Cornstarch in Sugar Cookies?

So in my quest for the perfect sugar cookie recipe I came across a few that called for the addition of cornstarch. In these recipes all baking powder was removed.  Have you guys ever heard/tried this? Some recipes added anywhere from 1 tbsp to 1 cup. Of course the flour ratio was adjusted to allow the new ingredient.

I did try one of them and ended up with a cookie which was more soft and chewy than my regular recipe. It had a better flavor as well. The final test will be how well it holds up to icing and handling. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I'd love to know if anyone else has tried adding this.

Also this recipe held its shape really well, which is the mission that sent me back to the recipe drawing board to begin with.  *grin*

Original Post

Yes, the substitution of cornstarch for a portion of the flour is a typical way to "soften" or "lighten" the crumb/texture of all baked goods, ranging from cookies to cake. The gluten in wheat flour leads to a more textured, resilient, and sturdy dough in general, so when you remove some of it, the texture of the end-product gets more delicate. I suspect the lack of spreading has more to do with the fact that the baking powder was removed, however.

Hi. I use cornstarch (cornflour in the U.K.) in my cookies. I bake mine slowly to make them crunchy rather than chewy though. I like the finer texture the cornstarch gives, though I’m considering using a little less as I think they can be a bit too dry once they have the dry icing on as well. Currently I use 100g cornstarch and 375g plain flour. I don’t use any type of raising agent.

I really liked the chewy texture but they did not ice well.  I'm going back to the drawing board today to see if i can make them a bit more firm. I think I could be hunting a unicorn because ideally I would like a cookie firm enough to ice but still more chewy than crisp.  Who knew in school I would ever need that chemistry they tried to teach me! *grin*

I don’t know if it applies, but the woman who taught me to make Sugar Cookies said to bake them to any one corner on a cookie has a brown edge.  They continue to cook on the cookie sheet.   If you are getting hard Cookies you might be overbaking them.  Most people over bake.

I think it depends on what your aim is. I like crunchy cookies with a golden/brown bake because I like the texture and flavour they get when cooked like that. So I use a low oven and bake up to 20 minutes if necessary. Others like pale, even, soft cookies so cook much shorter times and aim for no browning at all. 

Lucy (Honeycat Cookies) posted:

I think it depends on what your aim is. I like crunchy cookies with a golden/brown bake because I like the texture and flavour they get when cooked like that. So I use a low oven and bake up to 20 minutes if necessary. Others like pale, even, soft cookies so cook much shorter times and aim for no browning at all. 

I couldn't agree more. Baking time is really a matter of personal preference. I'm not a huge fan of pale, soft sugar cookies -- they are often pasty and lacking in flavor to me. (So much flavor comes with even a little browning.) But many people love pale cookies! I think the most important thing is to understand which variables control what types of outcomes, and then to experiment with those variables until you get something you really love.

I'm shooting for a cookie some where in between.  I want color on the bottom but I don't want it crunchy.  I'm still learning my baking chemistry but experimenting is half the fun.  I'm 47 and had never baked anything even from a box up until last year.  So I have a ton of learning to do! Thank you guys for your replies it's very appreciated!

Thank you so much for the recipe tips CookieCrumbsAndCo!  I'm baking again in the morning since my baking plans for today got sidelined by chores. lol I hate it when that happens! I'll give it a try and let you know how they turn out. If I manage to cream my butter and sugar at the right temp this time I might pull it off. *grin*

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pipCarol-Anne
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