One summer while visiting my parents, I spent a day baking snickerdoodles. Seven different recipes. Dozens of cookies. The idea was to conduct a taste test on my captive-audience family. My sister got in on the act and wrote up a detailed survey about color, texture, flavor, etc., something my goofy brother-in-law made sure to answer in ridiculous ways that years later still makes me smile.
From those surveys, I built a new snickerdoodle recipe, taking preferences from one cookie and trying to meld it with another. And what I came up with is snickerdoodle heaven. I’m not kidding. The cinnamon to sugar ratio, the shape, the way the cookie spreads– it’s perfection.
Why did I do all this? For a manuscript I was working on at the time, A COOKIE, A JACKET, A LETTER. A snickerdoodle recipe figures into the storyline, and I felt like I needed to get it just right.
What have you done in the name of research?