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Kim Shook

I hate slice and bake cookies! Any hints for avoiding fissures in the logs of dough?

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Whenever I make slice and bake cookies (from scratch), I always have the same issue - when rolling up the logs, there is always a fissure that runs through the middle.  I can't seem to manage to get a solid log.  Then, when I slice them, the cookies have a ragged hole in the middle.  I have to squeeze each one to mash it back together and end up just wishing that I'd just scooped and flattened them.  Does anyone have any techniques that will help me avoid this problem?  Thank you!

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I've had this problem.  I think there's something about the rolling of the log that traps air inside stiffer, short doughs.  With some recipes I think I get better results when I press the dough into a thick rectangle on a board, divide this into bars (square in cross section) and then pat/roll each bar a bit to smooth into a cylindrical log.  

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Kim, I generally don't have that issue with slice and bake cookies. When it's just a single dough, I use the same method as Mjx posted. BUT when I did the cinnamon bun cookies a few weeks ago, I started with a flat sheet and rolled it up, and I did get a couple air pockets inside.

 

What I'd read to do (and I think helped minimize the problem) is that after I made the dough log, I went back over it from end-to-end and squeezed it together a bit, and then rolled it back and forth on the counter to round it back out again. This essentially made the log a little longer, but I think got rid of most of the "fissures" inside.


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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You could forget the log and just roll and cut. Slice and bake is supposed to be easier, not more aggravating!

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I basically do Mjx's method, and I don't have a problem with air pockets. OTOH, I've never done this with very stiff doughs, only fairly soft doughs like choc chip cookies or pecan sandies.

I spread a glop of cookie dough in a thick, rough line on a big piece of parchment paper; fold, roll, and squeeze the parchment paper over it to form a tube of dough of the right diameter. Then the whole business goes into the fridge or freezer. When I slice the cookies, I don't unroll the dough, I slice through the paper. Then I throw away those little squiggles of cut paper.

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Have you tried tightening the roll using the parchment paper and either a thin cutting board or bench scraper (or a no-sided cookie sheet if you have one)? Form the dough into a cylinder, horizontally in front of you on a sheet of parchment. Then curl the parchment over the top of the cylinder towards you (don't roll it up in the paper yet). Place the edge of the scraper or whatever you're using on top of the parchment, parallel to the cylinder but at a bit of an angle to the table, and push it into the gap where the dough cylinder comes down to the surface. Then pull the BOTTOM edge of the parchment. This will pull the parchment taut around the dough, which should form itself into a perfectly round cylinder and push out any air inside. The edge of your scraper or cutting board should hold the dough in place and keep you from whipping the paper off. Once the dough cylinder is tightened up, you can roll it up in the parchment and twist the ends. I rest my dough cylinders in the fridge or freezer in a cradle I make by slitting open a cardboard roll from paper towels, to keep the side from flattening.

 

Clear as mud, right?

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Thanks to everyone for the help!  I did have better luck this time thanks to following the suggestions from Mjx and Melissa.  I also periodically thwacked the ends of the logs as I was rolling them to ‘contract’ them.  I only got a few holes this time when I sliced the cookies.  I’ll be posting the cookies on the Daily Sweets thread later.

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Have you tried tightening the roll using the parchment paper and either a thin cutting board or bench scraper (or a no-sided cookie sheet if you have one)? Form the dough into a cylinder, horizontally in front of you on a sheet of parchment. Then curl the parchment over the top of the cylinder towards you (don't roll it up in the paper yet). Place the edge of the scraper or whatever you're using on top of the parchment, parallel to the cylinder but at a bit of an angle to the table, and push it into the gap where the dough cylinder comes down to the surface. Then pull the BOTTOM edge of the parchment. This will pull the parchment taut around the dough, which should form itself into a perfectly round cylinder and push out any air inside. The edge of your scraper or cutting board should hold the dough in place and keep you from whipping the paper off. Once the dough cylinder is tightened up, you can roll it up in the parchment and twist the ends. I rest my dough cylinders in the fridge or freezer in a cradle I make by slitting open a cardboard roll from paper towels, to keep the side from flattening.

 

Clear as mud, right?

Melissa I came to this forum for the exact problem that Kim describes. I at least have a description now! I have looked all over the internet for a video of this technique, and I must be putting the wrong search words in, or bakers just don't want to give up their secrets!

I need to roll the log in coating after it's set, so there will be a coating on the edge of the cookie once it's cut. The scoop and squish method won't work for that.  :wacko: 

Thanks for the help!

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Emmalish, thanks for finding those pictures. The one thing they don't show is that if your roll is longer than your ruler, you can work across and back: push with the ruler and pull the paper in that area, then slide the ruler over a bit and repeat, etc. Then work your way back down the roll until it's even.

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Emmalish, thanks for finding those pictures. The one thing they don't show is that if your roll is longer than your ruler, you can work across and back: push with the ruler and pull the paper in that area, then slide the ruler over a bit and repeat, etc. Then work your way back down the roll until it's even.

 

That totally makes sense. I think if I had that much dough, though, I'd halve it and make two rolls. If it's longer than my ruler, it's not gonna fit in my wee freezer. ;-)


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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On ‎11‎/‎19‎/‎2014 at 6:37 PM, emmalish said:

Sandi, I found this photo set here really helped me understand the technique. Hope it helps you too!

 

http://www.canadianliving.com/blogs/food/2014/04/30/how-to-roll-cookie-dough-into-a-perfectly-smooth-log/

 

I can't get the link to work.  Is there another source for pictures of the technique?

 

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You might try this.

 I’m not sure how to upload a YouTube video. You will have to skip the ad when given the opportunity. I searched and searched on the Canadian Living site no luck. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Thanks, @Anna N and @keychris.  Both videos were helpful.

 

My dough was goopier than what was shown in the videos which made the process more difficult.  Another problem I had is the dough spread more than I was expecting during baking.  The second batch I baked was better because I cut thinner slices from the roll and spaced the cookies further apart.

 

Storing the rolls of dough in drinking glasses to preserve their shape was an interesting idea but I don't believe I have any glasses shaped like that.

 

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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Thanks, @Anna N and @keychris.  Both videos were helpful.

 

My dough was goopier than what was shown in the videos which made the process more difficult.  Another problem I had is the dough spread more than I was expecting during baking.  The second batch I baked was better because I cut thinner slices from the roll and spaced the cookies further apart.

 

Storing the rolls of dough in drinking glasses to preserve their shape was an interesting idea but I don't believe I have any glasses shaped like that.

 

 

Sounds like you are all set but I'll share this here anyway.  There's a good visual of the rolling in parchment business starting a little after the 4:30 mark in this video from Dorie Greenspan:

https://youtu.be/CXAGViXspMk

I often need to chill the dough before it's ready for that step.  Then it gets too hard so I take it out of the fridge.  Then it gets too soft again.  But the concept does work. 

 

In this 10 sec video, Dorie gives a suggestion for using paper towel rolls to store the dough rolls:

 

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In the end, when the rubber meets the road, none of these tricks ever work for me. I have given up on this type of cookie. Dorie’s World Peace cookies are the worst. YMMV. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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