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What To Do If Cookie Dough Is Too Dry

What To Do If Cookie Dough Is Too Dry

Nothing is more frustrating than planning out your cookie baking for the afternoon, only to land up with crumbly, dry cookie dough. You know what this story looks like. Dry dough that falls apart. Trying to roll out the little cookie dough balls, only to have them break apart in your hands. If you want to figure out what to do if cookie dough is too dry, I’ve got a few solutions for you.

I love baking cookies and trying out new recipes. Sometimes I just find the cookie dough comes out a little too dry. If that happens, I don’t panic, I get into my problem-solving mode. Nothing can stop me from getting a perfect batch of cookies out of the oven!

Why is my cookie dough dry and crumbly

Here are a couple of reasons why your cookie dough might be crumbling, falling apart, and too dry to roll into balls.

cookie dough dried out in fridge

1. Not enough fat or shortening

If there isn’t enough fat in the recipe in proportion to the dry ingredients, your cookie dough is likely to be dry and crumbly. By fat, I mean the butter, lard, or oil in the recipe. 

The fat in cookie recipes is partly what gives the dough a silky texture that is easy to shape and manipulate.

2. Too many dry ingredients versus wet

This is kind of an obvious one but also, but it can happen really easily. Weighing out the dry ingredients and adding too much flour, for example, in relation to the butter or liquid component of the recipe. This is a sure way to get a dry dough.

Try to double-check your dry ingredients when you’re measuring them out. Another point is, to take note of what kind of cup measurement the recipe is calling for. 

US cup measurements are slightly different from cup measurements in the UK and other parts of the world.

3. Too little liquid in the dough

If you add too little liquid to your dough you will have a crumbly cookie dough texture. You might measure the liquid component incorrectly by misreading your recipe. The liquid elements can refer to eggs, milk, water, or another liquid.

4. Overmixing

When you mix cookie dough, you are essentially developing the gluten in the dough. The more you mix it, the further it will develop. The further it develops, the more it stretches. This can result in a dry texture that is difficult to work with and bake.

4 Easy fixes for dry cookie dough

 Have a look at these solutions and see what will work for you.

how to fix dry cookies after baking

Solution to not enough fat

Add a little oil or extra butter to your dough. If you’re making a small batch, go in with one teaspoon at a time. If you’re making up a large batch of cookies, then go in with one tablespoon at a time.

Too much fat can give you a nasty, greasy cookie that seeps out oil during the baking process. Not a good result. So, go slow here.

Solution to too many dry ingredients

Add in a little shortening or fat back one teaspoon at a time. Go slowly here so that you get the ratio as close to perfect as possible. A little teaspoon of oil or butter, one addition at a time, will do the trick.

Solution to too little liquid

As with adding in fat, add liquid back into the cookie dough slowly. One teaspoon at a time of either egg, milk, water or any other liquid the recipe might call for.

Solution to overmixing

The best solution to overmixing is to allow the cookie dough to rest. Let it sit in its mixing bowl, covered up, for at least an hour. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, lift the dough out and place it onto the cookie tray without mixing it further.

What is the perfect cookie dough consistency

It’s soft, pliable, and easy to roll. If that makes sense. Cookie dough when it’s still in the mixing bowl, should still look kind of loose. It shouldn’t be shiny and perfectly smooth yet, or it’s overmixed. 

When you lift up a scoop of cookie dough, it should roll into a ball with just the warmth of your hands.

what to do if cookie dough is too wet

What to do if cookie dough dried out in the fridge

Take it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. If the texture is still too dry, add a little bit of liquid or fat to the dough and mix it until the consistency is soft and pliable again. 


How do you know if cookie dough is too dry?

You will know if your cookie dough is too dry because it won’t roll into a ball. It will crumble and break, and when you try to put it down on the tray, it will crack all around the sides.

How do you fix cookie dough with too much flour?

If you’re looking for how to fix cookie dough that has too much flour and is too dry, add in a little moisture. This could be in the way of liquid or fat. So, water, milk, egg, butter, lard, or oil. Depending on what is listed in the recipe.

Be mindful that you might add in too much fat and create a greasy dough, so go slowly and add in a teaspoon at a time.

Can you fix over mixed cookie dough?

You can improve over mixed cookie dough by allowing it to rest for about an hour or more.

what to do with dry cookies

What to do if cookie dough is too wet?

Add in more of the dry ingredients to restore the correct ratio of dry to wet ingredients. Add a little of the flour teaspoon or tablespoon at a time until the dough is right. 

You may need to add in some more sugar to correct the overall ratio. Go slowly with the additions so that you don’t make it too wet.

Wrapping it up!

If your cookie dough is the wrong consistency and texture, a little dry and crumbly, there is no need to panic. There are quite a few solutions to this issue. From adding in liquid or fat, to allowing it to rest, depending on the reason for the textural problem.

I hope this article assists you with finding a solution so that you can carry on baking with joy!

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