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If I want to reduce the amount of sugar (to reduce sweetness) in a cookie recipe, how would that affect the end result (mainly with respect to texture) and what can be done to negate it?

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Perhaps it would be useful if you linked your current recipe, and how much sugar you want to use. There are a lot of cookies with a lot of different ratios and textures. –  Mien Jul 26 '12 at 17:33
    
I was hoping for a general answer about how sugar affects the texture of baked goods, but if this is dependent on the recipe, then the one I'm looking at right now is joyofbaking.com/ChocolateChipCookies.html . I'm not sure how much I want to use yet. I was thinking of experimenting a bit to find how much would taste best once I know how to do so without affecting anything else. –  howardh Jul 26 '12 at 18:38
    
@howardh Like Mien said, there's a lot of variety. The answer for chocolate chip cookies will apply to a lot of other basic cookies with the same kind of flour butter sugar base, like say sugar cookies, but not necessarily things with different balances of main ingredients. –  Jefromi Jul 27 '12 at 1:36
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sugar isn't added to baked goods just to sweeten them: it also does things to the fats and starches to help create the texture. This is related to why some recipes require castor sugar (i.e. very fine crystals) and others do not.

One solution you could experiment with is changing the sugar. Dextrose is noticeably less sweet than cane sugar, for instance, for the same quantity.

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Sugar works as a tenderizing agent in baked goods. Since water loves sugar, they bind together, adding a bit of moisture. It's probably ok to reduce the sugar by 1/3 without seriously affecting the end product. You may need to add a little more fat (as a tenderizer). I suggest experimenting with your recipe, reducing the sugar a little at a time until you come up with an acceptable end product.

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