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Jan 3, 2009 07:22 AM

Need rolled cookie advice re: sticky dough

I tried the cook's illustrated recipe for sugar cookies. It looks pretty similar to other recipes for basic cut out cookie dough- 2 1/2 c flour, 2 sticks butter, 1 c sugar, 1 egg and 1 yolk, 2 t vanilla extract, 1/2 t salt

I mixed, formed into disk, and ended up refrigerating for about 24 hrs. Attempted to roll between lightly floured pieces of parchment paper but it was a sticky mess.

With another disk, I tried rolling out on one sheet of paper and had to keep adding flour when turning as it was also sticking. Tried to lift off the rolled dough in order to refrigerate it for a bit before cutting. Couldn't get it off the paper - too sticky.

I still have some disks left in the fridge but am feeling very discouraged- they say not to add to much flour but it's a big sticky mess even w/ the flour- What am I doing wrong???

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  1. Something Alton Brown suggested (no clue which episode) was keeping some jelly roll pans in the freezer to put on top of the dough to re-chill it and keep it from sticking during the rolling process. If you also used a cold pan underneath (hence the prevalence of using chilled marble), the sticking would be reduced further. Large spatulas really are your friend here.

    If you have the space, try to roll the dough out in an area away from the oven or other heat source.

    Using a Silpat or other silicone liner on your countertop (or wherever you're rolling), or even wax paper, might help.

    Good luck!

    1. Store the rolling pin in the fridge or freezer. A well-floured rolling pin sock can help - you can buy one, or cut the foot off a clean, old sock and use the ribbed part. Covering the counter with bags of frozen vegetables or ice for 10 minutes before rolling dough is also helpful.

      I wonder if you were using exactly the type flour they called for. Years ago, when I made my first CI pie, I called them because the dough was so sticky that I was sure there'd been an error in the recipe. There wasn't. I think they called for unbleached and I used bleached, but possibly vice versa. The next time, I used what the recipe called for and there was an enormous improvement in handling.

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        I find sugar cookies always take a lot more flour on the board, pin, etc. than you think. I dust some right on the dough that I'm rolling out.

        1. re: MommyTwingle

          You can roll anything between two sheets of parchment. Roll it to desired thickness, then put it in the freezer until solid. (20-30 minutes) Cut the shapes, carefully pull away excess dough, use a thin metal spatula to lift off shapes onto sheet pan.

          CI's gingerbread cookie recipe is made just that way...