Your cookie dough could be sticky for a myriad of reasons. The temperature in your kitchen could be too hot, you might not be using correct measurements, or you may have overworked the dough.
Before we can fix the problem, we first need to figure out why your cookie dough is sticky.
What Causes Sticky Cookie Dough?
Sticky cookie dough is normally caused by overworking the dough, working in hot environments, or using the wrong measurements. To figure out what happened to your batch, I’ll explain what each outcome looks like.
If your cookie dough is too sticky but not too wet, then it may have been overworked. This happens when your hands are too hot to play with the dough and you end up transferring heat to your dough too early.
The dough then tries to stick to your hands as it combines with your skin.
If you cook your dough while it has this texture, you’ll end up with misshapen cookies. It should still taste nice, but the aesthetics won’t be great.
The Kitchen Is Too Hot
If your kitchen is too hot, you’ll likely end up with wet cookie dough. This is because your mixture is sweating as it tries to combat the heat. Unlike overworked dough, this heat isn’t concentrated in one area. This means the heat is touching all parts of the dough, and melting the sugar too early.
You’ll end up with greasy cookies from this mistake.
You’ve Used The Wrong Measurements
If you’ve used the wrong measurements, your cookie won’t have the right consistency. You’ll notice bits of the dough attaching to the rolling pin or baking sheet. In the end, your cookie dough feels gooey from the lack of flour.
Cookie Dough Fix Options
Looking at your dough, you should see why your mixture is too sticky. Now you can figure out how to remedy the situation.
Too Wet? Add More Flour
The go-to move for fixing sticky cookie dough is to add more flour. This method works almost every time, however, the more flour you add, the more dry your cookie will become.
If your cookie dough is wet, this is the best option as you’re already at risk of a mushy cookie. But, if your dough is simply sticky, you may prefer another method.
Too Sticky? Add Cornstarch
If your dough is more sticky than wet, you should choose cornstarch instead. Make sure you go slowly, so you don’t dry out the mixture. Apply one teaspoon at a time before adding more cornstarch to the mix.
Like with flour, this method could make your cookie too dry. If you end up going overboard, make the dough moist again by adding a drop of water.
Cornstarch, unlike flour, will make your cookies soft. It’s always a good idea to sprinkle some onto your ingredients for a smooth texture overall.
Room Too Hot? Use A Refrigerator
If your room is too hot, you can add your ingredients to your refrigerator before starting, and you can put everything back into the fridge before putting it in the oven.
Chilling the ingredients and dough will stop the butter from creating a sticky texture. When a room is too hot, butter changes its form and slowly turns into a liquid. Keeping it cool will help the sticky cookie dough revert back to a smooth shape.
Keep the dough in your refrigerator for an hour before baking.
Hands Too Hot? Use A Spoon
Many of us have hot hands. It doesn’t matter what region we live in or how we live our lives, our hands simply run hot. However, that doesn’t mean baking it is impossible for you. Instead, you need to get creative.
The best way to mix your ingredients is to use a manual or electric whisk. Either way, you won’t be touching the dough, the metal will.
Then when you move the dough from the bowl to the baking sheet, you need to use an ice cream scoop or any large spoon. You can scoop the mixture out and dollop it into your tray.
Alternatively, you can use plastic wrap for the same method, but an ice cream scoop is the best option.
This way you will get the perfect round shape without your natural heat messing up the cookie dough.
Lean Into The Sticky Dough. Make A Powdered Sugar Coating
Lastly, if you’ve tried all the options or you don’t have the time to wait, then stop trying to fix the cookie dough. Instead, embrace it.
Sprinkle powdered sugar onto your table, and roll the wet cookie dough around. This acts like flour by absorbing the wetness, and drying out the dough. But, it also adds a level of sugar which adds sweetness.
This method works very well with chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookie dough, chocolate cookies, and thicker cookies in general. That’s because the thickness of these cookies means the overall dryness shouldn’t massively affect the cookie’s texture.
Bookmark this page so the next time your cookie dough becomes sticky, you can figure out how to fix the issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes Cookie Dough Dough?
The dough in cookie dough only reaches the iconic texture when baking soda or baking powder is added to the mixture. This is why the classic combination of butter, sugar, salt, eggs, and flour can also be used to make cake and bread. It’s the added baking soda that turns it into cookie dough.
What Happens If You Bake Sticky Cookie Dough?
If you bake sticky cookie dough, you’ll end up with a flat and crispy cookie. It will be perfectly fine to eat, but the textures won’t be what you expected.
Will Water Fix Sticky Cookie Dough?
No. Adding more water to your mixture will not fix your sticky dough. Instead, you’ll end up with a wet mixture. Adding flour is the best option to remove stickiness.