How to invent your own cookie recipe sounds like a pretty intimidating task, doesn’t it? But it’s actually not! In this article, I’m going to show you everything you need to know to invent your own cookie recipe.
It just takes seven very simple, and very basic rules.
How to Invent Your Own Cookie Recipe
Follow these seven simple steps to become a master baker and create your very own cookie recipes from scratch!
Back in 2009, Mrs. Fields and ivillage hosted a cookie contest to celebrate Mrs. Fields 30th anniversary. Prompted by my friends, I decided to enter. Like everything in my life, I was late. My entry missed the deadline, but I learned so much during the process of inventing my own cookie recipe.
What Cookie Did I Invent for the Contest?
My entry was Campfire Cookies. Cookies with marshmallows and chocolate that are baked directly on a whole graham cracker! There was nothing like it at the time, although there are tons of copy cat recipes all over the internet now.
I learned how simple and easy it is to create your own cookie recipe. It may seem daunting, but by following these simple steps, you can create a fail proof recipe every time!
Basic Rule #1: Fat, Sugar, & Flour
Fat is what keeps the cookie chewy, as opposed to crunchy. The less fat, the less chewy the cookie. Fat also adds flavor and helps to bind the ingredients. Fat can be used as butter, shortening or oil.
Sugar, in addition to lending an excellent sweet flavor in cookies, reacts during the cooking process to provide structure and in stabilizing the other ingredients during baking.
Flour is the main component in most recipes. It is the real stabilizer and thickener. It holds everything together, increases the volume of a dough or batter, and assists the cookie in rising during baking.
A lesser known fact is that flour can be created from any high protein ingredient simply by grinding it down to a fine powder, such as oatmeal, rice or nuts.
If you want to go this route, however, you’ll have to create gluten through another ingredient – and that’s a whole ‘nother blogpost.
Basic Rule #2: Half the Fat = Double the Sugar
This rule should not be diverted from by more or less than ¼ cup and is important to the overall taste and structure of a cookie.
- Fat assists the sugar in caramelization
- Fat tastes delicious, regardless of how it looks on your thighs
- Fat helps the cookie spread and thin out
- Fat makes the cookie moist and chewy
Basic Rule #3: Equal Parts Sugar and Flour
Depending on altitude, this rule can be tricky. Higher altitudes traditionally require more flour, so it is best to start with an equal ratio and add flour, little by little, until the dough is slightly tacky.
When you touch the dough it should stick to your fingers, but should not remain stuck.
- Too little flour will result in cookies that do not hold their shape and cook flat
- Too much flour will result in thick tasteless cookies
Better to err on the side of too little.
Basic Rule #4: Cookies Need a Rising Agent
To invent your own cookie recipe you’ll need a rising agent in your cookies.
You can choose from baking soda, baking powder and cream of tartar.
These rising agents react with the flour as a leavener and an acid neutralizer when interacting with fluids.
Baking soda is used when you have an acidic ingredient. Acidic ingredients include:
- Brown Sugar
- Lemon Juice
- Cream of Tartar
- Natural Cocoa Powder
When using baking soda you should aim for 1 teaspoon = 2 cups of flour
As a general rule, for most cookie recipes you are going to use baking soda.
Baking powder is used when you do not have an acidic ingredient. When using baking powder you should also aim for 1 teaspoon = 2 cups of flour.
Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar is basically magic. It’s typically used in buttery based cookies like sugar cookies and snickerdoodles because it’s smooth and offers a distinctive tang.
Technically speaking, it speeds up the creation of foam and assists in rising.
Basic Rule #5: Cookies Need a Binding Agent
Frequently this agent is employed by the egg, but honey, or pure fruit juice can do the trick as well.
Flaxseed is great for vegan cookies.
Not much is needed, one or two tablespoons should suffice.
Basic Rule #6: Order Matters
Fat and sugars should be creamed first to incorporate the two; the binding agent should be added next to facilitate a precursor for the leavening agent; and lastly all flours and leavening ingredients should be added lastly in one motion to ensure complete integration into the dough.
Basic Rule #7: Be Creative!
Additions bear little consequence on the final product as they don’t react necessarily to the ingredients as a whole.
Throw them in!
And that is how it’s done: How to Invent Your Own Cookie Recipe!
My Favorite Cookie Pans on Amazon
Nordicware is my favorite brand for cookware! It cooks so evenly and the pans are nice and thick so you don’t have to worry about burning on the bottom.
I am an Amazon affiliate and Amazon sometimes pays me an incredibly small stipend from the sale of these items, and it does not cost you anything to click on them!
And I love silicone baking mats. They make baking cookies so easy!
Invent Your Own Cookie Recipe
If you invent your own new amazing cookie recipe, tag @Fahrenheit350sweets on Instagram so I can see it! And I’d love it if you left a review and a comment below!
Cookie Recipes to Bake at Fahrenheit 350°!
- Shortbread Toffee Cookies
- Fried Ice Cream: Cornflake Cookies
- Apple Peanut Cookies for Dogs
- Easy Glazed Lemon Cookies
- Cookie Dough Waffles
- White Chocolate and Almond Cookies
- Candy Cane Lane Cookies
- S’more Cookies
Did you say something? I was too busy looking at the yummy cookie pictures! LOL!
