Cookie dough is delicious, but sometimes it can be a pain to bake.
If you’ve ever tried baking cookies from scratch, you know that they often come out flat or crumbly. What gives?
Cookie dough is usually made with butter, eggs, flour, sugar, and other ingredients.
The problem is that these ingredients don’t always mix well together.
This leads to uneven distribution of moisture throughout the batter, resulting in dry baked goods.
There are several reasons why cookie dough might turn out dry and crumbly. Some of them include:
- Too much flour – When making cookie dough, use less than half as much flour as called for in the recipe.
- Over mixing – Mix only until the dough comes together into a ball.
- Using too cold butter – Use room temperature butter when mixing cookie dough.
- Not letting the dough rest enough – Let the dough sit for about 10 minutes before using.
- Baking too hot – Bake cookies at 350 degrees F instead of 375 degrees F.
- Omitting an ingredient – Don’t leave out any of the following ingredients: salt, vanilla extract, baking powder, milk, egg yolks, chocolate chips, etc.
- Making too small batches – Make large batches of cookie dough and freeze the extra portions.
Let’s go further into some of the most common issues and why they may be happening to your latest cookie dough batch!
The actual issue could be something very simple, so try not to get too frustrated starting off, as the problem may not be down to you, and maybe the recipe does not account for your oven conditions, for example.
Don’t worry, we’ll help you fix your dry and crumbly cookie dough in no time at all, so you can keep baking as happily as ever.
5 Ways To Fix Dry And Crumbly Cookie Dough
If you’re trying to bake a batch of cookies, but the dough seems like it might not come together right, then you probably need to add liquid.
Liquid helps the gluten relax and allows the flour to absorb moisture.
Adding water or milk also helps the dough forms a ball instead of remaining sticky.
If you’re using butter, adding water will help soften it and allow it to mix smoothly with the other ingredients.
But if you’re using shortening, you’ll need to add less water because shortening doesn’t melt easily.
Once you’ve added enough water to get the dough to the right consistency, it’s time to roll it out.
Rolling the dough before it cools will ensure that the dough comes together nicely.
After rolling out the dough, it’s time to cut the shapes and place them onto a baking sheet.
The dry dough can be fixed by adding a bit of water.
If your dough feels like it needs a bit of moisture, add a tablespoon of milk or cream.
You may also need to adjust the amount of sugar depending on your recipe.
For example, if your recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar, then you should probably reduce it to 1 cup.
Why Is My Cookie Dough Crumbly And Dry?
There may be several reasons as to why your cookies might be a bit dry and very crumbly, rather than managing to hold together in nice balls.
Knowing what those reasons are will help you figure out how to exactly fix them before you attempt to bake them.
1. Not Anywhere Near Enough Fat
Dry and crumbly cookie dough actually is usually caused by an incorrect measurement of fat.
If you add too much fat, the dough will become sticky and hard to roll out.
You should also check your recipe to see if it calls for the usual amount of fat.
If not, try adding a few tablespoons of vegetable oil or shortening to increase the amount of fat in the dough.
2. Needs More Liquid
Cookies need a combination of fats and sugars to create an appealing texture.
Milk and water are often added to cookie dough because they provide moisture.
Eggs are also commonly used to bind the dough together.
Some recipes actually call for flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, shortening, and other ingredients.
Make sure to read the instructions carefully!
3. Too Many Dry Types Of Ingredients
If you over-mix your dough, it will make it tough and chewy. Adding too much sugar will also make it hard and crumbly.
Too much salt will also affect its texture. If you add too many eggs, the dough may end up greasy.
You should always keep an eye out for dry ingredients when making cookies.
4. Over Mixed Batter
Add all your ingredients together and give them a quick stir.
As soon as you start mixing, your flour will immediately begin developing gluten.
Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes while the gluten forms. Then mix again. Do this until the dough becomes soft and pliable.
You may need to stop and rest the dough for a few minutes every time you mix.
Once the dough is ready, shape it into balls and place them onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
5. Over Dried In The Fridge
Cookie dough should not be kept in the refrigerator because it will become tough and hard to roll out.
If you bake cookies at room temperature, they won’t spread out properly.
You also need to allow the dough to sit at room temperature while baking to ensure proper spreading.
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How To Make Your Cookie Dough Moist Again?
If you think your dough looks like it needs more moisture, you should try adding more liquid first.
