January 12, 2018: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
January 16th, 2018 by Katekoster

Today I (Max) wanted to make one of my favorite cookies: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies.  The recipe is a simple cookie batter (butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, milk, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda) with the two very important additional ingredients: oatmeal and chocolate chips.


The first step is to cream the butter into the white and brown sugar.  This is a quick and simple process so long as your butter is soft.  If it’s not soft, then you should just want 1/2 hour to do this.  Then you add an egg, vanilla and a little milk.  Combine that, and while that’s mixing, combine your dry ingredients:  flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and then add that into the butter/sugar mix.  I asked my mom why we added both baking powder and baking soda, and what the difference was between the two and in her typical annoying mom fashion she said to look it up.  So I did and here’s the answer:

Baking powder and baking soda have a lot in common in that they are both chemical leaveners (they both generate gas during mixing/baking that raises the dough or batter). The big difference between baking soda and baking powder is that baking soda only has ONE ingredient: sodium bicarbonate. Whenever it comes into contact with both a liquid and an acid (buttermilk,  yogurt or vinegar for example) it produces gas which creates the lift (or rising) of a batter.  The important thing to remember about baking soda is that the reaction starts immediately (think about when you add vinegar to baking soda to make a volcano model) so you need to get that batter in the oven fast.

Baking powder on the other hand contains sodium bicarbonate with another powdered acid mixed in.  That means all you need is moisture to activate it. And most baking powder is double acting, meaning there is a two part reaction: one immediately when moisture is added and a second reacton when the batter/dough is heated.  So baking powder allows a little more flexibility (you don’t have to put the batter in the oven right away)  So why not just use baking powder?? Because every recipe has different acidity levels and sometimes you need to balance them out. Baking soda neutralizes the acid when it reacts with it so often you need both baking soda and baking powder to have a balanced recipe….so that’s my science lesson for the day. PS: And don’t ever substitute one for the other.

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The next step is to add the oatmeal and chocolate chips.  I usually do this by hand (easier to taste test).  Then you drop teaspoons of cookie dough on a baking tray and cook for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

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Finally, you enjoy!




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