PJ Hamel, post author

March 27, 2017 at 11:09am

In reply to by Megan (not verified)

Megan, it can get confusing, can't it? In reduced-sugar cookies, the spread increases, I believe due to the fact that as dough rests/chills, the gluten relaxes. When you bake the cookies, this relaxed gluten is more likely to encourage cookies to flatten out, and this flattening is noticeable due to the absence of sugar. In standard (full-sugar) cookies, this relaxed-gluten spread is totally overwhelmed by the vigorous spreading encouraged by sugar; and chilling the dough in order to get the fats nice and solid (thus increasing their melting temperature, and decreasing spread) is the only way to counteract sugar's spreading effect. SO: in low-sugar cookies, chilling encourages spread (yes, despite the effect on fat's melting point); in full-sugar cookies, chilling decreases spread. Helpful? PJH
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