HONOURABLE MENTION

Cookies

We were testing to see if silicone baking mats affect the way cookies bake!
Nela Busic Olivia Kayfish
Grade 7

Hypothesis

We think the silicone baking mat affects the cookies by spreading them out and making them crunchier.

Research

 

A silicone baking mat can replace parchment paper. You can use them for cookies and roasting vegetables. With a silicone baking mat, baked goods cook on the bottom at the same rate that they do on the top. You can easily clean it with soap and water. Some silicone mats have sized cookie markings and some don’t. 

https://thegardeningcook.com/11-uses-for-silicone-baking-mats/

 

Silicone mats have advantages over parchment paper. They come in handy when you are working with melted chocolate and caramel and tuile. Creased or curled parchment can affect the appearance of cookies and cakes. Silicone mats make it easier to take off cookies. One thing to note: Because the mats are so slick, some types of cookies spread out more on them; for example, chocolate chip cookies baked on the mats were about ¼ inch wider than those cooked on parchment, and their edges browned more deeply, resulting in a slightly crispier final product.

https://www.cooksillustrated.com/articles/627-testing-silicone-baking-mats

 

A silicone baking mat is a non-stick mat made of food-safe silicone. Silicone mats are reusable. Silicone mats can be very useful when you are working with hot confections. Silicone baking mats can be used for sugar sculpting as well as in the oven for cookies. Silicone baking mats are easy to clean compared to scrubbing down a baking pan. It is best to use a soft cloth/ sponge using warm water and dish soap.  Never use a knife on a silicone mat. https://www.myrecipes.com/how-to/silicone-mat-versus-parchment-paper

Silicone baking mats are made of food-grade silicone and fiberglass. They cost around $10-$30. 

https://lifehacker.com/sunday-showdown-parchment-paper-vs-silicone-baking-ma-1797765791

 

Variables

Variables: 

Controlled Variables:

Cookie dough 

Oven

Cookie scoop 

Non-stick baking pans 

Testers

 

Manipulative Variables:

Silicone mat VS Non-stick pans

Responding Variables: 

The cookies made on the silicone mat were softer and did

not spread out as much as the ones made on the non-stick pan.

 

 

Procedure

Procedure: 

Step 1:

Make the cookie dough and use the cookie scoop to make even round balls, and put on the silicone mat or the non-stick pan.

Step 2:

Put in the oven, and for the first round in the oven, keep track of how long it is in the oven. 

Step 3:

When done, take out of the oven, let cool on the pan first, and then put on a cooling rack to cool completely. Keep the cookies that were made on the silicone mat on a different tray than the ones made on the non-stick pan. 

Step 4:

Put cookies in 2 different containers and bring them to school. At school, we get our 5 testers and give them one of each cookie. They will try and guess which one was made on the silicone mat and will write down what made them think the cookie that they chose was made on the silicone mat. 

Step 5:

Do the process 3-5 times and get our conclusion. 

 

Observations

Observations: 

  •  The cookies on the silicone mat took a long time to cool down.
  •  The silicone mat was very greasy after we took the cookies off.
  •  We had to wipe down the silicone mat between uses due to the grease on it. 
  •  The cookies were very soft and doughy. 
  •  We were able to try one of each cookie and we noticed that the cookies made on the silicone mat were less salty and had a hard crunch. 
  •  Both sets of cookies had a different taste and texture. 
  •  The cookies made on the silicone mat did not spread out as much and were thicker compared to the ones made on the non-stick pan.

Analysis

The reason why we think they were crispier is that we think that the silicone may have sucked out the moisture. 

 

Conclusion

Conclusion/Results: 

The silicone mat affects the cookies by making them softer and doughier. Our prediction was incorrect. 

We thought the silicone mat would spread out the cookie and make it crunchier. What actually happened was the silicone mat made the cookies doughier and the cookie did not spread out as much as the ones made on the pan. The cookies on the silicone mat tasted less salty, compared to the cookies made on the pan. Overall, we think that the silicone mat has a moderate effect on the taste and texture of the cookies.

 

Application

Application:

This information can be useful for the companies that make the silicone mats so they know what the typical cookie texture and size is when using their product. This is also good information for the home baker to know depending on how they like their cookies. If you like them soft and small you should make them on a silicone mat. If you prefer them bigger and crunchier you should make them on a non-stick pan.

 

Sources Of Error

Possible Errors:

It took us a long time to make the cookie dough and we preheated the oven right when we started to make the cookie dough. We think the oven was on for too long and it changed the way the cookies baked.

 

Acknowledgement

None