Problems with sugar/gingerbread cookie recipes? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-14-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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Not sure where to post this, hope this is the right place!

Anywho, I attempted to bake sugar cookies a week or so ago, and even though I was sure I followed the recipe closely and refrigerated them for over 3 hours, the dough was really sticky and wouldn't roll, let alone slice. I wound up scooping up bits of dough and plopping it onto the baking sheet. They tasted fine, but were kind of ugly, to be honest.

I'm in the midst of baking a batch of gingerbread cookies. This time, I got the dough to roll out nicely enough(With the use of a lot of flour), but when I went to cut it into shapes the shapes just fell apart when I tried to pick them up! (Plus is sticks to everything if you don't cover the dough and your hands and the mat with flour.)


What's left of the nice, rolled out dough. (and my sister in curlers in the background.)

In the end, I resorted to using a flour-covered butter knife to sort of scrape up some dough and smashed the cookies into submission on the sheet for baking.


Goop on the knife.

Also, some of them burned a little because both of these recipes take a lot longer to bake than normal cookie dough. (We're talking 10-20 minutes longer.) However, I managed to come up with some cute shapes!


This one looks like a kitty! Or a cow, depending on how you squint...

I have to take these to a dance recital tonight, too. I can guess I'm going to be taking a LOT back home with me.

So does anybody have any idea why this would happen? I used these recipes:

Vegnews Gingerbread Cookies

Basic Sugar Cookies

EDIT: I should mention they TASTE fine. Once you sort of melt the cookie in your mouth (because it can be hard to bite <.<).
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#2 Old 12-14-2010, 12:46 PM
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so you didn't change anything at all from the recipe, you measured everything precisely, your kitchen wasn't too hot, you floured everything.... hmmm. some fragile stuff will just fall apart if you try and pick it up with your hands. i use a very thin spatula and sort of shovel it up. if its unbearably sticky, you've got too much liquid:flour somehow- probably too much liquid sugar- i say screw the recipe and add a bit more flour. it'll just come out a bit more crunchy, and i like stuff crunchy.

oh yeah- if they look like crap, thats what frosting is for.
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#3 Old 12-14-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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I've seen on some cooking shows that they roll out cookie or pie crust dough between two sheets of waxed paper or cling wrap. I haven't tried it myself, but it seems like it would work for sticky dough. I'm not sure what your work surface is (it looks like a cloth for rolling out pie crusts, but maybe it is a silpat or something like that?), but the wax paper might also make transferring the cookies to the sheet easier. If your cookies are fragile, you could use a large, flat spatula to transfer them to the baking sheet. You might grease the spatula to make it slide under the dough a little better.

I would probably just try a different recipe next time. Preferably one with lots of good reviews. It can be hard to find good cookie recipes, though! Everyone has a different idea of what the finished cookie should be like - flavor, texture, etc. For taking to an event, I try to go with a recipe I've made before - otherwise it's too stressful.
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#4 Old 12-14-2010, 01:07 PM
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waxed paper can help a lot. i use it for rolling out gluten free stuff (which is renowned for falling to bits)- and you can use it to transfer things and then flip them over and peel it off, too.
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#5 Old 12-14-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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Quote:
if its unbearably sticky, you've got too much liquid:flour somehow- probably too much liquid sugar- i say screw the recipe and add a bit more flour.

That might be a good idea... I did think there was a freakish amount of molasses.

Quote:
oh yeah- if they look like crap, thats what frosting is for.

I didn't think about frosting! Last time I made frosting, it flooded the counter...

Quote:
I've seen on some cooking shows that they roll out cookie or pie crust dough between two sheets of waxed paper or cling wrap. I haven't tried it myself, but it seems like it would work for sticky dough. I'm not sure what your work surface is (it looks like a cloth for rolling out pie crusts, but maybe it is a silpat or something like that?), but the wax paper might also make transferring the cookies to the sheet easier. If your cookies are fragile, you could use a large, flat spatula to transfer them to the baking sheet. You might grease the spatula to make it slide under the dough a little better.

It wouldn't stick to the wax paper? I know it sticks to cling wrap after I tried using said wrap to roll the sugar cookie dough. That didn't work out. The surface I used to roll the gingerbread dough was a big silicone nonstick mat. But of course, my mutant dough sticks to it. <.< And it's not so much a problem of getting the cookies to the baking sheet, it's getting the cutouts out! They just squish up into a shapeless blob.

