LetsLearnAboutScience is an Instagram page focused on young kids and science education. It includes lots of science activities you can do at home! Let’s Learn About Science is currently doing a series on learning about jobs. This week is baking/cooking week and Casual Confections was more than happy to lend a hand!
Charlie designed his own version of the cookie experiment! Head on over to Instagram to see his work and results and then head to our YouTube channel to learn how you can run your own edible experiment!
Notes: I left out the salt (personal choice) and nuts (better visuals for the trials I selected) for my experiments.
Determine what trials you’re going to run. For example, if you’re going to test how different amounts of flour change your cookies, then you won’t want to add the full amount of flour right away. Planning ahead will help you determine how you will modify the recipe.
I had a control and three changes: baking powder instead of baking soda, no baking soda or baking powder, and too much sugar.
Prepare labels that you can attach to your bowls and your cookie sheet so that you can keep track of your batches.
I broke my experiments out using two batches of cookies for a quick and easy breakdown but you can break down a single batch.
2 ¼ cups of flour split into two is 1 cup and 2 Tbsp of flour
1 tsp of baking soda split into two is ½ tsp of baking soda
I had four bowls of dry ingredients:
1 cup and 2 Tbsp of flour + ½ tsp of baking soda (control)
1 cup and 2 Tbsp of flour + ½ tsp of baking soda (too much sugar)
1 cup and 2 Tbsp of flour + ½ tsp of baking powder (baking powder instead of baking soda)
1 cup and 2 Tbsp of flour (no baking soda or baking powder)
I added the butter, sugars, vanilla extract, and eggs as instructed. I then separated out the wet dough into even batches, one part for each bowl of dry ingredients. One section of wet dough was kept in the mixer and had another 1/4 cup of granulated sugar added to it before moving on. (too much sugar)
Slowly add one bowl of dry ingredients to one bowl of wet ingredients. Once the two bowls are combined, mix in the chocolate chips and, if using them, nuts.
Section your cookie sheet(s) and be sure to label them so you can track which recipe baked up in which way. Scoop your dough onto the cookie sheet. Try to keep the size of the dough balls as similar in size as possible for a better comparison of how they baked up.
Science notebook: record what you notice during the experiment
Do your dry ingredients look different from each other once combined?
Do your wet ingredients look different from each other once mixed?
When your wet and dry ingredients are combined, do your doughs look different? What is the texture of each dough?
When you scooped out the dough, did your dough change texture?
What did each cookie look like before it was baked?
What did each cookie look like after it was baked? (please wait for cookies to cool to room temperature before examining with touch and taste)
Mouth-feel (how it feels in your mouth while eating)
Why other experiments can you try based on your results? What do you think will happen based on what you saw in these trials?
Why did the changes happen? Investigate the chemistry of how ingredients combine and react to different conditions.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon (I use a 1 ½ Tbsp sized ice cream scoop) onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes (start at 9 mins and then increase time if needed in small increments) or until golden brown (the golden-brown color may not be achieved depending on the trial you’re running. Be sure to run all trials at the same temperature and time). Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.