Cookies Cracking

Lately I'm having a lot of my sugar cookies cracking on me, has anyone had this and any tips to offer? They can be ok right after baking and then a few hrs later they're showing signs of a crack, some more and some less.

Also having ready royal iced dried cookies showing cracks through them.

any input is greatly appreciated!!

Original Post

I'll bite!  lol  There is a crackled sugar cookie recipe and then there is/are recipes for sugar cookie dough that doesn't crack/ or do not have crackle.  Don't over mix your dough (in the stand mixer), don't over knead it, don't add a lot of flour when you knead it or roll it out, don't use baking soda or baking powder, don't over mix butter and sugar (it aerates it too much - domed cookies, etc.). 

I use a fondant smoother or small spatula and press down lightly on my cookies until I feel a smooth surface.  Sometimes I have to do it more than once. 

 

Use room temp ingredients. 

 

Sugar cookie dough recipes: Julia usher, sweetambs, sweetsugarbelle, haniela's, montreal confection.  Other than well noted Italian bakers I also like Joanne Chang.

When I try to take a cookie off the tray too soon it seems prone to cracking later. I suspect that it cracks a little underneath when you lift one side a bit, but looks fine on top. Later when it cools, it becomes less flexible and more brittle, and then it cracks easily. I try to use a very thin spatula, and I always leave my cookies on the tray for at least one or two minutes before moving them. I am sure  many different things could be causing it. You could try marking them before you move them, and see if the cracks appear in a place where this problem makes sense. Like donaharrisburg above, I have started smoothing and pressing the top of my cookies flat while I wait, but with a ceramic plate, because I like having a very flat cookie to decorate. I also trim any sides right away while it is more giving.

As far as the icing, I have no clue, but I am rather new to RI. I have noticed that RI transfers I pipe on paper are very brittle, and will break when I try to move them onto the cookie if I am not very careful. Perhaps someone else can weigh in, but I suspect RI is brittle in general. How are you storing them before they crack?

Thanks donaharrisburg!

Will try playing around (in case I haven't over tried most options yet!! ).

How does the baking soda or powder effect the cookies?

 

and the iced cookies I've left to dry in various temperatures with the same results! Has anyone else had this experience or am I the sole one with this problem and doing something totally wrong? Been doing this for a couple of years but never saw this issue!!

 

Here are some thoughts.

 

If you haven't had this problem before, think about *anything* you might be doing differently now--from the recipe you are using to the brands of ingredients you are buying (and sometimes, you can be using the same brands that have changed *their* ingredients or processing.) Do you roll your dough out the same way and at the same thickness? Have you changed baking methods, pans, silpats or parchment papers? How about your cooling racks? (I used to get more cracking when I used racks with just vertical rungs--and get virtually none now that I have moved over to cross-hatched, sturdier ones.) If you've moved house, things like general ambient humidity and elevation might indicate a need to change recipes, oven temps or methods, as well.

 

I'm just thinking out loud here. Don't mean to ramble. Good luck on solving your cracking issues, though! 

Good Morning Carl!

All of these ladies are right! I would just add an idea too!  I bake on parchment paper so I can just slide the parchment off the cookie sheet until completely cooled! I then transfer cookies to sturdy cooling rack like CTCookie uses.  I tried something new for me. I also roll my cookies out on parchment paper. My chilled cookie dough recipe does not stick to parchment and if it ever does, I can peel parchment corner back to get cookie off paper! No flour all over and you are not adding extra flour as you re-roll dough! And as long as you cut parchment so it does not hang over edge of cookie sheet(parchment edges will char) you can reuse! Good Luck!  Shona

 

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