Who doesn’t love a good cookie? The quest for that melt-in-your-mouth, gooey, and blissful tasting cookie is a never-ending battle. My science experiment will answer the age-old question: Is it possible to make the perfect cookie?
My science experiment is identifying the best method for making the most delicious cookie. If I vary the amount of time I refrigerate the cookie dough, then the batch that was freshly baked will be moister and ultimately taste better because the wet ingredients will not have been absorbed yet. To perform this experiment I will need to use three medium sized mixing bowls, an electric mixer, measuring spoons and measuring cups to correspond to the recipe, plastic wrap to cover the refrigerated cookie dough, a refrigerator, a standard sized cookie sheet, an oven, two wire cooling racks, four large Glad brand tupperware, ten taste testers, ten questionnaires and pens, graph paper for recording the data. This experiment will require me to bake four different batches of cookies: two batches of chocolate chip cookies, and two batches of sugar cookies. I will not vary the ingredients of the batches, however I will vary the procedure in which I make the dough. For the sugar cookies, I will make one batch of dough (Sugar A) and refrigerate it for 48 hours. I will also make one batch of dough for the chocolate chip cookies (Chocolate A) and refrigerate it for 48 hours. After the 48-hour period is over, I will the make the remaining two batches (Sugar B and Chocolate B) and immediately bake them. After those two batches are finished I will bake batches Sugar A and Chocolate A. I will then store them in separate, labeled containers and conduct a blind taste test with ten people. I will have my subjects taste Sugar A and Sugar B first and have them record which cookie they prefer and why, then I will have them taste Chocolate A and Chocolate B and have them record which the prefer and why. Then, I will ask them which cookie was best overall. Next I will ask them if the difference in the chocolate chip cookies was more or less pronounced than the difference in the sugar cookies. I will then display the data in charts and graphs.
Two things make this experiment possible. Wet and dry ingredients. Wet ingredients are the ingredients that are moist or contain water. For example, in a chocolate chip cookie recipe the wet ingredients would be things such a milk, eggs, or butter. But if a cookie recipe consisted of only wet ingredients, the dough would be soupy and no good for baking. This is where dry ingredients come in. Dry ingredients are the ingredients that contain hardly any water, if any. Examples of these ingredients would be flour, baking soda, and salt. Dry ingredients act as sponges absorbing the right amount of the wet ingredients to create a mixture that’s not too wet and not too dry. By refrigerating one batch of each flavor for 48 hours, it allows the dry ingredients to fully absorb the wet ingredients. The question is, does this enhance the flavor of the cookie? To find out, it is imperative to conduct a blind taste test. The blind taste test is very important because if the subjects consuming the cookies are aware of the difference between the cookies then their data will be biased against one cookie.
Food safety is imperative in this experiment. The dough must remain at or below 4.4°C (40°F) to keep from spoiling. If the dough were to be exposed to temperatures above 4.4C for more than two hours it would be considered spoiled and unsafe to eat. Constantly keeping the dough at a safe temperature throughout the entire 48-hour period is necessary in ensuring that all of the subjects participating in the experiment are safe while consuming the cookies. If these safety measures were not to be taken, then the subjects would be at risk to foodborne illness. Foodborne illnesses are commonly caused by pathogens such...