How to counteract too much butter in cookies? (+3 ways)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much butter in cookies?” and some tips to make perfect cookies. 

Those who cook themselves would have a better idea that there are days when you ruin your recipe by adding too much butter or flour to your cookies. Excess butter can not only flatten your cookies but can also be a cause of concern for your health. 

Read on to know different ways that will help you counteract too much butter in cookies. 

How to counteract too much butter in cookies?

The final cookie diameter depends upon the rate at which dough spreads and its setting time during baking. Cookie spread rate has been reported to depend on dough viscosity. The viscosity of cookie dough depends upon the ratio of the ingredients used in the cookie formula. Cookie set time can be determined by glass transition of the gluten proteins in the flour. Glass transition temperature of dough has been reported to depend on the ingredients used. Dough with lower glass transition temperature produces cookies with smaller diameter. That is the case of adding too much butter in the dough (1).

If you were about to put your cookies in the oven and just then you realized that you have added too much butter than the recipe demanded, and now you are desperately searching for ways to counteract it, do not worry, here we have prepared a long list of approaches to help you counteract too much butter in cookies and to make it worth eating.

  • Add more flour
  • Dilute the recipe
  • Try the ice cube hack
  • Chill the dough beforehand

What happens if you have added too much butter to your cookies?

If you find out your cookies are crumbly from the surface but undercooked from the inside, you have presumably added too much butter to your cookies. Too much butter can allow the cookies to flatten extremely, baking easily on the outside but still being raw in the center. 

Studies show that increasing shortening in the cookie dough led to the decrease in the cookie height, because of its lubricating effect. Increasing the level of formula fat has a softening effect and lowers the consistency of short dough (1). 

Refrigerate the cookies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes prior to baking them next time. If the problem persists, decrease the amount of butter you add.

Different ways to counteract too much butter in cookies 

Dilute the recipe

You can dilute too much butter by multiplying other ingredients. Continue doubling the ingredients as required. Start with the main ingredients first, then add additional, blending thoroughly and tasting between every addition.

For instance, if you have added approximately 50% more butter than the recipe demanded (i.e., the recipe required one cup of butter and you added about one and a half cups instead), then you will have to increase the other ingredients by 50% too.

Add more flour 

Another quick way you can counteract too much butter in cookies is by adding a half cup of flour. This will make the batter somewhat more solid. If there is not sufficient flour to hold that melted butter, your cookies will over-flatten. This approach works best if you have not put your cookies in the oven, yet.

However, this may lead to a lack of sugar in the dough and sugar is also important for the cooking spread. Sugar increases fluidity of dough during baking and allows the dough to spread more as a function of gravity. Inclusion of higher sugar in formulation may have allowed dough expansion by two dimensional, due to decrease in viscosity as dough temperature increases during baking. Adding sugar in cookies results in higher glass transition temperature before dough expansion, resulting in greater cookie spread (1).

Try the ice cube hack

If you have added too much butter to the cookie dough, what you can do to save partly melted butter is to put it in a bowl with a few ice cubes and mix. In no more than a minute, the butter will instantly cool and solidify to the soft texture you are looking for. Just remove the ice cubes and continue with your recipe.

Chill the dough beforehand

If you want to have a normal batch of cookies despite having too much butter, then you can take extra measures like chilling the dough prior to baking, ensuring you are baking on cool baking sheets (instead of warm) so that the butter does not begin to melt, causing the cookies to flatten even before it gets into the oven.

The butter usually melts at 32-35°C (90-95°F), but is spreadable at room temperature, depending on the fatty acid composition (2). 

Some tips to make perfect cookies 

Follow the below-mentioned tips to ensure your cookie dough has the best shot at transforming into delicious and uniformly baked cookies that the consumers will enjoy:

  • Be sure to measure all the ingredients accurately.
  • Always ensure the use of fresh ingredients.
  • Store the ingredients at room temperature before starting. 
  • Whisk butter and sugar until the mixture turns light and fluffy.
  • Scrape the sides of the container as required to make sure all ingredients are uniformly mixed.
  • Add dry ingredients and whisk until blended, do not over blend.
  • When making a cookie recipe that demands cutting the dough, use an ice cream scoop to cut your cookie dough smoothly. Using this single tool will make sure that your cookies are evenly divided, uniform in configuration and will get out of the oven uniformly baked.
  • Bake one tray at a time, on the center rack. This allows avoiding hitting hotter points in the oven that could result in random baking.
  • Let cookies rest in the pan for 10 minutes and then shift to a cooling rack. 

We hope these approaches will work for you and you will not have to discard your dish. Still, if nothing helps, do not be worried. Learn from your mistakes and try again.

Other FAQs about Butter that you may be interested in.

Does ghee go bad?

What can I substitute for butter in pasta?

How can I substitute salted butter for unsalted?

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “How to counteract too much butter in cookies?” and some tips to make perfect cookies. 

References 

  1. Singh, Narpinder, et al. Effect of additives on dough and cookie making properties of flour. Int J Food Prop, 2002, 5, 547-562.
  2. Hartel, Richard W. Applications of milk-fat fractions in confectionery products. J Am Oil Chem Soc, 1996, 73, 945-953.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.