Why 350°F is the magic number for baking
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For most of human history, bakers had very little control over the heat of their ovens and hearths. The earliest ovens were giant pits filled with hot coals or burning wood, and though technology improved over the millennia, the basic concept remained the same through the beginning of the 20th century. As a result, estimating oven temperature was more art than science.
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The chemistry of cookies
You stick cookie dough into an oven, and magically, you get a plate of warm, gooey cookies. Except it’s not magic; it’s science. Stephanie Warren explains via basic chemistry principles how the dough spreads out, at what temperature we can kill salmonella, and why that intoxicating smell wafting from your oven indicates that the cookies are ready for eating.
How sugar affects the brain
When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine -- an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.
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