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What Does Cornstarch Do In Cookies?

Ever wondered why some cookie recipes call for cornstarch? It’s not just there by accident. This seemingly minor addition can make a big difference in the texture and structure of your cookies. Let’s dive into what cornstarch does to cookies and why you might want to consider using it in your next batch of cookies!

Infographic what does cornstarch do in cookies.

Cornstarch is a fine, powdery starch that is derived from corn. In the culinary world, it’s primarily used as a thickening agent for sauces, gravies, and soups. However, when it comes to baking, especially cookies, cornstarch serves a few specific purposes.

What does cornstarch do to cookies?

Cornstarch in cookies acts as a tenderizing agent. It interferes with protein structures in the dough (mainly gluten from all-purpose flour), which helps produce a more tender and delicate texture in your baked cookies. It also helps in creating a smoother appearance.

Can you add cornstarch to any cookie recipe?

Yes, you can add cornstarch to virtually any cookie recipe. It’s often used as a minor modification to enhance texture. However, it’s important to add it in moderation to avoid affecting the flavor or creating a too-dense texture. Add up to two teaspoons of cornstarch into any cookie recipe.

How much cornstarch to add to cookies?

Generally, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of cornstarch per cup of flour in your cookie recipe is sufficient to achieve the desired softening effect without compromising the cookie’s structure or flavor.

One snickerdoodle cookie on white paper with bite taken out of half of it.

Does cornstarch make cookies soft?

Yes, adding cornstarch to cookies can make them softer. It helps in reducing the formation of gluten in the flour, which makes the cookies more tender.

Does cornstarch keep cookies from spreading?

Yes, cornstarch can help keep cookies from spreading too much during baking. By weakening the dough’s structure slightly, it reduces the extent to which the cookies flatten out, helping maintain a thicker, more uniform shape.

Does cornstarch make cookies chewy?

Cornstarch tends to make cookies softer and more cake-like rather than chewy. If you’re aiming for chewy cookies, other ingredients like brown sugar or adjusting the ratio of granulated sugar to brown sugar can have a more significant impact on achieving chewiness. You can find this perfect balance in my Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe.

How to Use Cornstarch in Cookies

Incorporating cornstarch into your cookie recipes is quite simple. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Measure Accurately: Use about 1 to 2 teaspoons of cornstarch per cup of flour in your recipe. It’s important not to overdo it, as too much can create a dry or crumbly texture.
  2. Mix with Dry Ingredients: Whisk the cornstarch together with the flour and other dry ingredients to ensure it’s evenly distributed before adding wet ingredients.
  3. Follow Your Recipe: After adding the cornstarch, proceed with your cookie recipe as usual. The addition shouldn’t affect the dough’s behavior much, so you can bake them according to your standard procedure.
Bite taken out of one chocolate peppermint cookies.

Cornstarch Cookie Recipes

Discover the magic of cornstarch in baking with this collection of cookie recipes that showcase how this simple ingredient transforms texture and taste!

  • Experience the classic and comforting taste with The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, a gooey, chewy delight packed with rich chocolate chunks and a hint of cornstarch for the perfect texture!
  • Indulge in the uniquely delicious Chewy Sultana Cookies, where the plump juiciness of sultanas meets a perfectly chewy texture, enhanced by cornstarch to keep them soft and thick!
  • Delight in the seasonal warmth of Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookies, where classic fall spices and a touch of cornstarch blend seamlessly into each chewy, flavorful cookie!

Cornstarch is a simple addition that can significantly improve the texture of your cookies, making them chewier, softer, and more professional-looking. Next time you’re whipping up a batch, try adding a little cornstarch and see the difference for yourself!

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