Quote:
I would probably just try a different recipe next time. Preferably one with lots of good reviews. It can be hard to find good cookie recipes, though! Everyone has a different idea of what the finished cookie should be like - flavor, texture, etc. For taking to an event, I try to go with a recipe I've made before - otherwise it's too stressful.

The Vegnews recipe got a lot of good responses! D: Did I perhaps not stir the dough enough before refrigerating?

My mom has a recipe she's used for a while now. But I'm pretty sure it's got eggs, and it's a pain trying to replace them in a non-vegan recipe. (For example, we had an extra box of dark chocolate brownies that didn't have powdered milk in it, so I tried replacing the eggs it called for with a banana and baking powder... needless to say it was a failure. A wet, oily, banana-y failure. XD)

I never have problems with making anything else, including cake and muffins.
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#6 Old 12-14-2010, 01:44 PM
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erm.... maybe skip the frosting then? how the hell do you flood a counter with it though..... earthbalance and confectioners sugar aren't that floody... did you put it on something before it cooled down? don't do that!
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#7 Old 12-14-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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I've had no trouble making perfect gingerbread men and sugar cookies with the recipes from The Joy of Vegan Baking.

www.thesaucyvegan.com
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#8 Old 12-14-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jeneticallymodified View Post

erm.... maybe skip the frosting then? how the hell do you flood a counter with it though..... earthbalance and confectioners sugar aren't that floody... did you put it on something before it cooled down? don't do that!

I think it was "pour on" frosting for a cake. I think I made too much, because it all slopped out and covered the whole plate and counter, too. Here's a picture!



It looked really bad already, so I dumped all different kinds of sprinkles on it and drizzled on the remaining icing in an odd shape. It was yum, though.

Oh, and I think I'm almost out of margarine (I don't use Earth Balance because it's expensive and not sold in any of the local groceries)... I never use it except for baking, and then it gets used up in one go.

Quote:
I've had no trouble making perfect gingerbread men and sugar cookies with the recipes from The Joy of Vegan Baking.

Is that a cookbook?
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#9 Old 12-14-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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I've found with both, in general, it's good to have a slightly soft dough because it picks up a lot of flour from the counter/rolling pin/cookie cutters. If the dough is STICKY though, there isn't enough flour.

These are the recipes I use:
Gingerbread
Sugar

I've been using the same recipes for years and they make delicious cookies and the dough isn't hard to work with.

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#10 Old 12-14-2010, 04:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Fishmailbox View Post

Is that a cookbook?

Yes it is. http://www.joyofveganbaking.com/

www.thesaucyvegan.com
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#11 Old 12-14-2010, 06:28 PM
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sorry you had problems with these recipes
both recipes are rather large (5 cups of flour in the sugar cookies is a lot of dough!!)

the sugar cookies probably just needed a little more flour, if you could "plop" it on the baking sheet the dough was too wet, sugar cookie dough is one of the more dry textured cookie doughs (which makes it great for cutting shapes) the way to fix wet dough is add flour

the gingerbread recipe called specifically for pastry flour (it helps to use pastry flour when called for)
i didn't see any binding type ingredient in the recipe, molasses kind of binds it but i would have added a flax "egg" to help stick together (flax egg = blend 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water). from your description of the dough falling apart this might have helped. also kneading the dough for a few minutes will create more gluten in the flour which helps keep it from falling apart too.

also experiment with baking times and your own oven, if your cookies were really crunchy just take them out of the oven a minute or two early.

happy baking
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#12 Old 12-15-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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I love the Post Punk Kitchen's gingerbread recipe. http://www.theppk.com/2008/12/the-gh...gerbread-past/ I've made it before and it works well, but I add extra spices to mine because I like them that way. Your dough is definitely too wet, so add more flour to the mix, even if you used the exact same proportions as the recipe. It should be a stiff dough, not the sticky mess that is on your rolling surface.

To prevent crunchiness and to make a softer cookie, take them out when they still look a bit raw but the bottoms are golden brown. The residual heat will cook the cookie and since they're vegan, there's no risk of uncooked eggs causing nastiness. Alton Brown has a good episode of Good Eats about cookies, but I can't remember the episode name off the top of my head. It's not vegan, but the concepts are good to learn from.
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#13 Old 12-18-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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Thanks for your suggestions!

I think, judging from your responses, I'll add more flour next time or try a different recipe. What befuddles me is that both recipes worked for other people! Maybe cookies just don't like me.

I'm going to be making more cookies this week, so I'll post the results.
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