As a self-taught baker who’s explored numerous baking recipes for the past ten years, I go through a lot of eggs. Pair that with my kids’ love for an eggy breakfast each morning, and you can understand why I add eggs to my weekly grocery list.
But the last time I was baking a batch of cookies, it hit me – what do eggs actually do in cookies? Are they essential? What would happen if I nixed them altogether?
This propelled me to do some deep research about what eggs really do in cookies. Today, I’m here to share with you exactly what I found.
If you’re curious about what eggs do in cookies, keep reading – the answer might surprise you.
- What Eggs Do in Cookies
- Do You Have to Use Eggs in Cookies?
- Eggs Are Critical for Cookie-Baking!
What Eggs Do in Cookies
Almost any cookie recipe you come across will require eggs or a suitable vegan substitute. Clearly, it’s a staple ingredient in cookies, and most cookies can’t survive without it. But what do these must-have ingredients do for a delectable batch of cookies?
1. Responsible for Texture
Some people enjoy sky-high, fluffy, almost cake-like cookies. Others prefer a thinner, flatter, and crispier variety. While I don’t mind having either on my dessert plate, the deciding factor for the texture is ultimately eggs.
Eggs act as the main liquid ingredient in cookies. (Don’t believe me? Check out your favorite cookie recipe. It likely won’t have too many liquids, unlike other types of desserts.)
Because of the moisture content, the eggs will bind the ingredients together.
Therefore, the more eggs you add, the more binding will occur, creating a cakier cookie. On the other hand, using fewer eggs (but not no eggs) will leave you with a flatter and crunchier texture.
2. Enhances Flavor
Eggs are healthy, which is why they’re a primary ingredient for breakfast platters. After all, nothing starts your day quite like an egg that’s loaded with protein and nutrients.
But eggs also contain fat (although it’s found solely in the yolk).
Fat is responsible for the richness in baked treats, including cookies – which is why you won’t find me substituting butter for other ingredients regularly.
That said, the fat content of an egg yolk(s) contributes to the overall flavor of your cookie. Try and bake a sheet without them, and you may notice that your goodies are lacking in the flavor department.
3. Lends a Helping Hand to Leaven
Well, a few factors contribute to the leavening of your cookies, and one of those magical ingredients is the egg.
Eggs lend a helping hand at leavening your cookies. Try to master a cookie recipe without them; you won’t have very appealing or appetizing treats.
4. Creates the Beautiful Color
A good cookie will have you eating with your eyes before consuming with your mouth. And that luscious color is brought to you by none other than the “miracle egg.”
Remember earlier when we discussed how fat content plays a significant role in cookie-making? Well, the high amount of protein is also beneficial.
The protein of eggs plays a role in creating the Maillard reaction while baking. This is essentially a fancy name for “browning,” or the process that makes the delightful, golden brown appearance on your favorite chocolate chip cookie.
If you try to make cookies without eggs, you might have some pale, sorry-looking cookies. Basically, it’s not a good idea.
Do You Have to Use Eggs in Cookies?
The honest truth? No, you don’t “need” eggs in cookies. However, you cannot eliminate them entirely.
If you try to bake a batch of cookies without eggs – and your recipe calls for eggs – you’ll end up with dried-out, colorless, and crumbly cookies that are unenjoyable to consume.
I understand that some people may have dietary restrictions or allergies and can’t use eggs. Does that mean that you can’t move forward to satisfy your cookie cravings? Not exactly.
There are two other options: try an eggless recipe or use a substitute. My favorite vegan “faux” egg is a mix of one tablespoon of ground flaxseed and three tablespoons of water. Mix and allow to sit for up to ten minutes to incorporate and bind together. Use in replacement of one egg.
Yup – eggs are essential when baking cookies; there’s no doubt about it. But if you want to keep learning more about this topic, I don’t blame you; it’s pretty fascinating. That said, I suggest checking out these frequently asked questions that fellow readers have asked.
If your recipe calls for two eggs, I wouldn’t recommend trying to make a batch with just one. If you only have one egg on hand, replace the second egg with a suitable substitute. On the other hand, you can also use one whole egg and one egg yolk, if desired.
Cookies are 100% better with eggs, both in flavor and (especially) texture. Trying to make cookies sans eggs will result in a dried-out, crumbly cookie that is challenging and undesirable to consume.
If you add more eggs to your cookies, you’ll enjoy a fluffier texture similar to cakes. Therefore, if you love sky-high cookies that are tremendously soft and chewy, consider adding another egg or two to your batch of cookies.
Eggs Are Critical for Cookie-Baking!
When it comes to cookie recipes, eggs are a vital ingredient. Eggs are not only responsible for the desirable texture of cookies, but they enhance the flavor, help to leaven, and create a beautiful color. If you can’t or don’t want to use eggs, follow an eggless recipe or use an egg substitute.
Do you enjoy baking cookies with eggs? Do you add additional eggs? Share with us!About Michelle