Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CCC Quest (take 2)

I made another batch of chocolate chip cookies this evening. I decided that I should use the same recipe, and tweak the recipe instead of switching recipes every time. If I started over every time with a new recipe, I may not be able to experiment as well with which ingredients did what. Make sense? Ok, let's move on.

The frustrating thing is that from the same batch of cookies, I had one round turn out as a soft and fluffy cookie. The other round was thin. Still soft, but it spread a lot more in the baking process. I dont know what happened.

I did two things differently this time. I was taught that when baking (bread) you are not supposed to dip your measuring cup into the flour bag. That packs the flour, and you end up with too much flour, making your bread very dense. For light and airy bread, you are supposed to spoon the flour from the bag into the measuring cup. I guess I assume that is the same for all baking?? I don't know. But anyway, this time I scooped the measuring cup into the flour bag....this obviously gets more flour...which could produce a taller, fluffier cookie.... But not so, since the second round of cookies were flatter.

The second thing is the bowl I mixed the ingredients in. There are certain types of metal bowls that are reactive to baking agents. When you use yeast, you have to use a non-reactive bowl, so your yeast will rise. My theory? That baking soda could react to the metal bowl, and cause the chemicals to not rise like they should. (purely just a theory...I didn't take chemistry in high school, so I could be talking complete nonsense.) So anyway, I used a glass bowl instead to mix the ingredients. Success on the first try, fail on the second try.

I did read in an article that baking soda and baking powder react right away when mixed with liquid ingredients. When you let your batter or dough sit, the chemicals don't react the way they should, resulting in a less adequate cake or cookie. How true this is-- again, I can't say. I'm no chemist.

I was happy with the first batch of cookies. (pictured above). I like the way they look, and the texture was great. For my taste preference, they could be a tad saltier (I like salty dough, and the sweetness in the chocolate chips)

Again, frustrating that I got two different results from the same batch of dough. I can't pinpoint what it is that was done differently. But, this time around was a step in the right direction--at least with the first round.

One other thought. The butter in the dough may be firmer for the first batch (due to not being so far into room temperature) and then stand up better (melt less, spread less) in the cookie dough.

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