This is the day that feels the most like a true scientific experiment to us.🔬 Today, we're concerned with leavening, which is the process that introducing air to the cookies and can happen in a multitude of ways. Essentially, it's what makes our cookies rise and spread out, and that happens at a chemical level with baking soda or baking powder. While baking today, remember to use the classic Nestlé Toll House cookie formula as your base recipe.
A Note From Our Writer:
Does anyone really know the difference between baking powder and baking soda? Let alone how they can affect a chocolate chip cookie? So, to paint a simpler picture, I went ahead and tested out a bunch of chemical leavening agents to more clearly demonstrate the difference.
What we learned: Leavening agents determine the spread, rise, and cakiness of cookies. And surprisingly, they had a significant impact on the browning of the cookies as well — causing some of them to look underbaked and pale.
The biggest takeaways: When it comes to determining which leavener you should use in your chocolate chip cookie recipe, keep these things in mind:
1. Unless you want cakey cookies, avoid using baking powder. The cookies made with both the single- and double-acting baking powders were just too darn cakey.
2. Baking soda helps cookies spread more than baking powder. So if you prefer your cookies thin and wavy (versus domed and cakey), baking soda is most likely a better route for you. Just remember: Soda spreads, powder puffs.
3. The less leavener you use, the less cakey your cookies will be. But this doesn't mean you should completely ditch your leaveners. Just look at the horrific cookie made with no leavening agent above...
4. Remember that brown sugar has a bit of acid in it. So it will react with the baking soda to leaven your cookies.