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How to Fix Dry & Crumbly Cookie Dough

chocolate cookie dough in a bowl
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Is your cookie dough dry and crumbly? Are you struggling to get it to form into cookies? This article will show you exactly how to fix dry cookie dough using just a few simple ingredients and a few steps. With a little bit of effort, you can have soft and delicious cookies in no time!

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One way to tell if your cookie dough is too dry is by how it feels. If the dough is crumbly and does not hold together, then it is likely too dry.

Another way to tell is by how the cookies turn out. If the baked cookies turn out dry and crackly, then that is another sign that the dough was too dry.

The first step to fixing your dry cookie dough is to figure out why it got dry and crumbly in the first place. A few common culprits of dry cookie dough includes:

Too Much Dry Ingredients

Adding too much of a dry ingredient can make your cookie dough dry and crumbly. This includes flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, protein powder, and more.

For example, if you are following a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but decide to add extra cocoa powder, you might end up with a dry and crumbly cookie dough because the ratio of dry to wet ingredients will be slightly off.

This is especially important to keep in mind when altering recipes.

Not Enough Liquid

If you’re having trouble with your cookie dough recipe being too dry, it might also be because you’re not using enough liquid.

Not using enough liquid (i.e: milk, heavy cream, yogurt, water, vanilla extract, eggs, etc) will result in the cookie dough being too dry and crumbly because there’s not enough moisture to help the dry ingredients stick together.

If you are customizing certain cookie recipes to be vegan (and omitting the eggs or substituting with flax eggs), this might be the issue.

Not Enough Fat

One of the most common reasons for crumbly cookie dough is that there is not enough fat in the dough. This can be because there was not enough fat in the recipe or because it was just measured incorrectly.

The fat in cookie dough helps to lubricate the dry ingredients so that they bind together well. Without enough fat, the dough may be dry and difficult to work with.

If you choose to “healthify” your cookie dough by substituting or reducing the amount of butter and/or oils, you could end up with dry cookie dough.

Another reason your cookie dough is too dry might just be because you over-mixed the dough.

Over mixing your cookies will leave you with a dry and even crumbly dough. This is because as you mix the flour with the other ingredients, it starts to develop more gluten, which will make the dough harder in consistency.

Substituting Ingredients

When you omit or substitute any ingredients as called for in the cookie recipe, it can result in a dry cookie dough. For example, substituting all-purpose flour other types of flour will change the overall consistency of the cookie dough as each type of flour has distinct characteristics.

The best way to ensure perfect cookie dough is to follow a recipe as is, or find another that suits your dietary preferences.

Yes, you can fix dry cookie dough. After troubleshooting why your cookie dough might be dry, here are the steps on how to fix dry cookie dough.

So how do you fix dry cookie dough?

  • If the problem is not enough liquid, add more of the called-for liquid in the recipe. For example, if the recipe uses milk, add 1 Tablespoon of milk. Add more until the cookie dough softens. Note: you should not need more than 4 Tablespoons additional liquid.
  • If your cookie dough lacks enough fat, add 1 teaspoon of butter. Add more until the cookie dough softens, but not too much that your cookie dough becomes overly greasy.
  • If you added too much dry ingredients to your cookie dough mixture, you’ll have to re-calculate the recipe ingredients and add more of the other ingredients to balance out the dryness caused by using too much dry ingredients. This does mean that you’ll likely end up with more cookie dough than you originally intended, but hey, that’s not a bad problem to have 🙂

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Other Related Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most asked questions:

Yes. If the issue with your cookie dough is that it didn’t have enough liquid, you can add some milk (1 tablespoon at a time) until it reaches your desired consistency.

I like using milk vs water because it adds a little more flavor and creaminess compared to water. Vegan? Just use plant-based milk like oatmilk, almond milk, or cashew milk.

You can fix this by adding more dry ingredients (i.e: flour, cocoa powder, etc) to the dough until it reaches your desired consistency. Just add in one tablespoon at a time though, and try not to add too much because then you will have dry cookie dough again!

You can add a variety of things to your cookie dough for flavor. You could try adding some chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruits into the mix if you want something sweet and crunchy on top of your cookies!

In Conclusion

So, the next time your cookie dough is feeling a little too crumbly to work with, don’t give up! You may be surprised at how easy it can be to fix dry cookie dough.

Have you ever had to soften cookie dough before baking? If so, what did you do? Share your tips in the comments below!

Copyright © All Rights Reserved. Content is written by Michelle Schmidt of dwellbymichelle.com.

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