I am making cookies and accidentally added my butter directly into my dry ingredients. Now I have chunks of butter and dough that is basically powder.

Is there any way to salvage this even if the cookies don't come out perfectly?


2 Answers 2


Think shortbread / pie dough:

If you have a food processor, dump the butter & dry ingredients in, pulse until you have a coarse crumble. Add some liquid - either your egg (beaten!) or, even simpler, just as much milk as needed to help the dough to stick together. I personally would use milk instead of egg for lighter cookies. Eggs might make them too dense. Chill for half an hour or so, then roll and cut or shape otherwise.

If you don't have a food processor, a pastry cutter or two knives works just as well. Or rub the butter into the flour mix.

You might not end up with your planned cookies, but the result should be nice enough to eat. No need to discard the ingredients.

And remember:
Sometimes the best recipes started as accidents!

  • 2
    Egg often results in lighter baked goods, as it helps to hold gas from the baking powder or soda and acid and increases effective rise. In any case, there are presumably liquids in the recipe to be added, and those would be the ones to add, rather than adding milk when there might not even be milk in the recipe - unless wanting to deliberately go off and experiment with more difference than the mixing difference, and I think Claudia is trying to get as close as possible to the recipe...
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 2:06

Put the bowl into the microwave for 30s to melt the butter then stir. Butter as a fat absorbs all the microwaves! If you have already added baking powder, then it will activate so put in the oven immediately or wait for it to cool down and add a bit more baking powder, but not as much as before.

Alternatively, scoop the chunks of butter out and put into a bowl in the microwave and melt the butter only, then stir back in.

Alternatively, scoop the chunks of butter out, add a tiny bit more flour/cocoa powder/baking soda in the same proportion to make up for the powder stuck to the butter. Then use new butter that is melted.

Alternatively, scoop the chunks of butter out, and use slightly less new melted butter to match the powder that was removed with the old butter.

  • 5
    And to compare the two techniques recommended so far -- the shortbread approach will result in a more crumbly cookie, melted butter will result in a more chewy cookie.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 17:14

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