The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Changing the Order of Mixing Ingredients

oskar270's picture

Changing the Order of Mixing Ingredients

I have this cookies recipe which I make often in the last few years and they always turn out perfect.

1/2 Cup corn oil

3/4 Cup sugar

4 Cups all purpose flour

1/2 Cup orange juice

2/3 Cup butter

1 Teaspoon baking powder

1/2 Teaspoon Baking soda

Cinnamon and orange rind


Mix baking powder, flour and cinnamon

Bit the oil with the sugar until fluffy

Mix the baking soda with the orange juice + rind

Add the above orange mix to the oil / sugar mix

Bit in the butter

Add the flour


When I made the above yesterday, by mistake I mixed the butter with the sugar until fluffy, then added the corn oil and then the orange mix and the dough became very crumbly to the point I was unable to make the half moon shape I normally did and I just made small patties. The taste was again good but I wonder why the dough was so crumbly


Does it make any difference of mixing the sugar with the butter instead of mixing the sugar with the corn oil?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Butter contains some water, some brands more than others.  By coating the sugar first with oil, the sugar cannot absorb any water (becoming more liquid) from the butter and take moisture away from the flour in the recipe.  

Butter moisture content varies:

davidg618's picture

When you beat softened butter and granulated sugar together the sugar "cuts" into the solid butter surrounding itself with fat and creating tiny air bubbles in the mixture which aids in the dough's expansion when baking.  It gives cookies a shortbread-like texture.

Beating the sugar into corn oil will also surround the sugar crystals with fat, but any air entrapped will mostly escape due the fat being liquid. I suspect when the butter is subsequently added the sugar saturated oil mixes readily with the butter's fat, but with less (negligible) air entrapped. the baked cookies will have a denser, and firmer texture.

David G

oskar270's picture

Thank you both for the info, very interesting