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Leavening for Chocolate Chip Cookies

Asked by Bebe watson. Answered on 16th September 2014

Full question

The Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe only calls for 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for 2 cups of flour. Is that correct??

Our answer

Nigella's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (from Kitchen and on the Nigella website) includes 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) for 300g (2 cups) of plain (all-purpose) flour. This is correct as the cookies should have a slightly crisp exterior but a soft interior. The cookies are made with just brown sugar which will tend to give the soft texture and a small amount of baking soda will help to prevent them from becoming too flat and chewy.

Increasing the baking soda to 1 teaspoon would give a cookie that is too cake-like and soft. Nigella's Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies have a higher ratio of leavening to dry ingredients but part of the reason for this is that the recipe also includes melted chocolate and cocoa powder. These ingredients tend to give a harder texture so slightly more leavening is needed to offset.

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