This week my daughter decided she wanted cookies this week. Thing is, they just weren’t coming out right. She tried multiple recipes and tweaked things in different ways in an attempt to get the perfect cookie. However, it just didn’t seem to work. I decided it was time to put together a cookie science project for her so that she can practice baking and learn some of the science about why cookies cook the way they do. Make sure to scroll down for the printable that goes with this project.
Cookie Science Fair Projects
This is a fun project if you have a baker in the house. I recommend trying this out with a few different recipes. Curious about some of the Science of cookies? Check out this awesome video:
We watched this video before we started baking and then we decided there were a few things we had to try out as part of our experiment.
In order to keep things consistent, our standard control will be made from the recipe from Betty Crocker. All questions below will feature this recipe and then any changes we made to find our differences.
Cookie Science Ingredients
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
- 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
Before starting your experiment start by labeling each of your bags with the variables you plan to work with. I chose to write in pen and mark each bag so I could track the changes.
Bag your dough as you work so that you can track the project you are currently on
For any you plan to freeze, I recommend flattening it to make it easier to cut up and put on your cookie sheet.
How does temperature impact cookies?
For this experiment, we will be making our cookies in 4 different ways. We will be changing the temperature for each batch but keeping the recipe and cook time the same. The goal is to see how temperature will impact the type of cookies we have.
325° for 8 minutes
350° for 8 minutes
375° for 8 minutes
400° for 8 minutes
We were surprised to see how much the temperature impacted the cookies. You definitely get a different texture and color based on the temperature you bake your cookies at.
How does refrigerating or freezing the dough impact cookies?
For this experiment, we will be baking one batch at room temperature, one batch refrigerated for an hour, and one batch frozen for an hour to see how temperature impacts cooking. For these, I modified cook time to account for the colder dough. The room temp was cooked for 8 minutes, the fridge was 10 minutes, and the freezer was 12 minutes. All were cooked at 375 degrees.
Refrigerated for 1 hour
Frozen for 1 hour
I think the thing that surprised us most is how refrigerating the dough could impact the look and structure of a cookie.
What happens if you don’t add brown sugar to cookies?
For this experiment, we will be replacing brown sugar with white sugar to see how it impacts the cookies.
Brown Sugar Batch
White Sugar Batch
We wanted to see how sugars impacted our cookies and the difference is drastic.
This set is of with and without brown sugar from after an hour in the freezer.
This is a set from the fridge for one hour. The left has brown sugar and the right does not.
There are countless experiments you could do with this and have a lot of fun!