The Scientific Reason Why Dunking Your Cookies Makes Them Taste Better

It's Girl Scout cookie season and if you're anything like me, you've been sidetracked at the grocery store by sweet looking Scouts hawking Thin Mints and Samoas. As a former Girl Scout who once did her fair share of hawking, I have trouble saying no. Plus, I like cookies. Last week a little news story brought to my attention a fact I've long known: there's a trick to making them taste even better.

What exactly is this trick? Dunking! I have fond memories of dipping my cookies in milk, but I also love dunking firm cookies like shortbreads (and Thin Mints) in hot tea in the afternoon. Last week NPR wrote a piece exploring why so many others do the same, asking, "Does immersing a cookie into a warm beverage really make it taste better? And if so, why?"

Cookbook author Heston Blumenthal did a number of scientific experiments and discovered that a chocolate cookie dipped in black tea did actually have more flavor. A science fanatic, Blumenthal actually asked a group of food scientists to help him develop a new machine which would "measure the amount of flavor released in your mouth as aromas when you take a sip of cabernet, melt a chocolate bar on your tongue or chew on a cookie". The result is that cookies released more cookie flavor and aroma when dunked. The conclusion: "dunking is better than not dunking."

What do you think? Is dunking more of a habit, or do you feel it actually makes your cookies more flavorful?
Read the Article: Dunking Science: Do Cookies Really Taste Better Dunked in Tea? by Michaeleen Doucleff

Related: Foods for Dunking: Best Food and Beverage Combos

(Image: Faith Durand)