12/12/2014

Food Failures: Cookie Science Secrets

16:20 minutes

Sugar cookies made with different butter temperatures. Photo by Jeff Potter
Sugar cookies made with different butter temperatures. Photo by Jeff Potter

No one will ever agree on what makes the perfect cookie. But two widely identified components of cookie quality are crispy, buttery edges, and a soft, molten, chewy center. In this episode of our Food Failures series, Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks, talks about the cookie tech wars of the 1980s, when food companies fought over their crispy, chewy formulations. And he advises home bakers on what sugars, fats, and flours to use for the perfect holiday cookie—including a special SciFri recipe based on Procter & Gamble’s original 1984 cookie patent. Plus, we asked SciFri fans for their secrets to making the perfect cookie. Here’s what you had to say:

Segment Guests

Jeff Potter

Jeff Potter is the author of Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Cooks, and Good Food — Second Edition (O’Reilly, 2015) and a software engineer in New York, New York.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata is Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.

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