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How to Soften Chilled Cookie Dough

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Anxious to bake with your rock hard cookie dough? Here's how to speed up the thawing process.

How to Thaw Chilled Cookie Dough

Oftentimes when baking cookies we're on a tight timeline -- we want to get our cookies in the oven five minutes ago: either we're hungry (and attempting to be responsible by avoiding eating the raw dough), or we have to run off with baked cookies in hand. Many cookie recipes call for long refrigeration times, but a finicky dough or a little extra chilling time can result in dough that's as hard as a rock, and nearly impossible to work with.

While whipping up a batch of Smitten Kitchen's Eggnog Florentine Cookies this week, mandy asked the Hotline how to soften chilled cookie dough:

  • Merrill recommends putting dough near a warm stove, and pounding it with a rolling pin once it starts to soften.
  • Trena cuts the dough into smaller pieces using a pastry cutter, figuring that they will come to room temperature faster.
  • A radiator or stove pilot light will also work well as a heat source, according to LE BEC FIN.
  • Mandy ultimately went the route of not refrigerating the dough at all, as cdachis says you can get away with -- for this recipe at least. With an unfamiliar recipe, try baking just one cookie to see how skipping refrigeration will impact the end result.

How do you speed up thawing cookie dough? Tell us in the comments!

Photo by James Ransom

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Tags: Bake, Community, Tips & Techniques, Advice, How-To & Diy, Hotline, Best Question