Examination of the effects of chilling time on the spreading of cookies


  • Karen C.
  • Jessica L.


The process of chilling is extensively utilized across a vast variety of baking recipes.
Accordingly, in cookie recipes, the process of chilling cookie dough is practiced to allow for
the incorporated fat to chill prior to baking. This results in the chilled fat melting at a slower
speed which limits the spreading of the baked cookies since the size of the cookies are able to
set prior to the fat melting. Despite the fact that this mechanism is widely understood by
bakers, there are limited studies dedicated to analyzing whether varied chilling time results in
cookies that exhibit significantly different diameters due to this process of spreading.
Therefore, in this study, we offer a scientific investigation into the relationship between the
chilling times of cookie dough and the spread of cookies. This study was conducted with the
objective of determining whether longer a chilling time of cookie dough would result in the
significant decrease of cookie spreading, measured by the cookie’s diameter. Within this
experiment, we utilized the same cookie recipe throughout the whole study and increased the
chilling time of the cookie dough in 20 minute increments. In total, we baked thirteen batches
of cookie dough that ranged from 0 minutes to 240 minutes chilling time. Accordingly, we
predicted that the diameters of cookies from dough batches chilled for longer periods of time
would exhibit significantly smaller diameters than those chilled for shorter periods of time in
the refrigerator. In utilizing a total of 39 cookie diameters, the conducted one-way ANOVA
analysis revealed a P-value of less than 0.0001. As this P-value is smaller than the
significance level of 0.05, the statistical test enables us to reject the null hypothesis that states
that the cookie diameters of cookies chilled for longer and shorter periods of time would not
be significantly different. Conclusively, the results from the statistical analysis conducted on
the collected cookie diameters suggests that there is a statistically significant difference
between the diameters of cookies from dough batches chilled for longer and shorter periods
of time. Hence, this study suggests that cookie dough chilled in the refrigerator for longer
periods of time would result in less spreading of the cookies. Namely, cookie dough chilled
for longer periods of time would result in cookies that exhibit smaller diameters.