How to Fix Flat Cookies

We’ve all been there—we’re waiting for our delicious cookies to come out, and they’re just… flat. It’s a pretty anticlimactic ending to the end of a 13-minute bake job, and while they may taste good, there’s something about having cookies that look good, too.

Luckily, there are reasons your cookies might be flat—and ways to fix them! Read on for why your cookies might be pancakes, and how you can solve this.

Why Are My Cookies Flat?

One of the main reasons: your butter was practically melted. There’s a meaning behind softened, room temperature butter: the fat binds the cookie together, and when it’s baking, it spreads out. When your butter is already melted, the cookie spreads out… but it isn’t held together. So, if your cookies ask for room-temp—or even cold—butter, follow the directions!

Another common reason your cookies might be flat is if you didn’t use enough flour. It sounds kind of obvious, but dough doesn’t always seem too runny when you’re touching or eyeballing it (and we wrote an article on how to fix runny dough!). But cookies rely on the perfect ratio of ingredients, so measuring out your flour precisely rather than guessing is important.

How to Fix Flat Cookies

One simple fix: lessening the amount of soft butter and white sugar. Too much of these can make cookies flatten; slightly removing them gives you a chance to have the perfect cookies you’re looking for. Balancing out the ratio of all ingredients is also an option—just like with measuring your flour, you want to measure ALL of your ingredients.

And finally, heat is important in two ways. 1. Never bake cookies on a hot pan, or they’ll start spreading immediately. On the other end of the spectrum, 2. Make sure your oven is hot enough. Cooking at too low of a temperature equals melting butter without baking the other ingredients at the same time.

We hope these tips help you out the next time you’re baking! Do you have any inside tricks? Let us know by leaving us a comment!

Fixing Crumbly Cookie Dough

Cookie dough is a testy thing—there’s so much that can go right, and so much that can go wrong. Last week, we offered tips on how to fix runny cookie dough, but another common issue is crumbly cookie dough.

Why does dough get so crumbly? There are a few reasons. Using the wrong fats—for example, margarine instead of butter—or adding too many dry ingredients can remove liquid aspects from the dough, which results in crumbling. Refrigerating dough for too long can also make it dry, because the air removes moisture.

Luckily, there are a few ways to fix your dough without throwing it out and starting again! Try the following to save it before it’s too far gone.

First: Add Liquid

Slowly, add more liquid to the dough. You don’t want to dump a quarter-cup of milk in and make it too runny. Start by adding a teaspoon of milk or water, continuing to mix until there’s enough liquid to moisten it.

Use Your Fats

Like I mentioned, using the wrong fats can cause your dough to crumble. So, when adding more fats, add only those that are in the original recipe. So, if it calls for oil, don’t add butter—add that oil. Add slowly, teaspoon by teaspoon; too much fat will change the dough entirely.

Knead It Out

Over-mixing can create dry, crumbly dough. So, add your liquids or fat, pull it out of the mixer, and get your hands dirty. Texture is everything, and you can’t feel it when it’s in a stand mixer. Tender loving care can help rescue your dough from the brink.

Keep It Out

I mentioned that too much air from a fridge can change the texture of your dough. So, leave your dough out at room temperature. You can warm it quickly by setting it near a warm source or cutting the dough into smaller pieces rather than a full mound.

Dry dough can be saved in a variety of ways if you fix it quick enough. You’ll learn by trial and error, but hey: there’s no such thing as making too much dough if you’re dedicated enough to the art of the cookie!

How To Fix your Cookie Dough

Baking cookies isn’t always as easy as following a recipe. Sometimes, the ingredients just won’t seem to come together. Or they do… just not as you’d hoped. A common issue: thin, runny cookie dough. So, how do you fix this? We’ve got the (cookie) scoop.

Add More of the Dry Ingredients

Accidentally added more milk than you meant to? Been there! The easiest way to thicken it: adding more of the other ingredients. You still want to keep everything proportional, but upping the amount of dry ingredients will help thicken the dough. So, if you added four tablespoons of milk rather than two, balance out the recipe with the other ingredients.

Add Flour

Don’t be heavy-handed with flour—It WILL thicken, and it will thicken quick. You can always add flour, but you can’t take it out! Stir 1/4 cup at a time into your dough slowly until the dough reaches the consistency you wish for. Make sure to add some sugar—it helps with the chemical aspects of baking, and it’ll help you avoid the strong flour-y taste.

Repurpose Your Dough

If cookies just don’t seem to be on the horizon for you, there are always other ways to eat cookie dough! Spread out the thin dough on a baking sheet, bake until it’s solid then break it up and turn it into a crumbled topping for ice cream, cupcakes, peppermint bars… whatever else you love to make. It’ll taste good, and you won’t notice the different texture.

You don’t always have to throw away a batch of dough if it’s too thin – just try the above. Do you know any other tricks for thin dough? Let us know on our socials: @pacificcookiecompanysantacruz