Sugar Cookie Dough Too Sticky – What to Do About It

Published Categorized as Journal, Baking Tagged

When making cookie dough, it can be very easy to accidentally add too much or too little of any ingredient. This can cause your dough to have a lot of different issues, not all at once but each issue can be rather stressful. Whether your cookie dough is too dry, too wet, too brittle, or too sticky – there is most likely a way that you can not only fix this but also avoid it in the future. We’re going to talk about ways to troubleshoot your sugar cookie dough too sticky problems, as well as general sticky cookie dough.

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Sugar Cookie Dough Too Sticky – What To Do About It

Table of Contents

There are a lot of reasons why your cookie dough is too sticky.

In general, sticky dough is a sign of too much moisture. Not enough to the point of the dough being wet, if you want to fix wet cookie dough that is an entirely different issue.

Sticky cookie dough can be incredibly annoying, especially if it is a type of cookie that you need to handle a lot. Sugar cookies or any cookies that require being cut out with a cookie cutter can be a real pain if they are too sticky as you will get a mess all over your hands and work surface.

Alas, back to it.

The main reason that your cookie dough is too sticky will be because of its temperature. Cookie dough should be cool to the touch and if it is slightly cold, that is even better. When cookie dough is warm, the hot butter inside it will start to melt which makes the entire dough a fair bit sticky. It can get so sticky that it will even stick to a baking sheet or parchment paper.

While the temperature is important, another reason for sticky cookie dough can be too much of a certain wet ingredient. Any wet ingredients will have a risk of ruining the texture of the dough if you add too much of them. This goes for all wet ingredients such as milk, eggs, and butter. In fact, too much butter can also lead to greasy cookies as the butter melts. Just be very careful when measuring your amounts and ensure that you only put what you need in the dough.

The final reason, and arguably the most common reason, that your cookie dough is too sticky, is that you tried to fix it when it was too dry. Wet and dry ingredients both need to be measured carefully.

However, you are not the first person to think that your cookie dough is too dry and needs to be watered down a bit. Too much flour can make your dough too dry and too much butter or milk can make your dough too wet. It is best to try not to add more flour or more butter to your dough, just follow the measured amounts and keep mixing the dough until everything is fully incorporated.

Sugar cookies are loved for their brilliant texture, flavor, and their shaped deliciousness. Sugar cookies are one of the only cookies that have a dough pliable enough to be stretched and shaped.

While it is mostly done with a cookie cutter, any dough that is too dry will refuse to stay in shape and any dough that is too wet will get stuck to the cutter itself.

Chocolate chip cookies can also have a dough that is too sticky, yet it is somewhat less of an issue as they do not need to be moved around quite as much.

Sugar Cookie Dough Too Sticky – What To Do About It

Now that you know what made your cookie dough sticky, let’s discuss some ways that you can rectify this! That’s right, there are plenty of ways to fix sticky cookie dough.

As previously mentioned, one of the leading reasons for sticky cookie dough is that the butter in the dough has started to melt and is leaking through the dough.

The best way to stop this is to quickly chill the dough in the fridge for half an hour. Cookie dough should ideally be colder than room temperature just to make it easier to roll, meld, and work with.

Add More Flour

If you are dealing with some extremely sticky dough that just refuses to play nice, you might want to add some more flour to the mix. Any dry ingredient you add will soak up a lot of the excess moisture.

You will know when you have added enough flour as the dough will start to be tacky instead of sticky. When it only gently sticks to your hand or a rolling pin but does not hold its grip is when you know you have added enough. It is always easy to fix adding too little flour to your dough but can be a pain to fix adding too much. When adding extra flour, take it slowly and be extra cautious.

It is best to use all-purpose flour as this will be the same flour used in the cookie dough recipe, yet you can use bread flour or cake flour if you are in a pinch and do not have any all-purpose on hand.

Do not add any extra baking soda or baking powder. Despite being a dry ingredient, these will not help you with your sticky dough and will instead ruin the end product.

Roll The Sugar Dough In Powdered Sugar

While this sadly won’t work for dough that requires cookie cutters, a great way to stop the dough from being so sticky is to roll it into a ball and then roll that ball through powdered sugar, evenly coating it.

While this will not work for every type of cookie, as it adds extra sweetness, for normal chocolate cookies this can be a super easy way to fix your sticky cookie dough.

Using a cookie scoop and some plastic wrap, you can divide your cookie dough into smaller pieces and mold it into a ball shape. Once you have the desired shape, simply roll it on a plate of powdered sugar. The sugar will help absorb any moisture and will also add a nice coating to the cookie.

If your cookie dough is sticky but not too sticky, there is an option for helping you handle it. Sometimes the dough is too sticky to touch with your hands but is not sticky enough to warrant any of the above methods.

If you are trying to move your sticky dough onto a baking sheet, get a cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop! Make sure it is sprayed with cooking oil so that nothing sticks to it and then you can use it to help transfer your dough over to your baking tray.

Similarly, a floured rolling pin can also help when it comes to shaping and rolling dough that is slightly too sticky.

Sugar Cookie Dough Too Sticky – What To Do About It

There needs to be a clear distinction between tacky and sticky cookie dough.

Tacky dough is slightly sticky but will stop sticking as soon as there is resistance.

For example, if you put a rolling pin on top of tacky dough, it will stick a tiny bit but once you pull the rolling pin away, the dough should stop sticking. This is tacky and is what you want for most types of dough.

It is good to have some moisture, which causes this slight stickiness, but anything more than this is definitely a bad thing.

What should I do if my cookie dough is too sticky?

If your cookie dough is too sticky you should initially try chilling it for half an hour to an hour. This will harden the butter and make the dough more firm overall, letting you touch it without it sticking too much. If the dough is still very sticky, try adding small amounts of all-purpose flour until the desired consistency is reached.

Should my sugar cookie dough be sticky?

Sugar cookie dough should be slightly sticky, also known as tacky, and should leave little to no dough on your hand once you pull away. If the dough continues to stick to your hand after you pull away, it is far too sticky.

How do you make sugar cookie dough firmer?

The best way to make sugar cookie dough firmer is to chill it in the fridge for an hour. This will harden the butter and any moisture in the dough, causing it to be a lot less sticky when you try and touch or move it.

Does chilling cookie dough make it less sticky?

Chilling cookie dough does make it less sticky! Chilling cookie dough is a great low-effort way to help counter how sticky it may be. It hardens the butter in the dough and makes the dough less firm, this helps it become a lot easier to move and touch without it sticking to you or your kitchen.

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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