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The Science Behind Baking Perfect Cookies

Fat and Its Importance in Cookie Baking

Fat plays a crucial role in the texture and flavor of cookies. It provides moisture and tenderness, and contributes to the overall richness of the cookie.

Types of Fats

There are several types of fats that can be used in cookie baking:

  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Shortening
  • Oil


Butter is the most common fat used in cookie recipes because of its rich flavor and ability to create a tender crumb. It contains both water and milk solids, which contribute to the texture and flavor of the cookie. However, butter has a low melting point and can cause cookies to spread too much if not used properly.


Margarine is a butter substitute that is made from vegetable oils. It has a higher melting point than butter and can help cookies hold their shape better. However, margarine contains more water than butter, which can affect the texture and flavor of the cookies.


Shortening is a solid fat made from vegetable oils. It has a high melting point and a neutral flavor, which makes it ideal for use in cookies. Shortening also helps cookies hold their shape and produces a tender crumb. However, it does not have the same rich flavor as butter.


Oil is a liquid fat that can be used in cookie baking. It produces cookies that are moist and tender, but can also make them greasy if too much is used. Cookies made with oil also tend to have a slightly different texture than those made with solid fats.

When choosing a fat for cookie baking, it is important to consider the desired flavor, texture, and shape of the cookies. The amount of fat used in a recipe can also affect the final product. Too much fat can cause cookies to spread too much, while too little can result in dry, crumbly cookies.

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