When baking soda is used in cookies, it gives the cookies a chewy, coarse texture. You will know you forgot to add a leavener if your cookies turn out somewhat hard and flat. While it is often known for its uses in baking, baking soda is also utilized for a variety of functions outside of baking.
It is possible to make cookies without baking soda or baking powder, but the resulting cookie will be dense. This is because carbon dioxide is not being produced by a chemical reaction that typically occurs when baking soda or powder is present in the cookie batter.
When added to dough, baking soda releases a carbon dioxide gas which helps leaven the dough, creating a soft, fluffy cookie. Baking soda is generally used in recipes that contain an acidic ingredient such as vinegar, sour cream or citrus.
Baking soda is a leavening agent, which means it causes your dough or batter to rise. In the case of baking soda, carbon dioxide bubbles are released during baking, causing the rising action. What is this? Since this cookie recipe has no leavening agent, the cookies will turn out thicker and denser.
Is baking soda necessary?
The Bottom Line. Baking soda is a vital ingredient in many types of quick bread recipes, as it helps to leaven and add volume to the final product. If you find yourself mid-recipe without any baking soda, there are several replacement options available.
Well, the long and short answer to chewy cookies is it’s all about the moisture content. Cookies that are dense and chewy incorporate more moisture into the batter. This can be achieved by making substitutions with ingredients, or even just changing the way you incorporate certain ingredients.
(Exactly) How to Make Fluffy Cookies: 11 Genius Tips for Puffy…
- Make Sure Your Baking Soda and Baking Powder aren’t Expired.
- Use Baking Powder instead of Baking Soda.
- Roll Your Dough Balls into Cylinders.
- Chill the Dough.
- Use a Silicone Mat, not a Greased Baking Sheet.
- Add another Egg Yolk.
Baking cookies quickly in a hot oven – at 375 degrees F as opposed to a lower temperature – will make for soft results. They’ll bake fast instead of sitting and drying out in the oven’s hot air. Ever so slightly underbaking your cookies will give you softer results than cooking them the full amount the recipe says.
It’s all about moisture. To keep it simple, cookie recipes that contain a lot of butter, brown sugar or egg yolks are going to yield soft and chewy cookies, because those ingredients add moisture and retain it for a longer amount of time.
What happens if you skip baking soda?
Leaving baking soda out of the cake prevents it from rising, but you can use baking powder as a substitute. Baking soda is a salt that makes food light and fluffy. If you don’t have this ingredient at hand, use a baking soda substitute. Without it, your cake won’t rise and can turn out flat.
Good rule of thumb: I usually use around 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 cup of flour in a recipe. Baking soda CAN leaven a baked good when exposed to heat. However, unless it is neutralized with an acid, your finished baked good will likely have a metallic aftertaste– like I mention above.
Can I leave out baking soda?
For baked goods that don’t require too much leavening action, such as cookies or pancakes, it’s actually OK to leave out the baking soda completely — they just won’t be as light and fluffy.
While baking soda will create a coarse, chewy cookie texture, baking powder will produce a light, fine cookie texture. To achieve the best cookie results, use a double-acting baking powder as a substitute.
The most common cause is using a different flour than usual, such as cake flour, and measuring flour with too heavy a hand. Using larger eggs than called for can make cookies cakey, as will the addition of milk or more milk or other liquids than specified.
While brown sugar keeps your cookies moist and soft, white sugar and corn syrup will help your cookies spread and crisp in the oven. Using more white sugar in your cookies will result in a crispier end product.
For softer, chewier cookies, you will want to add much less granulated sugar, slightly more brown sugar, and a fair bit less butter. For cakey cookies, you will often be including even less butter and sugar.
The Problem: The Butter Is Too Soft
Room temperature butter is just the right consistency to incorporate air when it’s creamed with sugar. These trapped air pockets result in risen, fluffy cookies. If the butter is any warmer, it won’t incorporate enough air and your cookies will have less rise.
Why are my cookies dry? The most common reason cookies are dry is too much flour. Over-measuring flour is a very common reason for most any baking recipe to fail. If you scoop your measuring cup down into the flour container to measure, then odds are you’re using too much.
Add Molasses or Corn Syrup
Why does it do that? The secret is in the fructose they contain. This sugar is known for retaining moisture, leaving you with a lot more softness to bite into rather than a crunchy and crackly dry cookie. Add about a tablespoon to your cookie dough and enjoy!
If your cookies are rock hard, the site explains that it’s likely due to an over-abundance of sugar, which hardens, darkens, and flattens the cookies as they bake. Bake or Break adds that over-mixing your dough can be the culprit, too. When flour is blended with other ingredients, gluten starts to form.
