The effects of recipe formulation in terms of leavening agents (ammonium and sodium bicarbonates), sugars (sucrose and glucose), initial moisture content, and baking conditions (temperature and time) on furosine formation in cookies were studied. The cookies were baked at different temperatures for different times to monitor the progress of the early stage of the Maillard reaction. Change in furosine levels as an indicator of the Amadori products showed a typical kinetic behavior with a rapid increase to an apparent maximum followed by exponential decrease during baking. Initial water activity of cookie dough had no remarkable effect on the apparent maximum, but lowering the water activity decreased the time required to attain it. In addition, levels of furosine in the final product are highly correlated to the initial water content of dough at the same baking conditions. The levels of furosine attained were significantly lower in cookies composed of sucrose than in cookies composed of glucose. Early stage of the MR is rapidly overcome during baking as the Amadori product degraded in the advanced stage. Among the leavening agents, ammonium bicarbonate was the most effective for the progress of the Maillard reaction in cookies during baking. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.