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cookiemachinevalveBen Krasnow is no stranger to hacking. The Valve engineer has created X-rays with a vacuum tube, once built a hybrid rocket engine, and also combined avocados and high pressure nitrous oxide.

Now he’s back with his latest creation: A cookie-making machine.

“I’ve often wondered what makes a perfect cookie,” Krasnow says in the video below.

So, naturally, Krasnow built a machine that allows him to make slight variations on individual cookies so that he can more efficiently test different recipes and figure out which one he likes the most.

Ben Krasnow
Ben Krasnow

The contraption has a rotating carousel with containers that dispense ingredients like butter and sugar. Once the user selects a desired value of each ingredient with a computer program, the carousel rotates around and drops said ingredient into a bowl sitting atop a scale. 

Krasnow said he can test up to 30 different cookies recipes in one afternoon. He’s found that using too little flour makes cookies too crisp, and that too much brown sugar doesn’t result in chewiness.

“Luckily, since it is so difficult to mess up a chocolate chip cookie, eating mistakes is not all that much of a penalty,” he said.

Check out the video below to see the machine in action, and head here for more details on the development process.

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