Cookie Science Fair Project

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Cookie Science Fair Project

Postby seqouia82 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:55 pm

The project idea I found on this website is about cookies. The problem question is, "How are the prepared cookie doughs and the taste of the cookies related?" The levels that the procedure used are the cookie dough that is prepared and then baked immediately and the cookie dough that is prepared, refrigerated for 48 hours, and then baked. Since I'm in 8th grade, I feel adding one more level would be more suited for my academic level. Would freezing the dough for 72 hours, thawing it, and then baking it be an acceptable level? Also, is my problem question worded correctly? Lastly, the constants that I have listed on my experimental design diagram are the recipe, baking time, baking temperature, baking sheet, and ingredient brands. Are there any more constants I'm forgetting? Thanks for your help! :wink:
seqouia82
 
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Occupation: Student: 8th grade.
Project Question: Cookies
Project Due Date: 01/13/13
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Cookie Science Fair Project

Postby audreyln » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:18 pm

Sounds like a tasty project!

How do you plan on testing the effect of the preparation on the taste of the cookies? Will you have a group of people taste test and determine which batch they prefer? If so your project question should ask about what you are testing. For example: "Which cookie dough preparation do taste testers prefer?"

However, taste testing does not include numerical measurements that are good to have in a science fair project, it is a subjective test. But I'm unsure how you could measure another quality of the cookies such as the texture using a scientific method. I would recommend that you include a fair amount of research in your presentation on how combining wet and dry ingrediants before baking and letting them sit in the freezer or refridgerator might effect the final product on a scientific basis. The background page on the project is a good place to start: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... background

I think freezing the dough for 72 hours would be a very interesting variable to add to your experiment. Depending on how many variables you want to test (and how many cookies your tasters want to eat) you could also test different lengths of time for room temperature (not too long, they can spoil!), refrigerator (12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours), and freezer.

Finally, your lest of constants looks good. You could also include the tasters you will use, the time between taking the cookies out of the oven and serving them, and how well/how long you mix the batch of dough.

Good luck! And happy tasting!

Audrey
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Re: Cookie Science Fair Project

Postby seqouia82 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:44 pm

Thanks so much! That helped a bunch! I have two more questions. :lol:

When I gave my topic proposal to my science teacher, he said that I need to "dig deeper. be meaningful. tell what is happening chemically." I have no idea what that means! My topic proposal was, "How are the prepared cookie doughs and the taste of the cookies related?" So, I have no idea what to do, or what to change. My data tables and graphs are due on January 4th. My materials and procedure list are due this Friday, December 21st.

My second question is, how many taste testers do should I gather? I don't exactly know how many people, or if I should put them in age groups.. or what.

Please help! Thank you!
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Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:41 pm
Occupation: Student: 8th grade.
Project Question: Cookies
Project Due Date: 01/13/13
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Cookie Science Fair Project

Postby kgudger » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:33 pm

Hello:

Your teacher wants you to explain what is happening when you mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. If you use a search engine and search for the "chemistry of cookies" you will find lots of web sites that help explain what is happening chemically. (Things also happen when you add temperature , i.e. baking.)

I already knew that the amount the cookie rises may change the longer the dough waits before baking, as the rising agent reacts and stops producing a gas. The articles suggest that waiting to bake cookies also changes the consistency by changing how "wet" the dry ingredients get.

I would suggest only changing one variable at a time. In other words, don't try freezing the dough, just refrigerate for longer periods of time. You might make dough each day for 4 days, and then bake on the 4th day. You would have cookies that had "rested" 0 hrs, 24 hrs., 48 hrs. and 72 hours. Just a suggestion.

With regards to how many testers, a good sample size is close to 100, but that's not very practical! I would shoot for 10 people as a compromise.

You might also add looking at each cookie batch under the microscope, before and after baking. You can rate the dough by how wet it appears (before baking) and by texture after baking? Just some suggestions. You'll get some ideas when you do the experiment.

Keith
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Re: Cookie Science Fair Project

Postby seqouia82 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:37 pm

Thanks so much! This is helping me so much! Now I understand what he means by telling him what is happening chemically, but where does he want me to include that information?

I also agree with your suggestion of the different amounts of time each dough has sat in the refrigerator. I will use that, thanks!

Would 20 taste-testers be okay? 10 people that are in the same age group as me, and 10 that are adults? I'm not sure about the volunteers, and how many I need. Also, would I have to give them the cookies to taste at the same time, same place, etc.? Or it doesn't matter?

Lastly, like I said, my material and procedure list is due Friday. When I am listing the materials, do I say, "Ingredients to your favorite cookie recipe." Or do I actually list the recipe I'm using, along with the specific ingredients? Basically, do I make a general list, or a list specifically related to my experiment?

Thanks so much to everyone that is helping, I couldn't have been more understanding of the project than I am now without your help. :wink:
seqouia82
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:41 pm
Occupation: Student: 8th grade.
Project Question: Cookies
Project Due Date: 01/13/13
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Cookie Science Fair Project

Postby audreyln » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:14 am

20 taste testers are even better than 10. I don't think you need to control the taste testing time and place as this is probably difficult to do with 20 people. However, I suggest you control how long you wait between baking the cookies and serving them to your taste testers. For example - if you gave one group of testers cookies that were taken out of the oven 20 minutes ago (mmm.... warm cookies...) and another group cookies that were taken out of the oven 3 days ago they might have very different outcomes.

The material list should be specific to your experiment so you should list the ingrediants of the cookies.

I'm unsure where your teacher may want you to include your reserach on what is happening chemically. Perhaps in your background information? Best to ask your teacher!

Audrey
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Re: Cookie Science Fair Project

Postby seqouia82 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:29 pm

I think I am just going to stick with 10 taste-testers. Does it matter how old each volunteer is? If it does, will 5 adults, and 5 children be good?
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Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:41 pm
Occupation: Student: 8th grade.
Project Question: Cookies
Project Due Date: 01/13/13
Project Status: I am conducting my research


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