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Keeping cookie logs round

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When I make a roll of cookie dough into a round shape to put into the fridge or freezer for later cutting it often settles some and I end up with an oval-rectangle shape instead. It's then to hard to try and even things out by rolling around some more.

What hints does anyone have for A. getting a log of dough into a great pretty round shape and then, B. Keeping it's round shape.

I have been trying to think of something that I could set the dough into but the only thing that comes to kind is paper towel cardboard tube and since I go through about one roll a year it's going to be a while till I can experiment!


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  1. How about getting a sheet of card and just rolling it around the dough log and securing it with an elastic band while it's in the fridge? I imagine that the paper towel cardboard tube might be a mite too small anyway - guess it depends on what size cookie you're after.

    1. keeping it's round shape- rotate the log as you slice the cookies.

      1. I share your pain. I make multiple dozens of logs of shortbread dough every year, and it's a lot harder than one would think to roll cookie dough into a nice round cylinder. I've resigned myself to "artisanal", cookies, which still taste great. ("Artisanal" = "not round") I make many hundreds of these and ship them all over the continent to a growing list, and I had to stop worrying about the shape, frankly.

        Still, I'm all agog to see what ideas people have.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SherBel

          I also bake artisanal cookies =-) Never mastered the perfect rolled shape as of yet and not entirely sure if I ever will. Just bites that when you pop that log into the fridge for the required overnighting that they just sink and sag right down into a different shape. Lot's of squoval shaped cookies for me.

          I am going to try the card stock idea. Not sure why that never occurred to me before. I really only make one kind of roll and slice cookie and I don't really card all that much but it is disappointing each time you take the log out of the fridge none the less. Luckily I don't have any issue with the dough squishing as it is being cut, just the settling in the fridge issue. This particular cookie is WAY to hard to try to reshape after the fridge time.

        2. Wrap the log in wax paper and then in heavy paper or card stock. Put in the fridge to firm up. When you cut the cookies use dental floss so you don't squish the dough.

          Works like a charm!

          1. Haven't made them in years and I remember my mom muttering about this. I think I'd take the plastic wrapped log after it was refrigerated and log-roll it again until it's round, and return it to the fridge. I'd also make sure the grates in the fridge (if you have them rather than actual flat shelves) went across the log rather than the long way, so you don't have little notches in one side of each slice.

            1. Grandma used to make the best butter/sugar/shortbread (call them what you want) cookies every year for christmas. They were always perfect ovals, I never knew they were "supposed" to be round. I wouldn't worry too much about it, I'm sure they taste great.

              1. Never tried this, but I just thought of it: how about cutting an empty paper towel roll and then wrapping that around a round cookie dough log, then into the fridge? I would think that if you put the cardboard-wrapped log with the round cardboard part down, it wouldn't flatten the dough too much unless the cardboard was damp or wet in some way?

                Not tested, just a thought...

                2 Replies
                1. re: yfunk3

                  I read that very tip in a Martha Stewart publication, so you are on to something there.

                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                    I do that all the time. Since you slit the roll, it accommodates any size round.

                2. Astur, you only go through ONE roll of paper towels per year ??

                  Would a hardware store have some sort of plastic pipe ?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: blue room

                    Oh yes, excellent idea! A short piece of PVC in the desired diameter is all you would need. You might even be able to pick up a scrap piece for cheap or for free.

                    1. re: ZenSojourner

                      PVC pipe and some wooden dowels work for me.

                    2. re: blue room

                      Honestly yes, if even that. I actually only use paper towels for the most part for cookies - to lay baked cooking cookies out onto. i just try not to use them and use rags instead. i might try PVC pipe.

                      I always wonder how they get the cookies so round in magazines - I think they must use this sort of method of pipes and molds etc. i don't really care what my cookies look like ultimatly but I thought it would be fund to figure out how to do it if anyone else does actually get really round cookies =)

                      I can't wait to try some of the ideas that people have shared. I actually make the specific cookie dough log tomorrow. Can't wait!

                      1. re: Astur

                        The only way I know to get perfectly round cookies is with a cookie cutter. I use the dental floss trick with log cookie dough to minimise the flattening effect during cutting. Most log cookies can be rolled and cut. It's more work, though, but you'll get the shape.

                    3. Maybe if you rotate the rolls as they are cooling or freezing the flatness would be less. My problem with this type of cookie has to do with slicing them so that they all have consistent thickness. I try to rotate as I cut, but for some reason, I find that one end of the cookie is thinner than the other. I have even tried cutting the cookie dough on a mandolin, but you have to be very precise with the pressure for that to work.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: roxlet

                        I do the rotate while they're chilling thing...actually, I set the timer for 15 minutes, then take out of fridge and reshape a bit. Usually 2 or 3 times does the trick before the roll firms up sufficiently.

                      2. I recently read about someone who used a Wonder Cup. The kind that you use for measuring sticky stuff; the base is pushed up to push out the substance.

                        Anyway they put the cookie dough in the tube, refrigerated it, and the pushed the dough up to slice perfect rounds. The only problem for me is the diameter would be pretty large.

                        1. Posters may have mentioned this already, but I save the cardboard roll from the center of paper towels rolls and stick my cookie rolls, wrapped in plastic, in them. Keeps the shape nicely, is fine in the freezer, recycles paper, win-win.

                          EDIT, I see the OP doesn't have a regular supply of paper towel rolls. Maybe the neighbors do?
                          Sub the PVC pipe sections, it's the next best option. Professional kitchens use PVC for similar projects.

                          1. To form a round log initially, I use the same technique as that for forming duxelles or compound butter into a log. On plastic wrap or parchment paper place the dough from side to side in the middle in a fairly uniform row not to the edges, fold the bottom of the wrap over the dough leaving several inches of open space between the fold and the back of the dough, then use a straight-edge (like a ruler or a sheet pan) at the top of the dough tight against the wrap. Hold on to the top edge of the bottom piece of wrap while pushing the straight-edge backwards against the wrap close to the dough in one motion, forcing the dough into a perfect log.

                            The dental floss idea is great for cutting. Sometimes an electric knife will slice without squashing.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nemo

                              If the dough is short enough and cold enough, a good knife should do the trick. I've never had any trouble cutting disks cleanly, and a knife is easier to manage (at least for me) than any kind of string.

                              Oh, and for anyone who's short of paper-towel cores, since I go through those things like Sherman through Georgia maybe I could just send you some ;-)

                            2. Hello ladies! I googled this earlier today when I made a log of cookie dough. You put your wrapped long inside of a paper towel roll. You cut the roll open, place your wrapped dough inside and store in the freezer or fridge. Works perfectly! I got that info here: http://lifehacker.com/5946523/make-pe...

                              1. I honestly had never even given this a thought, but saw it just this weekend on America's Test Kitchen. They said to put the roll on a bed of raw rice in a baking dish. Seemed like a lot of work to me, but I'm lazy, I think.