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Cookie scoop that will work with hard, cold dough

I've just run through two cookie scoops in two days and would appreciate if anyone can share experiences with specific brands. The first one I used was branded "Martha Stewart". It literally lasted 3 scoops and broke. It felt very sturdy and I tried to fix/modify it, but no luck. I then purchased a cheapo one from WalMart that lasted for 20 cookies, on less chilled dough, but that was it. By "broke" I mean, the mechanism that scoops the dough out (that little metal piece that slides back and forth inside the scoop) completely came out of its "track" (in it's resting position it was suspended outside of the scoop).

Anyone know of a brand that will work with cold, hard dough? As a bonus, one that works on room temp dough would be great, too. I haven't found one that will work with room temperature dough without the scoop mechanism getting stuck every 5 scoops or so. (I have to clean with water, dry, 5 more scoops, repeat.)

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  1. Resto supply stores usually carry a range of commercial-quality "dishers" that should be strong enough. But if you freeze your dough, an ice cream scoop's your answer.

    My dishers are Hamilton-Beach, and they're pretty stout.

    1. for chilled dough, perhaps rolling it into logs before chilling would allow you to just cut off slices or chunks.

      I bought my stainless dough scoop at Walmart several years ago - -hundreds of dozens of cookies later, it's still going strong (and I've only rarely had to stop to wash it) Nothing fancy -- Kitchen Collection brand or some such -- whatever the "regular" brand was.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sunshine842

        Rolling into logs and slicing is the way to go. I was being exacting on some sandwich cookies and wanted them to be exactly the same in size and depth. Norpro makes a soft cheese slicer that looks like an over sized egg slicer, the one where you put the hard cooked eggs in the bottom and then push the wire top down. I did let the dough soften a bit so I would not break a wire. Perfection was achieved.

      2. I wouldn't use a mechanical scoop for either. I would use the 2-spoon method for softer doughs, and cold hard doughs (like chilled chocolate chip) I would use my hands to break off pieces and form into balls.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Liz K

          2-spoon and hand forming is what I usually do. I have just seen so many blogs, CHOW videos, cooking shows, etc where the hosts magically form 12 cookies or fill 12 cupcakes liners in 20 seconds with their handy dandy scoops and I want that standard of living.

        2. Dip your scoop in water before scooping.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Hot water helps but, most scoops are pretty flimsy for heavy dough.

          2. I have one of these... they come in a bunch of sizes. Smallest I've seen is 3/8 oz, and they go up to 4 or 8 oz.

            http://www.chefcentral.com/product//5...

            Vollrath 4 oz. Baller/Scoop

            6 Replies
            1. re: iluvcookies

              These are the ones I have and they're sturdy. I've had mine for years and bake often.

              I find it easier to scoop the dough into balls and then refrigerate or freeze.

              1. re: iluvcookies

                iluvcookies, have you used it on chilled dough?

                1. re: bmorecupcake

                  Chilled dough is usually best sliced, or scooped before like Chowser does.
                  But my choc chip cookie dough is very stiff, and I use my larger one on ice cream.

                  1. re: iluvcookies

                    What did you mean by "I use my larger one on ice cream"?

                    1. re: bmorecupcake

                      I have 3 of thesescoops in different sizes. The larger one (I think it's the 4 oz size) is good for scooping hard ice cream. I use the 2 smaller sizes for cookies and meatballs.

                      Ahhh... I wrote that I have one of these... What I should have said was that I own these scoops. Sorry for the mix up.

                  2. re: bmorecupcake

                    FWIW, I've used those scoops on Jacques Torres's chocolate chip cookie dough that have been in the refrigerator for two days and it didn't break. It was more challenging on my arm strength than the scoop.

