When kneading your cookie dough, you expect the final result to be soft and pliable. It can be disappointing if it ends up dry and crumbly. Does that mean that you should throw the dough away and start the process again? Luckily, you can still fix the dry dough and bake your cookies. Knowing how to moisten cookie dough is vital. The sooner you establish the cause of your crumbly cookie dough, the faster you get the solution. Check below to know the reasons and the solutions.
Reasons Why Your Cookie Dough Is Dry
Putting less fat
Did you follow the recipe correctly? If you did and put the recommended amount and the right type of fat, the recipe could be the problem. Remember, it’s essential to use the type of fat included in the recipe. Using the different one could give you undesirable results. Could be the person who wrote that recipe made a mistake when giving instructions on the amount of fat needed. Fat plays a vital role in binding the ingredients you included in your recipe. It lubricates your dough, making it soft and pliable.
Solution: Add Some Fat
Now that you know the importance of fat in the cookie dough, you need to put the right amount. Avoid putting excess fat since the dough will not only spread when baking but will also end up so oily. It will also interfere with the texture of your dough. If the mixture becomes dry, add one teaspoon of the recommended oil and mix the dough using your hands.
Did you use all the recommended liquids in your dough? Did you put the right amount? If you did and the dough ended up dry, it can be very frustrating. Relax and go back to the recipe. Have you considered that there could be a mistake with the amount of the liquid in the recipe? If that’s the case, getting a solution is easy. Also, imagine, after kneading your dough, you left it in the fridge for some time. After you pick it from your fridge and want to bake, you realize that the water has dried out. What should you do? The solution is the same whether your dough dried after some time or immediately after kneading.
Solution: Add more liquid
Assuming your dough called for one cup of milk, and it ended up dry, how much milk should you add? Start by adding one spoon and mix. Access the results and if it’s not moistened as you would wish, add another spoon and mix. If you realize that you have added more than a quarter cup of the liquid, then there is a problem. Most probably, your recipe had a problem. When adding the extra liquid, you don’t have to add other ingredients such as sugar. The liquid will not affect the taste of your cookie.
Some people like putting the dough in a fridge for at least 24 hours. If you must put your dough in a refrigerator, you should wrap it well using a plastic wrap.
After putting the right ingredients and the right amount, you need to mix them. What do you use to mix them and how long do you take? Over mixing your dough will make your flour to develop glutens. As a result, you will end up with the dry dough.
Solution: Use Your Hands
If when mixing, you realize that the dough is a bit crumbly, stop using hand mixer to mix. Instead, use your bare hands. Your hands will be gentle when pressing your dough together and forming cookie balls.
Again if it’s severely dry, leave your dough for some time to rest. Don’t put it in the fridge since it will suck the water and worsen the situation. Just put it in room temperature and cook after an hour. Since over mixing is the cause of the dryness, don’t mix again when cooking.
Speaking of the recipe, here are instances of how you can mess up. Imagine you are adding some dry ingredients and a visitor comes. The temptation of adding some extra flour in that dough is real, to get some additional cookies. Guess what, if you add, your dough will dry for disregarding the recipe.
Failure to read your recipe to the end could cost you. Look at the order of putting things and what to mix with what. Distractions when mixing things can make you add an ingredient twice or even forget to add some.
Again, a human is to error. Could be, the writer of the recipe omitted a vital ingredient or included wrong amounts. If you follow that recipe, you will mess your dough. Again it’s wrong to use a substitute of something if you are not sure of the outcome. For instance, if your recipe dictates that you use natural sugars, avoid using honey unless you know its effect on your dough. So if the recipe is the problem, how can I fix my dry, crumbly cookie dough?
Solution: Fix the Recipe
It’s a tricky situation that will involve a try and error so good luck with it. If the recipe dictates that you add 2 cups of milk and you added one, you will have to fix your dough by adding the extra one slowly. In case the recipe indicates one spoon of cooking oil yet it’s supposed to be two, you need to figure that out that. You might have to add several ingredients to help you fix the dough. To get the right result, add each at a time and mix using your hands until you get your desired results. Luckily, by the time you finish fixing, your efforts will not go to waste because you will have some extra cookies.
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John DiBella is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, a cooking enthuthiast and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about home kitchenware, he enjoys hiking, camping, sailing and cooking.