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I have made cookies based on this recipe, and we have really liked the taste. The appearance was not ok but not perfect, partly because my make-a-ball-and-flatten technique is not great (the outcome is not 100% round), but also because the dough started to stick to my hands 5 minutes after it was out of the fridge.

I wonder if it is possible/reasonable to "shape" these cookies using the piping bag, or maybe you would suggest another way to "shape" them nicely?

Is there a way to tell if the dough will be suitable for a piping bag "shaping", other than try-and-see-if-it-works method?

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    I don't know if there's a good way to tell if a given dough could be piped, but if you wanted to try to find a dough that was suitable for piping, I'd try a recipe that was intended for use in a cookie press: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookie_press
    – Joe
    Nov 18, 2020 at 16:06

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I can't answer the question about piping so much (but see my comment about recipes meant for cookie presses), but I think I can help you with your problem.

Depending on how firm the dough is, you might be able to reduce the time that it takes to shape the balls, and thus increase the number of balls that you can shape before the dough gets to be sticky:

First, I would chill the dough in logs, rather than just the whole bowl. Place it over waxed paper or plastic wrap in a bit of a line, then roll the paper (or wrap) around the dough. You can sometimes tighten it up the log by folding the wrap in half, then pushing on the log with the edge of a sheet pan or cutting board before you roll it up.

Then, you can take a single log out of the fridge, unwrap it, and cut it into bits, and then roll each one. For more problematic dough, you can cut up half of the log, and then return the uncut half to the fridge while you shape the others. I've even cut up a log (using a table knife, so I didn't cut through the paper/wrap), then put the whole thing back in the fridge to cool back down.

As moscafj has mentioned, gloves might help. But because the dough might not stick to them as well, but they'll also insulate your hands so the warmth doesn't affect the dough. You can also try rolling the balls in your fingers, rather than the palms of your hands, as your palms are warmer. Depending on how sticky the dough is, you can sometimes roll balls out on the counter or cutting board, using just one hand, which might also help reduce how much you warm them.

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  • Thank you! I guess you are describing the technique shown in this video, right? youtube.com/watch?v=L2cXkLdJaG8
    – Yulia V
    Nov 18, 2020 at 16:23
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    Yes. It helps to get the log more even so that when you slice it up, slices of equal thickness will result in equal amounts of cookie dough.
    – Joe
    Nov 18, 2020 at 16:27
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Cookie doughs are generally not soft enough to be piped, though there are some. For the recipe you link, however, which I have made several times, I would suggest a small bowl of water. Dampen your hands, make a ball, flatten...dampen hands, make a ball, etc. You might also try some latex gloves. Alternately, use a small scoop. I have various sized mechanical ice cream scoops. I scoop, move to cookie sheet, then quickly pick up to round out the edges with my hands. For this recipe, even if you could pipe them, you would need to round them out.

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