“Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD.
A cookie recipe was received and tested. The recipe as written included directions for 3 different baking temperatures and times. This study evaluated all three combinations, seeking to determine the best combination. Subjects were randomly selected and subjectively evaluated cookies, providing feedback on preference.
One batch of dough was prepared, strictly following the directions.
The dough was divided roughly into thirds. Each third was further divided into cookie-sized units using two teaspoons. Two batches of cookies were put onto black bakeware cookie sheets; the third batch was reserved, and put on a used black bakeware sheet after the first batch had been removed and the cookie sheet had cooled.
One batch was baked at 325°F for 12 minutes; the next batch at 350°F for 9 minutes; and the final batch at 375°F for 8 minutes. All cookies were immediately removed from cookie sheets and cooled completely on wire racks.
Subjects were provided with a representative cookie sample from each batch and polled on preference. This was not a blind taste-test, and subjects were aware of time/temperature combinations while consuming cookies.
The first batch, baked at 325°F for 12 minutes, appeared slightly set and golden-brown all over when removed from the oven. They were soft when removed from the cookie sheet. When cooled, they appeared moderately crunchy.
The second batch, baked at 350°F for 9 minutes, appeared unset and very lightly golden around the edges when removed from the oven. They were very soft when removed from the cookie sheet. When cooled, they appeared crunchy around the edges but lightly cooked in the middle.
The third batch, baked at 375°F for 8 minutes, appeared slightly set and lightly golden all over when removed from the oven. They were very soft when removed from the cookie sheet. When cooled, they appeared crunchy around the edges and cooked through the middle.
So far, subject n = 4*. All subjects agree that cookies baked at 350°F for 9 minutes were most delicious, exhibiting desirable cookie qualities of crunchy outer edge and soft interior. Cookies baked at 325°F for 12 minutes and cookies baked at 375°F for 8 minutes were both deemed overall too crunchy. Cookies baked at 325°F for 12 minutes were considered crunchiest and least desirable, while cookies baked at 375°F for 8 minutes were considered reasonably good, but not as desirable as the cookies baked 350°F for 9 minutes.
Cookies in this recipe appear to bake best at 350°F for 9 minutes. Future research into lower cook times at 325°F may provide additional data points. All data are subject to suspicion due to the low n value. Additional subjects are requested for participation if available in the next 24 hours.**
* Including one self-professed “cookie snob,” who is discriminating about cookies.
** In English: This is your chance to have free cookies! Call me if you want to try the three cookies and give your input on which is best.