Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why I Am Not A Scientist - Chocolate Chip Cookie Project

Steps of the the scientific method:
1. Ask a question
2. Do background research
3. Construct a hypothesis
4. Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment
5. Analyze your data and draw a conclusion
6. Communicate your results

It all sounds easy enough, I mean elementary school kids have been doing this for years, so why can't I do it. I will tell you why, I am IMPATIENT. Instead of following what all 6 years olds learned in school, I just jumped right in and skipped steps 3 & 4.

Steps of the Roxie method:
1. Ask a question - Why did my chocolate chip cookies get so puffy
2. Do background research - Read blogs and message boards
3. Experiment using all the research information - Add more flour, use new cookie sheet, use bread flour, less baking soda, mix less, and refrigerate
4. Communicate your results

Well that worked great, because I have big puffy beautiful chocolate chip cookies. They are very tasty; soft; and picture perfect cookie, but what exactly caused them to be this way? Maybe if I followed the real method I would know, but I changed so many things I am almost back to square one. Well, here is a great recipe for puffy chocolate chip cookies anyway.
Chocolate Chip Cookies #4

3 cups bread flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter (melted)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

Put melted butter in freezer while preparing dry ingredients
In medium bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda
In a large bowl beat sugars until mixed
Add butter and beat for 20 seconds
Beat in the eggs and vanilla for 30 seconds9
Slowly add the flour and continue beating for 60 seconds (It will still be very floury)
Add the chocolate chips and continue mixing by hand (It will be very thick and hard to stir)
Place bowl in freezer while oven preheats to 350 degrees
Scoop out on thin baking sheet (not an AirBake) and bake for 10-14 minutes
 Cookies on the left are recipe #4 and on the right recipe #3
The Results: Very good. They were definitely thick and puffy, and taste pretty good. (I am still not a huge fan of thick cookies.) But they didn't have the exact taste of Toll House cookies.

So what was it that made these so puffy? My plan now is to use this same recipe and slowly alter it closer to the Toll House recipe. And I have learned my lesson, this time I will follow the scientific method.

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