If you don’t have any extra liquids available, you can use more flour instead.
You might also consider using different types of fats, such as butter or shortening, to get the right consistency.
If none of those options works, you can always bake them at a lower temperature.
Adding In Liquid
If you’ve ever tried baking before, you’ll probably know that there are two kinds of recipes: those that call for dry ingredients and those that call for wet ingredients.
You might also know that if you’re using an all-purpose flour blend, the ratio of fat to flour should be about 60 percent.
But what does that really mean?
When we say “all-purpose,” we mean that the flour is meant to be used for both bread and cakes.
So, when making cookies, you’d use half all-purpose flour and half cake flour.
To get the best flavor out of your cookies, you’ll want to keep the proportion of fat to flour around 50%.
For example, if you were using butter, you’d use 3 tablespoons of butter for every 4 cups of flour.
Adding In Fat
Adding some fat straight to your dry cookie dough does not necessarily mean you need to bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should always check the temperature of your oven before putting any cookies in there.
If you notice that your oven runs hot, then you may want to reduce the heat down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
When adding fats to your cookie dough, you should try to keep the amount of fat equal to the amount of flour.
For example, if you were making a chocolate chip cookie, you could add 2 tablespoons of shortening to the mix.
If you wanted to make a peanut butter cookie, you could add 3 tablespoons of peanut butter to the mixture.
If you’re going to be using your hands alone to mix in ingredients, you’ll end up over-mixing your cookie dough, making it tough and less fluffy.
To avoid this, use an electric mixer instead. If you’re not sure if your cookie dough is ready, stick a finger in it and see if it sticks.
If it does, then it’s done.
We recommend trying to mix your dough by hand if you notice that it seems too dry or sticky.
If the dough feels like it needs another minute of kneading, then keep going.
If the dough still doesn’t seem to be coming together at all, try adding a bit more flour or water.
Once the dough starts to come together, stop kneading. Don’t worry about getting everything perfect right away!
Over mixing will cause the gluten to get too strong and toughen up the cookies.
Letting The Dough Rest
If you’re beginning to think you’ve over-mixed the cookie dough, let it sit on the counter for a bit before baking.
If your flour has begun to go all gummy when mixing, let it relax for a few minutes first.
Then, make sure to cover your dough and leave it out at standard room temperature until it softens.
Scoop and then bake your dough without actually re-mixing it.
The dough will be much easier to work with and softer after having a chance to sit for a bit.
Make More Dough!
If you think the recipe is wrong, then you should start again.
If you directly know what went wrong, you can calculate how many times you need to increase the amount of an ingredient to get back to the original recipe.
For example, if there was 1 cup less flour than specified, then you can multiply the amount of flour by one plus the number of cups you had to remove.
So if you had 10 cups of your flour, then you would have 11 cups of flour.
Then you would just divide the total amount of flour by 11 to determine how many cups you would need to add back in.
If you add two cups exactly of flour to your cookie dough, you won’t have enough flour left to roll out the rest of the cookie dough.
You’ll have to start over with the ingredients listed above, adding the flour to the second batch of your dough.
When you blend the two batches of dough together, you should get the right consistency. If not, mix in more flour until you do.
It can actually sometimes be difficult to get your cookie dough to bake evenly.
But, there are many ways you can try to help yourself out!
If you’ve ever had trouble getting your cookies to turn out right, there are a few simple tips that will help you achieve perfect results every time!
First, always add your ingredients at a slower rate, because this gives the batter a chance to form together nicely before you add any other ingredients.
Second, once all of your ingredients are mixed well, give the dough a chance to rest for a bit before baking.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Fix Overmixed Cookie Dough?
If you are stuck with a bowl of dough that is too dry, use a little bit of milk to make it softer. If the dough is too wet, add a little bit of flour to make it dryer.
If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit of sugar. You may also leave the dough at room temperature for sometime and you are good to go.
How Do You Tell If You Overworked Dough?
You can tell if you overworked dough by the change in texture and appearance of the dough.
If you are able to make a ball of dough with your hands and it stretches and bounces back, it is not overworked. If the dough is sticky, it has been overworked.
What Is The Cause Of Too Crumbly Cookies?
The cause of too crumbly cookies is likely due to the amount of time that they have been baked. Over-baked cookies are more likely to crumble and break apart, making it harder to eat.
Another cause might be that you have used too much flour which resulted in crumbly cookies.
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