Dry – “Dry” or “Crumbly” dough is a product of over-mixing or using too much of any ingredient during the mixing process. This can be reversed by adding one to two tablespoons of liquid (water, milk or softened butter) to your mix.
Simply lay the bread at the bottom of the container and pile your cookies on top of it, seal the lid, and wait a few hours. The cookies will soak up all the moisture from the bread and by the next morning, they will taste as good as the day they came out of the oven gooey.
Not Enough Flour
If your cookies are flat, brown, crispy, and possibly even a bit lacy around the edges, that means you need to add flour to your dough for the next batch. Our cookies were brittle and greasy and cooked much faster than the other dough balls on the sheet.
One trick to keep in mind is that both baking powder and baking soda gives rise, but baking soda also spreads due to its leavening strength in small amounts. Think of what the recipe is trying to ultimately achieve, both taste and texture-wise, and that should give you a clue if you forget which to use.
If you leave baking powder out of your cookies, your cookies will be edible, but they’ll be denser and won’t rise or puff because they won’t have the chemical reactions necessary to do that.
The rise: At about 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the water in the dough turns into steam. The cookie starts to rise as the vapors push through the dough. Eventually, the baking soda or powder starts to break down into carbon dioxide gas, which raise up the cookie farther.
And because baking soda also introduces carbon dioxide, or air, to the dough, too much of it will create a cookie that’s cakey rather than chewy.
Most cookies have top crusts that remain relatively soft and flexible as the cookies set during baking. However, if the top surface dries out before the cookie is finished spreading and rising, it hardens, cracks, and pulls apart, producing an attractive crinkly, cracked exterior.
Yolks, where all of the fat is in an egg, increase richness, tenderness and flavor. Therefore, if you put an extra egg, you will get a chewier cookie. I do it all the time. If you put less, you will get a more crumbly cookie.
Keep Them Sealed
The key to keeping cookies fresh and soft is to seal them in an airtight container, like a resealable freezer bag. And here’s a nifty little trick: add a piece of bread to the bag. You might think that the bread trick works because the cookies absorb moisture from the bread.
How To Make Thicker Cookies (Using 10 Simple Tips)
- 1 – Refrigerate Your Cookie Dough.
- 2 – Use Room-Temperature Butter.
- 3 – Use the Correct Fat.
- 4 – Focus on Your Mixing Technique.
- 5 – Add Less Granulated Sugar.
- 6 – Add More Flour.
- 7 – Use Bleached Flour.
- 8 – Check Your Rising Agent.
Melted butter is best suited for drop doughs such as chocolate chip, peanut butter, and sugar cookies, as well as most cookie bars. You can usually adapt recipes that don’t originally call for melted butter to use this technique if you’re looking for an even fudgier texture.
Browning the butter gives the cookies a more intensely nutty, butterscotch flavor. Chopping the chocolate by hand creates large and small pieces for more textural and flavor contrast.
Too Much Egg
Whether you added too many eggs or just added eggs that were too big, this could definitely be the problem. Eggs are used as a leavening agent in many recipes, so if you’re adding too much, this can have an adverse effect on your cookies by making them rise up and become cakey rather than spreading out.
Mistake: When cookies turn out flat, the bad guy is often butter that is too soft or even melted. This makes cookies spread. The other culprit is too little flour—don’t hold back and make sure you master measuring. Finally, cookies will also flatten if placed and baked on hot cookie sheets.
What are the primary causes of this? The steam and other hot gasses that were puffing the cookies up either escapes or condenses. Without heat to create more steam, the cookies deflate. You get exactly the same effect with bread, quiches, and other baked goods.
There are several reasons why the cookies may have become dry and crumbly but the two most likely are that either the cookies were baked for too long or too much flour was added to the dough. The cookie should be baked only until the edges are slightly golden and the top looks a little wrinkled.
One of the most common problems that people have with their cookie dough is that it ends up being too sticky. Typical cookie dough should not be that sticky, although sometimes it can be slightly sticky depending on the work environment you are in.
So long as they end up evenly flat, that is; squashing cookies haphazardly under your palm means they may bake and brown unevenly. Still, if you care deeply (or even casually) about the look of your cookies, you can take the flattening step as an opportunity for enhancement. The bottom of a glass works fine, it’s true.
Using lower-moisture sugar (granulated) and fat (vegetable shortening), plus a longer, slower bake than normal, produces light, crunchy cookies. That said, using a combination of butter and vegetable shortening (as in the original recipe), or even using all butter, will make an acceptably crunchy chocolate chip cookie.