight crumb and smooth top, add baking powder. Baking powder works slowly and allows for an even rise.

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