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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Domino Quartz's Avatar

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    Default Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough? Every recipe for cookies (biscuits here in NZ) I've ever made has had no eggs, but I've heard Americans talk about not being able to eat cookie dough raw because it contains raw eggs.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    They tend to help hold in moisture during the baking process, which makes for a moister cookie. But there are plenty of recipes out there that don't need them.
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    Default Re: Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    If you want the science, you can read all about it here, including experiments.

    https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/12/...y-cookies.html

    Basically, egg whites and yolks do different things. Yolks make it moister and richer, while whites add structure and make it cakier I guess?

    You wouldn't use them in a digestive or anything, but they're kind of important for squishier cookies.

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    Default Re: Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    There's also another thing: it's a mentality about it. IIRC Duncan Hines (or one of the other big-name cake mix makers) put out a cake mix that didn't require eggs - mostly because the mix had the necessary ingredients that it didn't need it. It sold horribly, because people who made cakes were putting in eggs anyways, and it tasted horrible. Other people were wary of a mix that didn't include eggs, so that made sales drop even further.

    There are some cake mixes that don't require eggs that are sold in the US, but they're usually the "Cake in a cup" or "Micro-bake brownie" type mixes.
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    Default Re: Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwhouk View Post
    There's also another thing: it's a mentality about it. IIRC Duncan Hines (or one of the other big-name cake mix makers) put out a cake mix that didn't require eggs - mostly because the mix had the necessary ingredients that it didn't need it. It sold horribly, because people who made cakes were putting in eggs anyways, and it tasted horrible. Other people were wary of a mix that didn't include eggs, so that made sales drop even further.
    I heard it was Betty Crocker, and it made peopel feel like they weren't doing enough cooking, or something. Putting the egg in themselves fixed that.
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    Default Re: Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    There's also a difference between American eggs and many other places in the world, IIRC - American eggs are not commonly pasteurized or irradiated, meaning the interior of the egg is not sterilized, whereas these treatments are standard in many other places around the world. Assuming you crack and extract the insides of the egg cleanly without significant contact between the outside shell and the yolk/white, a pasteurized or irradiated raw egg can be fairly safely consumed. One that did not have that treatment is best cooked before eating, because while the risk is small you can't guarantee the inside isn't contaminated.

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    Default Re: Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    I had heard that it actually wasn't just the raw egg you had to watch out for, but microbes in the flour.

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    Default Re: Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    There's also a difference between American eggs and many other places in the world, IIRC - American eggs are not commonly pasteurized or irradiated, meaning the interior of the egg is not sterilized, whereas these treatments are standard in many other places around the world. Assuming you crack and extract the insides of the egg cleanly without significant contact between the outside shell and the yolk/white, a pasteurized or irradiated raw egg can be fairly safely consumed. One that did not have that treatment is best cooked before eating, because while the risk is small you can't guarantee the inside isn't contaminated.
    I've never heard that other western countries pasteurize eggs, especially as they don't wash them. AFAIK the big difference is that in Europe they don't wash eggs but instead vaccinate the chicken against salmonella, but in the US we don't vaccinate and instead wash and refrigerate the eggs.

    The US also requires pasteurization of eggs where they would be consumed uncooked like mayo, egg whites cartons, etc. as well as where they are being sold to kids (public schools).

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    Default Re: Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    No-bake cookies are the only ones that I've regularly seen to have no eggs in the recipe in the US.

    Several New Zealand recipes here contain eggs. I do see that the Anzac Biscuits and a couple of the others don't. Might be possible that the soldiers were short on eggs and made do without?

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    Default Re: Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I heard it was Betty Crocker, and it made peopel feel like they weren't doing enough cooking, or something. Putting the egg in themselves fixed that.
    That is the actual story, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdmiralCheez View Post
    I had heard that it actually wasn't just the raw egg you had to watch out for, but microbes in the flour.
    Yeah that made the rounds a while back. Not sure how universal a fear it is. Regardless, the overall message is that foodstuffs that are intended to be cooked before eating do not have the same handling characteristics as those you are supposed to be eat straight from the pack. In the US, we have warning on eggs not to eat them raw (or to do so at ones own risk).

    As to why US cookies have eggs in them to begin with, ve4grm has the cooking properties of it.

    The simple fact that is that there is infinite variety in the spectrum from out and out cake on one end, all the way to something like the US cracker Wheat Thins (I assume New Zealand has an equivalent) on the other. When we say 'what you call biscuits, we call cookies, and vice versa,' well... that's a shorthand. We probably aren't really talking about the exact same thing, in the same ratio, and with the same moisture/fluffiness/density profiles, etc. I guess those of us in the U.S. like a little more of those qualities egg adds to a baked flour good in what we would call a cookie.

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    Default Re: Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Domino Quartz View Post
    Why do Americans put eggs in cookie dough? Every recipe for cookies (biscuits here in NZ) I've ever made has had no eggs, but I've heard Americans talk about not being able to eat cookie dough raw because it contains raw eggs.
    Egg is a Binder. It's there mostly to give baked goods structure when the rest of the recipe would have it normally be crumbly. The fear is there even if the recipe DOESN'T have raw eggs, because very few people are going to go around checking things so most people just assume the danger is there because it's better to sit on the side of caution than it is to eat raw eggs and get sick.
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