Sunday, December 18, 2011

Q and A ~ Crumbly Rolled Sugar Cookie Dough

"I need your help! I wanted to make some sugar cookies and try to decorate them for neighbor gifts… so I made some dough and I don't know what I did to it but it is so crumbly and dry… I used the 6 cups of flour but maybe I went a little on the heavy side of 6 cups? Do you think? Any suggestions from the dessert guru?"

"Hi Teresa!
So it does sound like too much flour was added to the dough but luckily you can fix it fairly easily.
There are 2 methods you can try depending on how much your dough is crumbling:

Method #1-  I have found that when my dough is slightly crumbly and kind of falling apart (but not way too much), it helps to wad it up as tight as you can in a ball (slightly kneading it), wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight or at least quite a few hours (more than 5 hrs). Then take it out and roll it when it warms up just enough. It might just need a small amount of kneading. I had the exact same thing happen to me with some dough and this worked quite well. I believe that letting it have some time to sit allowed the moisture to spread throughout the dough and make it more uniform.

Method #2- If you have already tried to let it sit refrigerated and it is still crumbly or your dough is super crumbly to begin with then try sprinkling a small amount of cold milk or water and mixing it in just enough. I don't want to tell you exactly how much because it depends on how much dough you have and how dry your dough is. Start with a little (less than 1 Tbsp) and reassess adding just enough liquid to make the dough come together. You don't want to knead it way too much because then the cookie can become tough.

Next time you make the dough you will want to add less flour. You won't believe how much of a difference your measuring method makes. Assuming that we are using all-purpose flour, I have listed the estimates of how much your flour weighs for different methods of measuring.

Dip and Sweep Method = 5 ounces per cup
Lightly Spooned = 4.5 punces per cup
Sifted = 3.75 ounces per cup
Big Difference! This is why I like to use a scale because it gives you reliable consistent results every time. I use the OXO Kitchen Scale and have been extremely happy with it but you can get a cheaper one and it will do well too. It may just have less bells and whistles.
If you do not have a kitchen scale, then I would recommend using the lightly spooned method if the recipe does not specify (which most often they do not).
Does this help? Good Luck!"


  1. Thanks SARA!!! Method #2 totally WORKED! :)

  2. WOW you never know when you will save some one's cookies......dry dough......put back in the mixer and added a little water a little at a time......zowie!!!! great dough......we'll have cookies after all.....Thank you very much! Lynn

  3. Excellent! Everyone deserves cookies at Christmas. ;)
    Merry Christmas!