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Nearly every home cook I know will attest that their homemade cookies taste much better than those purchased from the store. But, are they better for you? This question made me decide to do a full breakdown of the difference between homemade cookies and store-bought cookies.
As a general rule, homemade cookies are healthier than store-bought cookies because they do not contain additional chemicals, stabilizers, and preservatives. Also, when you bake cookies at home, you can choose to reduce the amount of sugar you use and add healthier ingredients.
In this article, I will discuss some of the most popular questions you may have in regards to when it’s worth purchasing store-bought cookies or if you’re better off making them on your own.
Are Homemade Cookies Better For You?
Generally speaking, homemade cookies tend to be higher in calories than those purchased from the store. However, the quality of the ingredients being used in homemade cookies tends to be of higher quality, especially if they are organic.
One of the main reasons why I love to bake is because I have complete control over what goes into my baked goods. I can add ingredients to increase their nutritional value (like flaxseed for additional fiber) or I can modify the recipe to reduce calories.
That being said, many home-baked goodies are actually higher in calories due to home chefs wanting to create something that is particularly delicious and indulgent for special occasions.
*By the way, if you’re looking for some new cookie sheets/baking pans to replace for your kitchen, I recently came across the Perfect Nonstick Cookie Sheets / Baking Sheets Set that I got for myself and they work great! You can check out these Nonstick Cookie Sheet Set on Amazon!
For example, a chocolate chip cookie that was baked in a facility can have significantly fewer calories than one that has been created at home using premium butter and chocolate chips.
Something I like to do from time to time is to add a few hints of nutrition here or there without modifying or changing the flavor.
*Side Note: You might also want to know How To Properly Store Cookies. I recently wrote an article that talks about all you need to know for Storing Cookies To Make Them Last, which you can check out here!
You could try using whole wheat flour, add some oats, or even replace your eggs with applesauce! While every substitute may not be a success, you won’t know until you give it a try!
Why Do Homemade Cookies Taste Better Than Store-Bought Cookies?
Homemade cookies taste better than store-bought cookies because they feature ingredients like fresh butter, which isn’t used in many pre-packaged cookie recipes. Homemade cookies also use other fresh ingredients which add to their taste.
Personally, I think my homemade cookies taste much better than those bought from the store. Homemade cookies tend to lack the additional artificial colorings and other additives that are meant to extend the cookie’s shelf life.
Cookie production companies choose to eliminate certain ingredients from their recipes that aren’t shelf-stable.
In addition to additives and artificial colorings, highly processed cookies purchased from the store lack the ingredients that make homemade cookies so delicious.
Adding butter and eggs to their cookie recipe during production is a risky move for large-scale food companies to make, especially since these ingredients will spoil rather quickly.
*By the way, I recently wrote an article about Why Your Cookies Might Not be Spreading. This article speaks about all the reasons your cookies will remain in a ball instead of spreading into a cookie shape. You can check out this article here!
Is It Worth Making Homemade Cookies Rather Than Buying Them?
Although purchasing ingredients may initially be costly, it is worth making homemade cookies rather than buying them. Additional ingredients can be incorporated in order to increase their nutritional value or decrease the number of calories per cookie.
I always think that baking your own cookies is well worth the effort, especially around the holidays.
There’s just something about a warm, buttery cookie fresh from the oven that makes me smile.
Most people generally prefer homemade cookies, however, store-bought cookies can be a good alternative if you’re pressed for time and can’t spend an afternoon in the kitchen.
*Side Note: You might also want to know How To Bake Cookies Without A Cookie Sheet. I recently wrote an article that talks about What Can You Use To Bake Cookies Without A Cookie Sheet, which you can check out here!
Why Do Cookies From The Store Taste So Different From Homemade Cookies?
Cookies from the store taste different because they tend to be marketed for mass appeal making their flavor profiles blander in order to increase sales. Homemade cookies can include a wide variety of flavors and ingredients at the home cook’s discretion, making them more flavorful and unique.
Cookies from the store are mass-produced with flavorings that are meant to appeal to most consumers. Many factories also use a pre-blended mix of sugar and shortening in order to cut down on baking time.
The ovens are often underheated in order to prevent the cookies from burning as well.
All of these shortcuts that are used in order to cut down on baking and packaging time all lead to ordinary, mass-produced, pre-packaged cookies.
Grabbing a bag or two of pre-packaged cookies can save you in a pinch if you’re looking for a quick snack for the kids or something to bring to a party, however, homemade cookies will always taste better in my opinion.
*By the way, I recently wrote an article about Why Do Cookies Become Soft When Left Out. This article talks about why cookies get soft when they are left out over time. You can check out this article here!
Are Homemade Cookies Considered Processed Food?
In general, homemade cookies can be considered processed foods dependent upon whether the ingredients being used are processed as well. While many homemade cookie recipes use high-quality, organic ingredients, other recipes may not incorporate these types of ingredients.
While you can cut down on the number of processed ingredients you use in your homemade cookies, it will be difficult to eliminate all processed ingredients.
Your best bet is to try to go with high-quality or organic ingredients when possible and try to reduce the amount of overly processed ingredients.
*Side Note: I recently wrote an article talking about If Cookies Have To Be Round. This article breaks down why most cookies are round and how to bake cookies in different shapes. You can check out this article here!
Are Store-Bought Cookies Considered Processed Food?
Generally speaking, store-bought cookies are considered to be highly processed food products. The number of preservatives that are added to processed foods are meant to extend their shelf life, however, they add no nutritional value and can negatively impact a consumer’s health.
Just as homemade cookies contain processed ingredients, store-bought cookies will also contain high amounts of processed ingredients.
Most foods that you find in the grocery store are going to be processed, some more heavily than others. More important than the topic of processing is the nutritional value of that food item.
If you can, try to stick with healthier or organic pre-packaged cookie options.
This will allow you to have some control over the nutritional content of the snacks you bring into your home.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Home Baking?
There are several disadvantages of home baking:
- Home baking has a wide margin of error
- Home baking can take a lot of time
- You can encounter unfamiliar recipe while home baking
- Home bakers spend more money on initial ingredients
- Home bakers spend hours cleaning up the kitchen
All of these home baking disadvantages can be dealt with if you love to bake. Baking at home creates a sense of pride and accomplishment once finished!