Chocolate Chip Cookie with baking science

We’ve had a lot of snow this winter in Wisconsin. Yesterday was no exception and what’s better to do on a snowy day then bake cookies!? And the only thing better then baking cookies is handing them out to people who need an afternoon pick-me-up which is exactly what I did after making these. I was a little sad last night because I realized I only had one but maybe that’s a good thing. 🙂

I also had something I’ve been wanting to try with cookies. As many of you know, I read a lot of cookbooks. Too many some would say. I kept running across recipes that called for dissolving baking soda in hot water before adding it to the cookie dough. I did a little looking and here is what I found. I may have done more then a little reading on this and I will keep it simple.

The number one reason I found that this process is used is because baking soda can be really clumpy. When you dissolve the baking soda in hot water it will distribute evenly through the dough. For this reason alone I think it is something I will do again in the future. You need to be careful how much water you add because that is just extra moisture in your recipe.

The number two reason is since baking soda is heat sensitive, the hot water gives the baking soda a head start of sorts. This creates a better texture in the cookie. What I found with this recipe….but I don’t have the science for it, is that it made the outside edge crispy but because of the warmed baking soda it gave a really nice rise to the middle which kept it very chewy and delicious in the middle.

Number three is that it will stop the cookie from spreading. I can say that this was true for the recipe I made.

I think this recipe, with a little tweaking for next time, will become a staple for me and I will for sure try the baking soda in hot water again and report back. Just another tool in our bakers tool belt.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozen depending on size
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda dissolved in 2 tsp Hot Water
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 8 oz Chopped Chocolate
  • Flake Salt or Corse Sea Salt for tops of cookies


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prep pans with parchment paper. Set aside
  2. Cream the softened butter and sugars until light and fluffy. 3-5 minutes
  3. Add hot water to baking soda and allow to dissolve
  4. Add the eggs, Vanilla, baking soda and baking powder and allow to mix until completely incorporated.
  5. Add the flour and salt and mix until dough just comes together. Add the chocolate and mix just until incorporated.
  6. Portion dough onto pans and sprinkle with desired salt. Bake for 12-14 minutes depending on oven.
  7. When cookies are done remove from oven and allow to set for 1 minute before taking them off the pan. Don’t allow them to cool on the pan. This will overcook them.

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