Hi all, I have a slight issue with my cookie recipe. The tops of my cookies bubble slightly and then flake off into my icing when I’m decorating and cause a mess.

Any ideas as to why this is happening? I chill the dough before cutting and baking but can’t figure out how to stop this.

Original Post

Hard to say without seeing your recipe or knowing how you're rolling out your dough. Do you dust your work surface with anything? If so, what? Do you get bubbles on the top of all cookies, i.e., even those on first roll, or just those on later rolls (if re-using previously rolled dough)? Sometimes I get a few bubbles on second and third rolls, because working the dough activates the gluten in it, and any trapped air between folds of dough can lead to bubbles when that air heats up and expands in the oven. Also, rolling out with confectioner's sugar can do weird things to the cookie surface - cracking, crinkling, etc.

Hi, I've got this problem relatively often (maybe a batch out of five?). I don't bake american sugar cookies, but use HoneyCat's shortbread-ish recipe (slightly modified). I've noticed I have it more with rerolls (it's a recipe that doesn't reroll well at all), and more if I refrigerate the cookies uncovered (or let them sit out uncooked on the counter for too long). But I've also had it on first rolls, baked immediately. So I don't have a definitive answer. When I do have the issue, I scrape/microplane the flakes off the cookies and wipe away the crumbs with a large brush. It's a pain, but the cookies always taste as good and are fully useable. 

Thanks for the ideas on this ladies! It does seem to happen more when I re-roll. I use flour to dust my rolling pin. I do put the rolled dough in the freezer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes before cutting them and baking them.

 

Here’s my recipe just in case that helps... (it’s soooo yummy, so I want to fix the flakes)

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar 

1 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 egg

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour 

May I suggest rolling with half powdered sugar and half flour.  Maybe if your dough doesn’t get as dry it will help.  I roll between parchment paper and plastic wrap and then use the flour/powdered sugar for cutting andmy dough lasts longer.  I agree with Julia I would try substituting the powdered sugar for granulated sugar.  It might be 1 cup granulated for 1.5 cup powdered.

 

I think Julia is onto something - my recipe also uses only powdered sugar and no granulated sugar. However, my proportions are very different, with way more butter than sugar, so other factors may account for it as well. I really love my recipe, so am OK with scraping off the occasional flaky tops for the sake of taste, but then again, I'm not a professional baker. I only roll between parchment paper, and find that not rerolling the dough and not letting the dough air dry limits the issues. Let us know if you find a solution by experimenting!

Annelise (Le bois meslé) posted:

I think Julia is onto something - my recipe also uses only powdered sugar and no granulated sugar. However, my proportions are very different, with way more butter than sugar, so other factors may account for it as well. I really love my recipe, so am OK with scraping off the occasional flaky tops for the sake of taste, but then again, I'm not a professional baker. I only roll between parchment paper, and find that not rerolling the dough and not letting the dough air dry limits the issues. Let us know if you find a solution by experimenting!

Would you mind sharing your recipe? I’m curious to see your proportions. 

I love my recipe... it’s soooo yummy. Yesterday I rolled between parchment paper and didn’t dust it at all... that seemed to help. The re-roll did have more flakes/bubbles than the first roll.

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