After following the recipe for sugar cookies, I chilled the dough wrapped in plastic for 2 days (recipe specified that I could chill anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days).

As I'm trying to kneed/roll the dough it is very dry with cracks forming, and I'm afraid if I just roll it out and cut cookies that the cookies will crack easily.

Is there anything I can do to "fix" the dough? Should I even worry about it?

  • Can you post a link to the recipe or list it here?
    – user194
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 20:18
  • The cookies came out tasting a lot more like shortbread than sugar cookies, yes I'll find the recipe. That might have been the trouble after all. Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 16:51
  • my mom is losing her mind making sugar cookies the dough is crumbling terribly but when we put the cookie cutters in the dough they come out ok the more we work the dough the worse it gets we added water but it doesn't work are our baking skills bad or do other people have this problem too!!!!!!!!! :) i don't think i answered your problem just saying i have the same problem :)
    – user22075
    Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 17:28

3 Answers 3


My own sugar cookie recipe is quite dry as well. It cracks along the edges when pressed or rolled and is easily "broken".

I've never experienced a problem with the dough being so dry it doesn't take to cookie cutters, but if your dough is literally falling apart you may want to just spritz (or in the absence of a kitchen water spray bottle, sprinkle with your finger tips) cold water on it. (Like adding water to pie dough) Give it one sprinkle/spritz and kneed it in. Repeat until it just stops breaking. Don't go overboard and make it gooey.

I'd use water over oil or milk because it's the least likely to change the structure of your cookie in the baking process. Such minuscule amounts of water shouldn't yield a detectable change in the end product.

If this is a consistent problem with the recipe, in the future I'd decrease the flour by a tablespoon or two and see if that helps.


Crumbling dough indicates a problem with your recipe. There is no way that two days in the fridge will cause the dough to lose so much moisture, unless you didn't wrap the cling foil really really well.

However, the safest way to go with refrigerated dough is to roll it a tube of cling film, refrigerate it, then just cut slices of it and bake it.


I would try small amounts of water. Oil or butter will change the taste and mess up the recipe.

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    – Marti
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 14:35

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