I found this question in my search terms for my blog, and it sparked my brain to do a little research! I know how frustrating it is to try to find the answer to a question, and the search engine leads you to the wrong website and you have to filter through a bunch of information to a get an answer that isn’t there! I decided that I would find the information to this answer myself, and make it straight to the point. Maybe next time, I’ll save someone the brain ache of sorting through Google information.
Many would like to say that salt is needed for scientific reasons, but unfortunately the salt in your cookie isn’t going to make it last longer and it isn’t going to make or break the cookie.
Salt helps add to the flavor of anything, not just cookies. When using the right amount of salt (and not too much), the salt acts as an enhancer and brings out the flavors of what ever it is being used on. Just imagine eating some french fries; they have an alright flavor, but they are missing something…you add some salt and BAM! they are delicious. Now, I don’t think you’ll have quite the same BAM! moment when adding salt to a cookie, but it is the same type of idea.
The salt that is added into the cookie won’t make the cookie taste salty, and it won’t take away from the sweetness of a cookie (unless the lid falls off the salt shaker when you are shaking it). In a lot of cases, salt isn’t creating a flavor of its own; it is just simply adding to the other flavors.
There is also some evidence to suggest that salt kills bacteria. The bacteria in your cookie dough would result from the raw eggs. There is not really enough salt in cookie dough to kill all of the eggs though, so this last claim might not exactly be the most important in terms of the reasons why salt is found in cookies.
And there you have it, salt is added into your cookie (or other baked good) to ENHANCE the flavor, not to create its own flavor.
A big thanks goes out to this wonderful article, for providing me with some great information. I had to weed through quite a few pages on Google before finding the correct information.