Are All Extracts Interchangeable in Cookie Dough?

I just realized that I recently switched from flavoring my cookies with vanilla extract to flavoring them with almond extract (same quantity in recipe). My cookies were behaving better with my same recipe when I was using the vanilla extract. Is it possible there is something about almond extract that could increase a cookie dough's spread? 

I guess I always figured extracts were generally interchangeable within a cookie dough recipe . . . Are they?  s it possible that switching from one extract to another could affect a dough's ability to hold its shape or its texture?

Original Post

I doubt it would change dough texture in the small quantity that it's typically added. (I've never experienced this either). Though I agree with @Econlady: Almond extract is a lot stronger than vanilla, so you need less of it to get equivalent flavoring intensity.

Alright, I made three batches, all the same, carefully measured with scale, and handled the same except for:

- one with different extract and

- one which added 20g flour.  

The additional flour made a perceptible improvement in holding shape (edges noticeably more sharp all around the cookie, total spread a tiny bit less), as expected, and only had the slightest difference in mouth feel.  I am so pleased the extra flour didn't change the flavor as far as my taste testers could tell.  I could taste a difference, but the cookie was still pleasant and soft. 

The cookie with only the change in extract made no difference from the original recipe (except flavor).  By the way, cherry extract tastes a little like cough syrup - I might not rush to use it again soon.Changeextractoraddflour


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I always enjoy reading these type of comparisons. Thank you so much for that, along with the pictures too. Thanks also for the info on the cherry flavoring. That's one I don't own so I'll try to remember to not buy it!!!!  For the extracts, I use the same amount of whatever flavor I'm using and have never seen a difference. In fact, I like a lot of flavor so where most recipes call for a teaspoon, I'll add a tablespoon.

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