Baking Powder is the Secret Ingredient for Softer Cookies

For those of us who strive to bake the ideal cookie, it’s all about getting the texture just right. Whether it’s thin and crispy or soft and chewy, we know that certain ingredients will give us better results than others. The soft cookie of your dreams should have the right amount of moisture, air in the dough and, some say, a little bread flour. But for many bakers, the decision to use baking soda or baking powder also comes into play. Using baking soda creates a cookie that spreads more, often resulting in a thinner, crispier result. If you’re trying to create the best chewy cookie, baking powder is the way to go.

It can be easy to confuse the two, both of which are used in baking. While baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, baking powder is a combination of baking soda (the base), cream of tartar or a cheaper monocalcium phosphate (a powdered acid), and cornstarch. corn (a filler or thickening agent). Baking powder contains both a base and an acid, so unlike baking soda, it only needs an acid-free liquid like milk or even water for a chemical reaction to occur, causing your dough to expand. But does adding baking powder mean no baking soda? Absolutely not. Some of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes contain both leavening agents.

Read more: Popular Chocolate Chip Brands Ranked From Worst to Best

Baking Powder Has Additional Benefits That Baking Soda Does Not

Chewy Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Cookies – Ivan Bruno from M/Shutterstock

Cornstarch is often found in soft, chewy baking recipes, and this is another reason why you should use baking powder. Saving you the need for another ingredient, baking powder already contains cornstarch. Cornstarch, which is often used to thicken creams and sauces, tempers the stiffness of gluten in flour, keeping your cookies light and fluffy.

When double-acting baking powder was created in 1889, it was a game changer. While single-acting baking powder was activated upon contact with a liquid, double-acting baking powder contains two different types of acids. The first adds carbon dioxide to the paste as it connects to the liquid. The second creates even more gas when exposed to heat. This is great news for your cookies and pastries, because not only does the dough rise after adding the liquid, but it rises again during baking.

Have you noticed that applesauce and brown sugar are popular in baking? This is because they add moisture, creating more carbon dioxide in the dough. Both are acidic, meaning their inclusion will help activate the baking soda. The acid won’t help activate the baking powder, but the moisture in it will, helping to create softer cookies. And if you put your cookie dough in the refrigerator to chill — which removes some of the moisture — that second injection of acid will activate in the oven.

Read the original article on Mashed.

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