                2. This is driving me nuts lately. Recent experience tells me it's very difficult to find a good one these days. I just broke one of the all stainless steel squeeze type on the first or second scoop on NON chilled dough! It looked like the nice ones but was flimsy crap. SO annoying. I honestly think this is a prime candidate for a durable, high quality makeover by someone like Chef'n, Rosle, Kuhn Rikon, or some other mfgr. who makes good stuff. I would buy them for everyone I know if they worked and didn't end up skipping teeth as you've described.
                  For a number of years I have been using a lever-style ice cream disher from the restaurant supply, but it had about had it. Its possible but tough to fix without damaging them further, so (Nevermind that they are severly lefty-unfriendly and I am thus.) I bought new one that looked exactly the same from the same source. It's complete garbage and was worse than my original one after the first use. It actually broke into two pieces.
                  I guess my answer is to find an old one. Or to buy as many different versions as you can find and try them all. Or to let the dough come back to room temp before scooping.
                  There's really no other fast and easy way to get completely uniform cookies, so no, hand portioning and rolling won't cut it, IMO.
                  Iv'e also found that the small ones last longer than the large. My #16 gives me more trouble than my #40.

                  1. I got a no name all metal cookie scoop from Sur La Table that works well with room temperature dough.
                    But I have never tried it with cold or frozen dough. I usually scoop and then chill/freeze the dough balls for storage.

                    2 Replies
                    1. My secret work around to this problem is.... scoop all your dough immediately after making it onto sheet pans. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate. Then just move 6-8 cookies at a time to a new pan to bake them off.

                      1. The good folks at King Arthur told me their cookie scoops are used by their test kitchen and bakery, and perform well on chilled dough: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                        Tempting...

                        1. When I am working with a hard, cold dough, I don't try to scoop it at all. I roll the whole thing into a long cylinder and slice it up. I use parchment paper as a "rolling aid," to get the cylinder shape with minimal manipulation of the cold dough with my warm hands.

                          Another benefit of rolling is that you can easily freeze it, and then slice and bake only the quantity you need.

                          More than 100 years ago, when I was still in the first blush of youth, I acquired a neat-o little cookie gadget that lets you fill up baking pans quickly and efficiently. It's like a spatula for scooping up a chunk of dough, with a pusher that lets the dough slide off onto the baking sheet. I use it for cold doughs that are chunky, like chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies.

                          It's called a "cookie drop" and Amazon has it for 5 bucks:
                          http://www.amazon.com/Cookie-Drop-Sta...

                          Also, I love your aspiration to achieve Dandy Living With Useful Utensils.

                          ETA A store called Fantes.com has another efficient gadget similar to this, called a "scoop and release" cookie dropper. This one is a regular spoon shape and also has this "sweeping" arm that lets you easily flick out the dough onto the baking sheet.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: falconress

                            That cookie drop sure looks like a cool gadget! Unfortunately, the Amazon reviews seem to indicate this specific model is quite flimsy and will probably bend with cold dough. I can't find another one for sale online.

                            I don't even know what to make of the coop and release cookie dropper... I don't even know...

                          2. Cooks Illustrated did testing and said the "industrial" ones by Fantes were highly recommended.. such as the Fantes #16 Stainless Steel Ice Cream Scoop (tested on cookie dough meatballs etc...
                            here's a link...
                            http://www.amazon.com/Portion-Scoop-1...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ChowFun_derek

                              I can't find any mention on the Amazon product page that this scoop is indeed manufactured by Fantes. Any ideas on how to check this?

                            2. Dunk the scoop in flour and nothing will stick to the slider. I have 5 different sizes and have no problem with them sticking. Although I had problem with one many years ago that the slider popped out of the groove all the time so I just wired it before the head of scoop with a plastic covered bread twister. I have been using it ever since. Favorite size.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Sniggles

                                I spray the scoop, both the inside and outside of the disher bowl, with non-stick spray, wipe it around w/ a paper towel, and then spray it again. I guarantee that nothing will stick.

                                I have the OXO cookie scoops and I've never broken them.

                                The dough can be chilled but it can't be frozen. Cookies bake better when the dough it allowed to warm for an hour or so anyhow.

                                1. re: Kelli2006

                                  I will have to try the spray. How often do you need to spray.

                                  1. re: Sniggles

                                    I spray once at the start of the baking session.
                                    Make certain to squeeze the scoop so you get oil under where the release bail sits or the dough will stick.