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Kitchen Chemistry: Chocolate Chip Cookies Four Ways

Recipes

What’s better than baking a batch of delicious chocolate chip cookies with your girl? Baking four batches of delicious chocolate chip cookies—and learning some science skills along the way.

This yummy experiment helps your girl learn what makes cookies chewy, crispy, cakey, or gluten-free, with a few scientific ingredients:

Shortening: has a higher melting point than butter, so it spreads slowly when you heat it up. Use shortening for chewy, plump cookies.

Butter: has a lower melting point than shortening, so it melts faster and spreads more in the oven. Use butter for crispy, flat cookies.

Bread flour: has more protein in it than all-purpose flour, which makes the dough stronger and able to rise higher. Use bread flour for cakey cookies.

Gluten-free flour mix: usually contains a mix of starches and a gluten-free flour, such as rice flour. This mixture of flour and starches gives results that are similar to recipes with gluten, so it’s a good option for people who can’t eat gluten.

 

Which kind of cookie do you and your girl like best?

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

You will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shortening

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate larger bowl, combine the shortening, sugars, and vanilla extract. Mix until creamy.
  4. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time. Mix well after adding each egg.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Shape the dough into balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10–12 minutes. Let cool.

 

 

Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

You will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate larger bowl, stir together the sugars and the melted butter. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time. Mix well after adding each egg. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  6. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10–12 minutes. Let cool.

Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

You will need:

3 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  3. In a separate larger bowl, stir together the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until creamy.
  4. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time. Mix well after adding each egg.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Shape the dough into balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Flatten each dough ball with your hand. Bake for 8–10 minutes. Let cool.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

You will need:

2 cups gluten-free flour mix

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shortening

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate larger bowl, combine the shortening, sugars, and vanilla extract. Mix until creamy.
  4. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture one at a time. Mix well after adding each egg.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Shape the dough into balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10–12 minutes. Let cool.

For more kitchen chemistry projects, check out these articles:

Kitchen Chemistry: The Science of Flavor

Kitchen Chemistry: Homemade Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Kitchen Chemistry: Easy Gluten-Free Bread


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