You rock! Thanks for the tips. I especially love the tip about the binding ingredient and knowing I don't have to use eggs- my daughter is allergic to eggs so now I can substitute ingredients for her! Thanks!
This is a wonderful informative post
Very cool. All things I did not know… I can be more creative now when making cookies. You are amazing.
I think Mrs Fields was really just afraid of the composition!
I know I submitted an original recipe to the Quaker oats contest and never heard a word and now that recipe is on the boxes of oats hmmmm! Oh well
THANK YOU!!! Where did you find this info? And how can I learn how to make my own cake recipe? That is what I have wanted to know since I started baking. Please help!
omg,you are awesome!i am not a very good baker but I will definitely have to try something from here!thanks for sharing.
I found you from Tip Junkie!!!
Great lesson in cookie-making! You make it sound so simple- I know it isn't. So much of it is creative- I'm not so great at that. I can alter recipes but make a new one from scratch? I don't know. You've given me courage to at least try!
That is array of the most delicious looking cookies I have ever seen. I am now in serious need of some warm, chewy cookie goodness. I hope that the apple crisp I am making for dinner will hit the spot.
Hey there! This is great information! I've been thinking about how one would attempt such a thing, and it seemed impossible, but now not so much. I didn't realize that it was so simple really to start with a fat, a sugar and flour. Really cool! You've got yourself a follower!
Thanks for stopping by and for you comment on Frugal tips Friday:)
Awesome post. Thanks for the info.
Wow! so helpful! Truly!
Great post! Love all the steps…will have to put them to use soon. 🙂
I am horrible at making cookies from a recipe let alone my own. Thanks for the tips, but I think I will just eat yours instead!!!
This post was really interesting to read – thankyou! Plus I enjoyed all the yummy cookie photos 🙂
This is super helpful! Thank you so much!
Ooooo this is cool. I have my recipe all written out to try. 😀 wish me luck
I just became a new follower today, and this was the first thing that got my attention. Thank for sharing.
Great tips! For rule 7 # creative – it can be a little daunting trying to think of what flavors to include. I'd say keep the number of flavor combinations to a minium 2-3 but make sure they play off each other. E.g.
Banana and Walnuts, Blackberry and Chocolate, Honey and Apricot etc.
Try using google to search for an ingredient you'd definately like to use and see what other ingredients appear in the recipe titles for ideas. E.g. Coconut and Banana.
You can also checkout our (free) online flavor thesaurus to find great matches to all your favourite ingredients at http://www.soflavorlicious.com
Wow! This was soo helpful! Thank you so much. I will definitely tell you how it went after I made them. If they turn out good you can look for them on my blog: sweeetcooker.blogspot.com
Thanks again, Maddie
This is just the confidence boost that I needed! Great information! I even posted it on Facebook for others who need help like me 🙂 Thank you!!!
Wow! I've always wondered how you invent your own recipe. That's awesome! Thanks so much 🙂
Thank you so much for this information! I've been baking since I was little with my mom, but never knew why or how all of the ingredients came together the way they did. I've always wanted to create my own cookie recipe,but had no idea how to start. This is very helpful. Do you have any information on general baking? I also like to make cakes, do the same rules apply for cake making? Thank you again!
Thank YOU Joanna! I've wanted to write a How To: Cake post for sometime now, I'll focus on that and hopefully have it up in the next month or so. Thanks for your interest!
Can peanut butter be a fat element?
Yes, absolutely! However, you'll want to keep the ratio at half/half so that you get a good balance. Half peanut butter, half butter/crisco/oil. Sounds delicious!
When you say use equal amounts, is that by weight or volume? Thanks!
Thanks for your interest, Marisa! You can choose either/or. Just be consistent and use the same method for every ingredient. You can't use volume for some ingredients and weight for others. Can't wait to hear what recipes you come up with!
Wonderful! Thank you for this valuable information. I am a good baker, but can only follow receipies. Now I want to branch out to competitions, and I really will put this info to good use. Good for you for sharing this, and wish me luck! 🙂
This helped me a lot I am trying to make some for the first time. I have a friend allergic to sugar, flour and eggs. So I used banana, oil, honey, oats and cashews. they are in the oven I hope they turn out.
That sounds delicious! I'd love to read your recipe and hear how they turned out!
Hi! I want the base of my cookie to be chocolate, so should I use cocoa powder in addition to these steps, or should I substitute one of the ingredients? Thanks so much!
Cocoa powder is used as both a type of flour, and an extra flavor. Reduce the flour by a little, but generally it's just going to be something you add it. Follow the rule for adding flour to ensure your dough is just slightly tacky. Have fun with it!
Equal parts of fat and sugar in terms of volume(cup measurements) or weight?
Very cool. All things I did not know… I can be more creative now when making cookies. You are amazing.
How much of a rising agent should I use?
Thanks for this information. Very helpful! Can't wait to try some recipes. 🙂
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