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View Full Version : My cookies are too crumbly



Incompleat
2011-03-20, 08:38 AM
What does it mean? I tried to follow the recipe to the letter, but since I did not have a scale I eyeballed the quantities.

Did I use too much flour? Not enough? It's not like it matters that much, I am gonna eat them anyway, but I would like to know for future reference.

Thanks!

thubby
2011-03-20, 08:42 AM
couple of things.
what kind of cookies are they supposed to be?
can we see the recipe?
do they come apart in chunks or as a powder?
how do they taste?

Trog
2011-03-20, 08:42 AM
Might have too much sugar, shortening, or leavening. Or they might not be thoroughly mixed. Try adding more eggs next time.

Also: mmm... cookies. P=

Innis Cabal
2011-03-20, 08:46 AM
Baking is an exact science where as cooking is an art. Sure you can eyeball a recipe for cookies but unless you area measuring paragon the likes of which are para-human then you're more then likely not going to get the recipe exact.

Saying that, it probably wasn't the eggs since they are the easiest thing to measure. It was probably the baking soda and the flour being off which made them crumbly.

Incompleat
2011-03-20, 08:48 AM
Just basic "Frollini" - here is the recipe:

220 grams of flour
150 grams of butter
50 grams of sugar (I probably went overboard on this - this might be the culprit)
3 eggs (I used four, actually)

Recipe: mix everything together, make cookies and cook for 30 minutes on 150 C.

Innis Cabal
2011-03-20, 09:03 AM
Well, combination is sorta important. Mix the wet materials together and mix them and then mix that into the flour. It's also a "shortbread" style so it's going to be drier and crumbly as opposed to say a chocolate chip cookie. How far above sea level are you, that effects the cooking process. What is the ambient humidity? All these things are important in baking.

OverThoughtName
2011-03-20, 09:05 AM
Baking is an exact science where as cooking is an art. Sure you can eyeball a recipe for cookies but unless you area measuring paragon the likes of which are para-human then you're more then likely not going to get the recipe exact.

Saying that, it probably wasn't the eggs since they are the easiest thing to measure. It was probably the baking soda and the flour being off which made them crumbly.

This. Definitely this. If you don't have a scale, you at least need measuring cups. And, remember, if you do use measuring cups, heaping is not a word used in baking; you need to push the excess off with the back of a knife.

Incompleat
2011-03-20, 09:12 AM
Well, I am on the sea level - dunno about the precise humidity, but it's pretty high. The cookies come apart in chunks, and as for the taste... well, it's not that bad, really, perhaps a little too buttery.

I see that it will be wise to invest on a scale for my further experiments on the baking arts...

Thanks!

By the way, does anyone have some interesting suggestions for my next attempts?

Innis Cabal
2011-03-20, 09:14 AM
I don't think you get what I mean...unless you mean you are at 0 feet above sea level...Though again, they're a shortbread, they're supposed to be buttery. Though if that's all you taste then maybe cut the butter down.

Incompleat
2011-03-20, 09:23 AM
Yes, I am about at 0 feet from the sea level - 66 feet above, actually, now that I checked. Thanks for the advice!

Innis Cabal
2011-03-20, 09:27 AM
Then you don't particularly need to worry about altitude as say myself who is just a little over 7,000 feet. The humidity might very well play a factor into it though since water isn't called for you don't need to cut down on it.

The only other suggestion I can offer you is -maybe- placing a bowl of water in the oven under the pan you're cooking on. I stress maybe though. Give it a shot and see how it works. If it turns out crappy then it was probably not good advice.

shawnhcorey
2011-03-20, 10:03 AM
What type of flour are you using? You do realize there are different types. Most recipes call for all-purpose flour. Bread flour has more gluten, cake flour has less.

RTGoodman
2011-03-20, 10:14 AM
Give it a shot and see how it works. If it turns out crappy then it was probably not good advice.

