I made common baking mistakes (on purpose!) to see how they would affect chocolate-chip cookies.
As it turns out, there's a lot that can go wrong, like mistaking baking powder for baking soda.
Leaving out flour resulted in a crispy cookie, and omitting eggs brought out the salt in the recipe I tried.
I purposefully made 10 common mistakes while baking some chocolate-chip cookies.
I'm not a baker by any stretch of the imagination, and I often make mistakes with the simplest of recipes. I freestyle a lot while I'm cooking, but doing so with baked goods could result in a disaster.
To keep things even, I used the same recipe — the Nestlé Toll House chocolate-chip cookie recipe right off my bag of chocolate chips — for my trial-and-error project.
From overmixing the batter to using too much flour, here's what happened when I made 10 classic mistakes while baking cookies.
Overmixing your batter can lead to runny cookies.
Overmixing — or overcreaming, in baking-speak — resulted in a runnier batter. The fluidity made for a cookie that baked quickly and spread out more widely than a properly creamed batter usually would.
You could overmix the batter at any point, but overcreaming occurs when you're combining the butter, sugar, and vanilla. I mixed the batter more than I should have both during the creaming stage of the recipe and after adding the flour.
As a result, the cookies came out light and airy, and I was able to taste the butter more prominently in this batch than in others. They turned a nice, even brown.
It's easy to slip up and use baking powder instead of baking soda — but if you do, the chocolate chips will probably taste a little different.
Using baking powder resulted in a chewy cookie — the kind of chewy where my teeth stuck together a little when I chomped down.
This cookie had a dark ring around the outside, but most of it was a light tan.
This batch was cakier than the first ones, and the chocolate had an almost chemical-like taste that gave the cookie a slightly artificial flavor.
The cookies weren't bad, but they weren't as enjoyable as the other batches. So if you make this mistake, know that it's OK — they won't be the best cookies you've ever made, but they also won't be the worst.
Too much flour can result in cookies that look like scoops of ice cream.
Packing the flour — tapping the measuring cup on the counter or pushing the powder down with a spoon — will result in using too much. I added only a little bit more flour than I should have for this batch and found that they took slightly longer to bake.
I left them in the oven for about 10 1/2 to 11 minutes (others cooked in nine minutes), and they came out super fluffy. They were dry inside, but not at all dense. They weren't cakey like the batch made with baking powder was.
These had a solid cookie flavor, and I was able to taste the vanilla and sugar.
On the contrary, not using enough flour will make your cookies crisp and thin.
The cookies wound up being nearly the size of my hand, and though their superthin, brown appearance initially made me think I had burned them, they didn't taste burnt at all.
The entire cookie was crispy, but the chips stayed intact. Biting into them, I found that this cookie didn't even stick to my teeth too much.
Ultimately, this method yielded my ideal cookie. If you're also a fan of a crispy cookie, this variation is for you.
Loading all the ingredients in the bowl at once may cut down on time, but it compromises the texture of your cookies.
It turns out there's a method for making cookies for a reason.
I dumped the flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, baking soda, egg, and butter into one bowl and then mixed them all together.
I thought the flavor was still good, but the texture was really weird.
There were air bubbles everywhere, and the cookies weren't so pretty. They were bumpy instead of cohesive, and it looked like there were tiny clumps of ingredients in them.
Leaving out eggs makes a huge difference in the texture and flavor, resulting in a dry and salty cookie.
These cookies were really crumbly and fell apart as I was loading the batter onto the baking sheet.
When I pulled them out of the oven, they had kind of melted out from the middle. Some actually looked quite beautiful and rustic.
They had a bite to them that was a little chewy but dry. An interesting effect of leaving out eggs was that I could taste the salt prominently. These were the saltiest cookies by far, but I had included the same amount as I did in the other nine recipes.
On the flip side, using too much egg also drastically changes the cookies and gives them a spongy, cakelike texture.
This batch was basically a tray of small cakes. They looked and felt like madeleine cookies, even on the bottom.
There was barely any crust on the cookies; they were just spongy all over.
When I left out most of the sugar, my cookies seemed to grow upward instead of outward.
Not using enough sugar resulted in dry and bready cookies. They weren't chewy at all, and they puffed upward in the center.
And though the flavor was good, I wasn't able to taste the vanilla as much as I could in the others. Both the texture and the mouthfeel reminded me of a not-so-hard scone.
Too much butter makes cookies turn out just as you'd expect: very buttery.
This batch of cookies was cakey in the middle, but also airy throughout, with crispy edges. They were yellow and slightly puffy in the middle, and brown and super thin around the perimeter.
Using too much butter obviously made the cookies buttery to the touch, and they were soft enough to crumble in my hands. The cookies melted apart in my mouth quickly too, and I could feel the air holes — which were prominent on the surface — on my tongue.
Using too little butter won't kill your cookies, and they'll still be tasty, but it will make them lightweight.
These cookies were most similar to the batch that included too much egg. These just puffed up differently — they had more of a muffin top.
But this batch tasted really good. I was able to identify the vanilla and enjoyed the classic cookie flavor that comes with it.
It was a puffy cookie that felt airy in my hand. The bottom looked the same as the cookie with too much egg: more like a madeleine than a chocolate-chip cookie.
Just by slightly altering the same recipe, you can make tons of different cookies.
I thought it was interesting how even slightly changing the amount of flour I used could drastically change my cookies. And I'm glad that I found my new favorite cookie (achieved by using a little less flour) through this experiment.
Some of these mistakes affected the cookies more than others, but let's be real: If offered, I wouldn't turn down any of them.
Read the original article on Insider