Chocolate Love & Baking Science

“Nine out of ten people like chocolate, the tenth person always lies.”

~John Tullius~

I never lie.

And I don’t simply “like” chocolate, I love it.

The dark chocolate kind. The kind that tastes like chocolate and not sugar.

My apologies to the milk chocolate fans out there (I used to be one myself), but I no longer want dairy or a lot of sugar in my chocolate. It’s an acquired taste, but once you get there, you don’t go back. It’s similar to not going back to Miller Lite beer after you’ve tasted fine craft beer.

Anyhow, I have a chocolate baking science story for you.

Last week, while binging on a Netflix program, I had a sudden urge to get up and bake the chocolate chip/oatmeal/peanut butter cookies that have always been in my Christmas cookie bag of tricks. It’s been awhile since I baked the little rounds of comfort, so care was taken in measuring and mixing and using the best ingredients, including organic dark chocolate chips and gluten-free flour and oatmeal.

The batter looked great, tasted great and looked yummy when first out of the oven in its completed form. Shortly thereafter, I participated in quality control a few times.


One of my neighbors is also retired, so I knocked on her door and offered up a couple of warm cookies. While at her door, my biking buddy neighbor arrived home from work and she was also offered a sweet treat.

All good and tasty…right?

The next morning, I bit into a cookie and was shocked to see the inside had turned a dark green. A moldy dark green, but without the mold.


I smelled the cookie and it smelled okay. Living on the edge, I took another bite and it tasted yummy. I thought about the ingredients used and nothing seemed amiss. And then I worried about the taste-testing neighbors. Did I give them bad cookies? Did I make them sick? Are they lying dead on the floor from some sort of toxic cookie baking?

The answer to those questions is “no” and thank God for Google.

You see, I used sunflower butter instead of peanut butter because that’s what I have in the cupboard. I’ve used other nut butters in this recipe, so didn’t see the harm. However, the chlorophyll in sunflower butter, interacting with baking soda, can turn baked goods green. It doesn’t hurt anything or anyone, and doesn’t affect the taste, but the initial not knowing of this scientific fact nearly gave me a panic attack.

Later that morning, I knocked on retired neighbor’s door and as we started to chat, biking buddy neighbor was walking up the stairs to her apartment.

Good! Kill two chocolate chip cookies with one stone!

I told them both the story, the science behind the green, and we had a good laugh about it. They didn’t know about the sunflower butter and baking soda repulsive marriage either. They both noticed the darker color, but thought it was melty chocolate chips spreading themselves through the center.

If you, the reader, didn’t know the science, you are welcome for this public service baking awareness post. Science is always better than making assumptions (dead neighbors) out of fear.

So, now, please excuse me. My tea is waiting, along with additional quality control as I’m inspecting green cookie flavor after six days in the freezer.

Later…Mmmuch later…

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32 responses to Chocolate Love & Baking Science

  1. John Hric says:

    Science – it is a thing. Watson come here I need you. And bring some of those green cookies….

  2. quiall says:

    That made me laugh out loud! That will definitely go in the file of information I will probably never use but I will also never forget. Thanks for the info.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Glad to provide a laugh, Pam. I will never forget this either, but I’m most grateful it didn’t turn into a health disaster with the neighbors.

  3. beth says:

    oh, i had no idea! i love spoons of sunflower butter but have never used it in baking. glad you were able to reassure everyone about the color change )

  4. Dan Antion says:

    A science post from Mary? I’m giving you 500 bonus points for this one. I’m glad the answer was easy to find, non-toxic and still yummy. I hope you have a great rest of the week 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks, Dan! If I ever publish an algebra post that sounds intelligent, know that I’ve probably been taken over by an alien and you should be careful with the bonus points.

  5. Ally Bean says:

    This post made me hungry, but in a good way. I like the quote but will play devil’s advocate here and say that I know a woman who is allergic to chocolate so when she says she doesn’t like chocolate, it’s the truth. The poor dear

    • bikerchick57 says:

      That’s horrible to be allergic to chocolate! I know someone, on the other hand, who was so addicted to it that she paid to be hypnotized into thinking it tasted like dirt. That was years ago and I often wonder if that stayed with her.

  6. dweezer19 says:

    Wow! I didn’t know about that one but I have never used sunflower products before. I am with you on the dark chocolate. It is a major food group for me. Keeps my mind and heart happy. Same for beer. I used to think I didn’t like beer-until someone gave me a ‘real’ beer. Now I’m hooked. I love dark beer too. Oh and I’m somewhat of a coffee snob. I never liked it growing up but became a fan when we lived in Costa Rica. Good coffee is a must for me. The cookies look and sound wonderful, the ‘Kermit effect’ notwithstanding. 😉

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The Kermit effect…LOL! Next time, I’m making the cookies with peanut or almond butter!
      Even though I only drink one or two cups of coffee in a week, I buy good coffee from a roaster in Wisconsin. Never Folgers, it now gags me. If I can afford the best of something, it’s completely worth it in taste.

  7. Norm 2.0 says:

    Well you learn something every day. It’s amazing considering the amount of baking I do, that I had never heard of this either.

  8. lois says:

    haha! I’d have done what I always do when something looks iffy: ‘Husband, come here and taste this.’ 🤣

  9. Herman says:

    Posts with the word “chocolate” are always good posts! And I never lie… 😉

  10. murisopsis says:

    Oh! This is unnerving and yet I laughed… Does that make me a bad person?? I have a stash of dark chocolate for personal consumption. It ranges from the wimpy 60% cacao to the double dark of 92%… You are so right about dark chocolate vs milk chocolate!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Nope, not a bad oerson. I laughed too…still laughing…after the initial shock of believing I gave the neighbors bad cookies. That would have been really bad.

  11. Very interesting – I did not know that either. Glad it didn’t really affect the taste. I gave up milk chocolate over 25 years ago. It gave me headaches. This year I tried some of Lily’s 92% chocolate and fell in love with it. It turns out it was the sugar that caused the headaches which I don’t get from real organic cacao! I’ve even made brownies with organic cacao and avocados. I think you’d like those too :-). Best wishes for your next chocolate encounter. PS – if you search youtube for “Doctor says: Eat chocolate, EVERY DAY” you’ll be glad you’re on the right track!

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