Science of Baking – Chapter 1:Cinnamon Butter Cookies

I was awed by how a cookie, which is merely made out of butter,flour sugar and eggs, can have an impact in this insane world. The kids can’t get enough of chocolate chip cookies and the adult can’t get enough of any cookie that taste so pure and sinful. There’s a cookie monster inside each of us that would occasionally crave for a cookie. You know,on those late nights, before bed when you wish you had an Oreo cookie in one hand and a glass of milk in the other. Cookies are sugar-rush comforting food for our treacherous souls. And as we took a bite of the cookie, we are reminded of how loving the world is. At least there’s something sweet in life.
So after attending my first baking class, I had this urge to start putting the baking skills I’ve learnt on the Internet into practice. Perhaps baking cookie is easier to start with and you could always test out by making small portions of cookie dough and pop it into the oven and observe how the fate of your cookies would turn out.  
The fate for my first batch of cookies didn’t turn out well. There were slightly scorched at the edges and uncooked in the centre. Instead of tossing the imperfect cookies into the bin, I did something quite the contrary. I finally get a taste of what failure is after finishing up the six edible cookies with the burnt parts scraped off on the tray. I’ve learnt my lesson of chilling the cookie dough overnight to let the fats in the dough solidify and allow the gluten to do its magic. If you don’t chill the dough, cookie is going to expand unevenly and the edges burned because of the butter and sugar. Mine looked like flying saucers from outer-space.
 In fact, according to comments posted in baking forums, it was said that the longer you leave your cookie dough in the refrigerator, the better the cookie will taste after its baked. There’s this guy who carried out an experiment to see if the number of hours of the dough being chilled would affect how the cookie taste. His results shown that if you leave the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 36 hours, your cookies would be instantly grabbed away the moment you take it out from the oven. So this time, I learnt that it’s probably best to chill the dough overnight and guess what, I succeeded in baking the cinnamon butter cookies which were finally edible and human-friendly. At least it’s safe for consumption.

Cinnamon Butter Cookies

(makes 24 cookies)

125g Butter
250g Top Flour
100g Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg
1. Leave the butter to room-temperature for it to soften. Then mix the butter with sugar til creamy.
2. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract and mix til even.
3. Add the flour,cinnamon,baking powder,salt into the mixture and continue to mix well with a spatula til you get this dough consistency.
4. Chill the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
5. The dough might turn out to be quite hard, so leave it at room temperature for about 10 -15 mins to let it thaw.
6. Knead the dough and roll it into any shape you like and pop in the oven at 170 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.
Cookies for Christmas!
The cinnamon butter cookies didn’t taste as sweet and it has a nice crunch to it and has a buttery taste. When left in the fridge to cool though, the cookie became a little harder. There is science behind baking and my scientific inquiring mind is at work again. Why the cookie hardens when chill? Why do we need to add salt? If you know the answers, please leave a comment below!

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