TITLE : THE BEST COOKIES ! -INTRODUCTION && PURPOSE Have you ever bitten in to a cookie and thought, “this is the best cookie in the whole wide world! “? Was it homemade? Store bought? Everyone has a favorite cookie. Some prefer chocolate-chip, peanut butter, others prefer oatmeal raisin. Whatever your favorite type of cookie is, you’re probably always wanting batch after batch. In this science fair project, you can continue your quest for the “best” cookie by seeing if a small change in your cookie recipe changes the flavor. HYPOTHESIS ;amp;;amp; QUESTION * What is the effect on the taste of cookies by the amount of refrigeration time? * If we change the amount of refrigeration time on the cookies dough then the results cookies will taste better to more people because all the ingredients have had time to set in and “ marinate “ CONCLUSION : My hypothesis was that by changing the refrigeration time on the cookie dough the resulting cookies tasted better then cookies that were baked immediately after mixing the dough.
My results do support my hypothesis, if you put a warm, melty dough into the oven, your cookies will spread before they begin to set up, they’ll run into each other, becoming a single crisp, crunchy mess, the cooler the dough when it goes into the oven, the less it will spread, and letting the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least a day does wonders for relaxing the gluten, gives the flour more time to absorb the liquid This allows the dough to become drier and firmer making cookies that are soft and fluffy, which makes it taste better. -MATERIALS * Mixing bowls (3) Electric mixer or mixing spoon * Measuring spoons * Measuring cup * Plastic wrap * Refrigerator * Cookie sheet * Oven * Optional: Wire cooling rack * Ingredients to make two batches chocolate-chip cookie * Cookie tins or other containers to hold baked cookies (2) * Volunteers to taste-test the cookies (at least 10 people, not including yourself) * Paper to make taste-test questionnaire * Pencils, pens, or other writing utensils * notebook -VARIABLES Independent variables: Amount of time in the refrigerator Dependent variables: Taste of cookies -DATA && RESULTS Fill in the boxes below, which correspond to the answer each volunteer gives:| Volunteer| Difference in flavor? Yes / No| Prefer cookie #1 (refrigerated) or cookie #2 (freshly baked)? | #1| Yes| Refrigerated| #2| Yes| Refrigerated| #3| No| Freshly baked| #4| Yes| Refrigerated| #5| Yes| Refrigerated| #6| No| Freshly baked| #7| Yes| Freshly baked| #8| No| Refrigerated| #9| No| Refrigerated| #10| Yes| Refrigerated| #11| Yes| Refrigerated| #12| Yes| Freshly baked| #13| No| Refrigerated| #14| Yes| Freshly baked| #15| Yes| Refrigerated| #16| Yes| Refrigerated| 17| Yes| Refrigerated| #18| No| Refrigerated| #19| No| Refrigerated| #20| No| Refrigerated| -METHODS ! Experimental Procedure Deciding on a Cookie Recipe To start this science fair project you will need to gather together all the ingredients necessary to make two batches of Chocolate-Chip Cookies: 1. The table below has the ingredients you’ll need: Ingredient| Quantity for One Batch| Quantity for Two Batches| All-purpose flour| 2 ? cups| 4 ? cups| Baking soda| 1 teaspoon| 2 teaspoons| Salt| 1 teaspoon| 2 teaspoons| Butter or margarine, softened| 1 cup| 2 cups|
Granulated white sugar| ? cup| 1 ? cups| Packed brown sugar| ? cup| 1 ? cups| Vanilla extract| 1 teaspoon| 2 teaspoons| Eggs| 2| 4| Semi-sweet chocolate chips| 1 (12-ounce) package| 2 (12-ounce) packages| 2. To make the cookie dough, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. In a second bowl, use a spoon or electric mixer to beat the butter, granulated white sugar, packed brown sugar, and vanilla extract until the mixture is creamy. Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time, beating well after each one is added.
Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Continue to mix the dough until it is well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. 3. To bake the dough, preheat the oven to 375°F. Drop tablespoon-sized mounds of cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then place them on a wire cooling rack. Leave the cookies on the cooling rack until they are completely cool to the touch. Making the Cookies Read the instructions below carefully.
