This graphic showing how cookies can go wrong is proof you need to be precise when baking

Each of my 10 types of cookies and the mistakes that made them.Rachel Askinasi/Insider
  • For a recent baking experiment, I used one recipe to create 10 different types of chocolate-chip cookies.
  • I intentionally made a common baking mistake with each batch to see what happens when things go wrong.
  • For example, I found that adding an extra egg made my cookies taste like sponge cake while leaving eggs out completely made the cookies super salty and crumbly.
  • The experiment — which took nearly a day, including cleanup — yielded 71 cookies.
  • Side-by-side photos of the different kinds of cookies show how even a slight change, like using a little too much sugar can alter the result.

As a self-proclaimed member of the amateur bakers club, I set out to map all the possible ways a simple batch of chocolate-chip cookies could go wrong.

I used a single recipe — the one you can find on the packet of Nestlé Toll House chocolate chips — to make 10 types of cookies, deliberately making a different mistake with each batch to see what would happen. I broke it all down with a description of how the taste and texture of the cookies were affected by each error.

I started by looking into the most common mistakes people make when baking, and recorded what happened as I went.Advertisement

Mistakes included:
    • Using baking powder instead of baking soda;
    • Mixing all ingredients at the same time rather than following the step-by-step instructions;
    • Adding extra eggs;
    • Forgoing eggs altogether;
    • Packing flour and using too much;
    • Not using enough flour;
    • Over-creaming the batter;
    • Using too much butter;
    • Not using enough butter;
    • Not using enough sugar.

Here's how the cookies turned out with each of those missteps (you can click on the image below to make it larger):

Adding too much or too little of an ingredient can make all the difference.Rachel Askinasi/Insider
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Typically when I'm making something on assignment, I'll bring the extras into the office for my coworkers to enjoy — and to comment on, of course. But, under the circumstances, I'm currently isolated in a house with four other people (two are children under the age of 10, so they were actually a big help here), so I knew we'd have way more cookies than we could possibly eat.

To cut down on excess and minimize food waste — and cookie intake — I decided to quarter the recipe for each batch. That meant instead of using 22.5 total cups of flour, I used around 5.5 cups. And instead of 20 eggs, I used around 11.
They each looked so different.Rachel Askinasi/Insider
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There were a few mess-ups — like when I used baking powder instead of baking soda and when I mixed all the ingredients together at once — that, admittedly, I would be annoyed if I made again.

But, after making 10 different types of cookies through this trial and error process, I stand by my opinion that some of these variations are actually better than the way they're supposed to turn out. To my surprise, I found that the cookies short on flour were my favorite, and had a delicious crispy texture.

Ultimately, the lesson I learned here is not to be discouraged! Sometimes the greatest discoveries come out of ambitious people making mistakes along the way.Advertisement

Read the full story to find out how every cookie tasted here >

Insider has more baking experiments like this in the works. Send suggestions for baked goods you would like to see us try to raskinasi@insider.com.

Read the original article on Insider
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