Can the old trick of putting biscuits (cookies or crackers to Americans) in a plastic bag and hitting them with a rolling pin be improved upon?
1are we talking biscuits, as in the fluffy, flaky southern U.S. food or cookies?– sarge_smithJul 26, 2010 at 1:02
...hard thin northern U.S. food...– Shog9Jul 26, 2010 at 5:32
@sarge_smith: sorry UK english speaker here. Biscuits as in American cookies.– Tea DrinkerAug 7, 2010 at 21:58
@knives you yankees just don't understand that those are called crackers :)– sarge_smithAug 7, 2010 at 22:08
2I'm guessing "when in doubt, C4" doesn't apply here. Unless you're making a lot of crumbs.– derobertJan 13, 2012 at 17:23
Generally, I've only heard of the plastic bag or the food processor.
I have seen people who just bash the packet of biscuits on the kitchen top. Jamie Oliver likes to do that with slabs of chocolate!
Otherwise use a heavy duty snack-lock bag or else wrap the plastic bag in a tea towel.
It helps to have a small hole for the air to escape.
1The kitchentop method doubles as excellent stress relief. Dec 23, 2015 at 9:01
If neither a rolling pin or food processor are available substitute a wine bottle or large can of juice.
1Or a cast-iron fry pan.– derobertJan 13, 2012 at 17:17
1Has anyone tried this with a wine bottle? I have no idea how likely it is to break...– MienJan 15, 2012 at 19:04
2I have tried it with a wine bottle. Works just fine. (Works great as an impromptu rolling pin for actually rolling doughs, too, if you cleanly remove the label) So long as you're not bashing the thing against the edge of a counter like a maniac, I can't imagine you'd need to worry about breakage. Mar 6, 2012 at 22:00
Can the old trick of putting them in a plastic bag and hitting them with a rolling pin be improved upon?
Why? It's quick, easy, and effective. If you're looking to avoid wasting a bag, then the food processor works well enough... But then you have a food processor to clean!
One suggestion: use a heavy rolling pin. I have a marble pin that's too awkward for most pastries, but works great for this: I don't really have to "beat" so much as just drop lightly and then roll...
What food processor attachment do all you lot use?– user40952Nov 21, 2015 at 9:43
general-purpose blade works fine, @Sean. Don't overload, and pulse until you get the texture you want.– Shog9Nov 21, 2015 at 20:27
I prefer to put them in the food processor and pulse until I get the desired consistency.
I put the biscuits in a bowl, and mash them with a potato masher. It works well.
I think the method can be improved the following ways but I don't have much call for crushed cookies myself, so if any of them don't work please let us know. Anyway, seems that what you need to cruch cookies/biscuits is some sort of crusher, something to prevent crumbs from flying all over your kitchen, and an easy way to transport the results around your work area.
In the original the plastic bag serves the purpose of the crumb catcher. You could use cheesecloth or a clean tea towel as a crumb catcher but those options don't seal and they pose a problem for the transportaion issue so I would say the plastic stays as the best of that part of the equation.
As the crusher, I find a rolling pin to be a poor one. Low curved surface area on your crusher just isn't what your looking for. I would suggest reaching for the best thing for pounding in your kitchen - your cast iron pan. It's heavy and nice and flat with a huge surface area, perfect for all you crushing needs.
Of course, we may not need even that, if your cookies are safely in a bag. You could just slam the bag into the counter top until you're left with the proper consistency. That seems labor intensive though, but maybe theraputic as well.
Also, a food processor like everyone else said is a great option.
3The problem I've encountered using a cast-iron pan is the flat bottom aligning with the flat cookie and cracking but not crushing. Of course, almost anything will eventually produce fine crumbs given enough time and effort - as you note, even just pounding the bag will do. But I like the smooth, curved rolling pin because it rolls - you can get consistency by taking a few passes over the rough-crushed crumbs without missing anything. A grooved (lefse) rolling pin might be an interesting alternative for producing larger but still even crumbs...– Shog9Aug 9, 2010 at 4:24
That makes a lot of sense. I guess it entirely depends on what you need the crumbs for and how even they need to be. I know that when I need bread crumbs I often use the back of my knife to start the crushing action and finish with something heavier, but cookies are so much denser I don't know if that would help at all. Aug 9, 2010 at 6:36
I just put them in an air-tight bag and instead of being such a drama queen and bashing the bag, I roll over them with the rolling pin. Quicker, cleaner and much quieter :)
I was making some lemon slice recently, and broke up my Marie biscuits by hand into small pieces and then whizzed them up in a foot processor for a bit. If you don't have a food processor -- maybe try gently breaking them up in a mortar and pestle?
I have used a mortar and pestle before when I had no food processor. It worked fine.
Another option is to just get a big knife and chop like you might with vegetables.
Other suggestions (mentioned here):
- Use a potato masher
- Put them in a bag, then drive over the bag a few times with your car
I once watched a neighbor across the street put cookies (Oreos if I recall correctly) in a zip bag and crush them by backing her car over them.
She drank a lot.