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Reply to "Is My Gingerbread Dough Too Dry?"

A dough's formulation has more to do with its spreading than chilling does. If a dough has (1) a high ratio of flour to fat; (2) a relatively small amount of leavening; and (3) a higher ratio of shortening than butter, it will spread less. (Butter has a lower melting point than shortening, so doughs with butter, all else being the same, spread more.) My dough is formulated to spread very little, especially when the leavening is reduced in half, as I often do for contoured or embossed cookies. As such, whether I chill it or not, does not affect spreading that much. It may make the dough slightly easier to handle, but spreading is hardly impacted by chilling it in my experience. I have an entire video that shows the effect of some of these recipe variables on spreading.

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