It’ll be at least three days between the time you start the experiment and when you conduct the taste test. Make sure to plan the timing of things so that the cookie-dough resting, baking, and taste-testing are all done on the correct days. 1. Follow the cookie recipe to make one batch of cookie dough. a. Do not bake this dough. b. Put the dough in a small mixing bowl. c. Cover the top of the dough with a layer of plastic wrap. Make sure the wrap is actually touching the dough and not just stretched over the top of the bowl. * This will prevent the cookie dough from drying out. For added protection, add a second layer of plastic wrap on top. The bowl of cookie dough should look like the picture in Figure 1. | Figure 1. Before putting the cookie dough in the refrigerator, cover the dough with two layers of plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is in direct contact with the dough, as shown in this picture. | 2. Refrigerate the batch of cookie dough for 48 hours (two days). Make sure that the cookie dough is stored in the refrigerator the whole time and not left out on the counter. Unrefrigerated cookie dough is not safe to eat or bake! . This batch will be your refrigerated cookie dough. e. It will be ready to be baked in two days. For example, if you made the dough Friday night it would be ready to bake on Sunday night. 3. Once the refrigerated cookie dough has been in the refrigerator for 48 hours, bake it, as directed by your recipe. Because ovens are different, note down in your lab notebook for exactly how long you baked the cookies by the time they were done. f. Important: Let the refrigerated dough sit on the counter for 1 hour to warm back up to room temperature before baking. 4.
Immediately after baking the batch of refrigerated cookie dough, make a second batch of cookie dough. This will be the freshly made cookie dough. Bake this batch of cookies right away for exactly as long as you baked the refrigerated batch. g. Use the same recipe, oven setting, ingredient brands, cooking time, and cookie sheet for both batches of cookies. h. Make sure to keep the cookies from the two batches separate from one another so that you don’t mix them up. i. As soon as the refrigerated cookie dough cookies are cool, it is a good idea to move them to a cookie tin or other container.
Label the container “1” to indicate it was the first cookie batch you made. This will help prevent you from mixing up the two batches of cookies. j. When the freshly made cookie dough cookies are cool, move them to a second container labeled “2. ” k. At the end of the second day, you will have two batches of cookies baked, cooled, and stored in labeled cookie tins or containers. Now you’re ready for the taste test! l. The taste test does not have to be conducted the same day you bake the cookies. The cookies can be stored in airtight containers for up to two days before conducting the taste test.
Taste-Testing and Analyzing the Data 1. Once both the refrigerated and the freshly made cookie batches are baked and cooled, you’re almost ready for the taste test. 2. Prepare a brief questionnaire on pieces of paper to hand out to each volunteer, as well as writing utensils. The questionnaire should include the following questions: a. Do you detect a difference in flavor between the two cookies? b. Do you prefer the flavor of the cookie from container 1 or container 2? 3. Tell the volunteers that you are conducting a taste test between two batches of cookies.
Do not tell them what the difference between the batches is. Have the volunteers take a cookie from the refrigerated cookie dough batch in container “1. ” Ask them to eat the cookie, paying careful attention to how it tastes. 4. Next, have the volunteers take a cookie from the freshly made cookie dough batch in container “2. ” Ask them to eat the second cookie, also paying careful attention to how it tastes. 5. Ask the volunteers to fill out their questionnaires and hand them back to you. c. Record their answers in a data table, like the one below, in your lab notebook. d.
Once you’ve recorded their answers, you can tell your volunteers what the difference was between the two cookie batches, but don’t do this in the hearing of other volunteers whom you haven’t tested yet! e. Note: Feel free to sample your cookies and see if you detect a difference between the two batches, but do not include yourself in the data table because you already know what the difference is between the two cookie batches. You only want data from people who are uninformed about the experiment. | Fill in the boxes below, which correspond to the answer each volunteer gives:| Volunteer| Difference in flavor?
Yes / No| Prefer cookie #1 (refrigerated) or cookie #2 (freshly baked)? | #1| | | #2| | | 6. Once you’ve gathered all your data, you are ready to analyze it. f. Make a bar graph showing your data. There should be three bars, one for each possible answer. g. You can make the bar graph by hand or use website to make the graph on the computer and print it. h. Did most of the people detect a difference in taste between the two batches of cookies? Which batch of cookies did your volunteers prefer: the refrigerated cookie dough batch or the freshly made cookie dough batch?