Isabella Woolston , Maya Mersereau-Liem
Lord Selkirk Elementary
Floor Location : J 012 D

All bakers boast about their favourite recipes with secret ingredients. Different recipes will call for different leavening agents. Does the leavening agent affect the taste of the baked good? Do different recipes call for different leavening agents because of the opinion of the writer or is it because the chemistry between the contents of the cookie and the leavening agent? This experiment explores why different leavening agents have different affects and reaction on the contents in different recipes. Leavening agents are products that cause baking to rise. Different leavening agents are more effective depending on the acidity of the baking ingredients. Our hypothesis was that the cookies with baking powder would taste better because baking soda is very potent and has a bitter after taste. We also thought that the baking powder and baking soda cookies would rise the most because not only did it have just baking soda it also contained all the additional ingredients of baking powder.
A chocolate chip cookie recipe was divided into 3 equal batches using: 1/ baking powder, 2/ baking soda and 3/ baking powder & baking soda. Baked cookies were measured for their height and taste.
Six student volunteers were used to taste test the three different chocolate chip cookies and their observations were documented. Results showed that the baking powder chocolate chip cookies raised the most; with an average height of 2.08 cm. The second tallest cookie, with an average height of 1.64 cm, was the baking soda cookie. The baking soda and baking powder cookie came in third place with an average height of 1.4 cm.
Our research subjects scored the baking powder cookies 4.75 out of 5 for taste which confirmed our hypothesis for the tastiest cookie. The baking soda cookies were rated as the worst cookies, with an average of 1.87 out of 5. The experiment results showed that the baking soda and baking powder cookies rose the least because the base in the baking soda overpowered and cancelled the acidity of the cream of tartar in the baking powder, so they did not rise as expected. The baking powder cookies were rated the tastiest cookies, confirming our hypothesis. This experiment also showed that even though baking powder and baking soda are leavening agents they do not have the same affect. Baking soda is a base meaning it reacts to acidic compounds whereas baking powder is composed of a base and a acid. We learned that in baking you cannot "just wing it" you have to be precise. What makes a good baker, is a great chemist.