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Aug 13, 2013 07:21 AM

What did I do wrong? Cookie dough never came together, too crumbly.. 1/2 rice flour, 1/2 regular flour no egg

Hi I'm hoping to get some advice I tried this recipe out for cookies:

instead of the brown rice flour I used 1/2 white rice flour, 1/2 regular a.p., other things changed were i reduced honey by 1 tbsp to 3 tablespoons, reduced the salt by 1/4, reduced vanilla to 3/4 tsp, used 2 tablespoons cornstarch instead of egg and left out the nuts..

i know eggs are what holds cookies together but i read an online substitution guide that said i could use 2 tablespoons cornstarch instead..
as the dough mixed it never really came together and was just crumbly cookie crumbs. i tried putting in freezer for 30 minutes no change..

would adding some water work? i'm not sure what else to do as i don't want to use xanthan gum and what's confusing is i've found lots of cookie recipes online that don't use eggs therefore i'm kind-of confused as to what happened.. i have the mixture sitting in the fridge in case i can salvage it..
thank you for your time and efforts to help, it is greatly appreciated!

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  1. You need to replace the amount of liquid that you took out of the recipe: 1 egg is about 4 tablespoons and you reduced the honey by a tablespoon, so add in 5 tablespoons of liquid... water would work.
    Your egg substitute should have been 2 T of starch whisked with 4 T water.
    Search for some vegan cookie recipes to help learn about the best substitutes for eggs.
    Good Luck!

    1 Reply
    1. re: PamelaD

      Agreed, too dry. Cornstarch might be a fine substitute for eggs in a custard where there is plenty of liquid, but in a cookie you end up adding more dry and decreasing the wet ingredients.

      Just add water to the crumbs until they come together as a dough.

    2. Cornstarch needs to be dissolved in liquid and exposed to heat to activate it - without it, it's just a dry crumbly powder. That little tiny bit of honey and oil wasn't enough to form a dough. And rice flour is very crumbly in itself so I'm not surprised your cookies were a disaster.

      1. You made a number of major substitutions, so it is not surprising at all that the recipe didn't turn out.

        Are you specifically trying to avoid eggs? If so, then I suggest using a recipe that was formulated that way.
        If not, then add the egg back to your recipe and you will probably be OK. If you add water to your mixture you might end up with a gluey paste, since you used AP flour (water will activate the gluten), unless the fat you used is well mixed in.

        My advice is don't throw good money after bad---toss it and start with fresh ingredients in a different recipe.

        If you are interested in learning more about ingredient substitutions, I'd suggest a book such as Cookwise by Shirley Corriher, which explains food science very, very well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: iluvcookies

          Totally agree. You need liquid. You need an egg. Water is not going to bind rice & ap flour....

        2. Hey I wanted to thank you all VERY MUCH the cookies DID in fact come together after following all your advice (specifically Pamela, thanks!!) I added 5 tablespoons water and it instantly came together!

          iluvcookies: I avoid soy over concerns of phytoestrogens and I take it down to the livestock level. I have been able to find some soy-free eggs from Tropical Traditions but unfortunately they taste fishy because the chickens are fed fish-meal to replace the soy. I've been making cookies just fine without which is why I was surprised this particular recipe wasn't working out. Pamela nailed it on the head, not enough liquid!

          Thanks guys I greatly appreciate it, cookies came out wonderful and will be in regular rotation! :)

          1 Reply