This is pretty much the best thing I've ever heard. :smalltongue:

Incompleat
2011-03-20, 10:23 AM
I am using bread flour - the same I use when I feel like baking some bread. Thanks for the suggestions!

thubby
2011-03-20, 10:59 AM
chunks usually means it wasnt mixed enough.

Perenelle
2011-03-20, 11:07 AM
From my experiences and my grandma's input, cookies come out crumbly if you've added to much flour, in most cases.

I second the need to measure everything. I rarely bake, but the times I do I follow the recipe to a T.

shawnhcorey
2011-03-20, 11:17 AM
From my experiences and my grandma's input, cookies come out crumbly if you've added to much flour, in most cases.

Or perhaps using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.

Perenelle
2011-03-20, 11:20 AM
Or perhaps using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.

Indeed, that would probably do it. =P I've never used bread flour before though. But it makes sense that you wouldn't use it for cookies.

Elder Tsofu
2011-03-20, 11:27 AM
Well, bread flour tend to need more moisture and kneading than all-purpouse flour - so you'll have to adjust the recipe with that in mind.

Incompleat
2011-03-20, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the advice! I am now baking a second batch for tomorrow morning - I added some milk to reduce the crumbliness of the bread flour, I will see what happens.

But I see that I definitely need to invest into a scale - I am a somewhat decent cook when I put my mind to it, but I realize that baking allows for less error margin and less chances of on-the-fly adjustment than cooking...

Fri
2011-03-20, 01:59 PM
for me, my bakings have considerably different texture if I use butter rather than margarine/vegetable shortening or the other way around. Anyway, butter makes my cookies/pie crust less crumbly. Are you sure you used milk based butter rather than margarine/vegetable based shorterner?

Incompleat
2011-03-20, 02:11 PM
I think so - I do not really understand the native language here, but Google Translate says that it's butter.

Lycan 01
2011-03-20, 04:33 PM
Guess that's the way the...

*puts on shades*

Cookie crumbles. :smallcool:

Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhh!!

Incompleat
2011-03-20, 04:41 PM
Tried the second batch. Better, but now they are not crumbly enough.

OH GODS WHY

Elder Tsofu
2011-03-20, 04:45 PM
You're never satisfied are you? :smalltongue:
Backtrack by reducing the ingredients until you find the best combination which produce the perfect crumblyness.

Incompleat
2011-03-20, 04:53 PM
What can I say, cookies are serious business :smallbiggrin:

Then again, testing various ingredient combinations in order to create the Ultimate Cookie is my kind of experiment...

I shall have to make myself a lab notebook.

FOR SCIENCE!

Elder Tsofu
2011-03-20, 05:06 PM
Just be sure to:

Make safety notes (like what to do if you accidentally ingest any of the ingredients or get them in the eyes, their chemical properties and possible cross reactions between the ingredients).
Use a bound note-book which you can't tear out sheets without someone noticing. (so the investigators can see what you did wrong before the cookie crumbled)
Use permanent fast-drying ink.
Write every step you make (using SI units).
Cross over any mistakes you make (so you can still read them) adding your signature and date of correction at each. (the investigators again, nosy buggers)


And: Yay, Science!

Innis Cabal
2011-03-20, 06:28 PM
This is pretty much the best thing I've ever heard. :smalltongue:

I'm a humble man. What can I say.

Morph Bark
2011-03-20, 08:09 PM
As long as they taste good and you have a way of preventing crumbs from getting all over the place, it's all good. :smalltongue:

Amiel
2011-03-21, 01:10 AM
Possibly not the most helpful of responses: it means you need to buy Subway cookies :smallbiggrin:

Asheram
2011-03-21, 11:40 AM
If there's anything I've learnt is that there's an every exact science to baking.
You don't mess with the flower-sugar-egg-liquid ratio, though the other ingredients that provide taste can be adjusted slightly and sometimes winged.

Baking is serious business. ;)