Rolling Cookie Dough gives me a pain--literally!


A few years ago, I developed a very painful inflamed tendon in my shoulder--I thought it was from lifting my (huge) toddler son, and it took months (and very expensive PT) for it to go away.

A few weeks ago, I rolled out cookie dough to make Halloween cookies for that same son's 1st grade class, and that night, I was almost crying from the pain. It's so bad it still keeps me up at night.

Long story short, I love to decorate and cut out cookies, but I am NOT going to roll dough if it's going to produce pain and expensive physical therapy bills. Is there anything mechanical (like that fondant roller I see on Cake Boss) AND relatively inexpensive that I can use to roll my cookie dough?


badge posted by: cmbuscarino on November 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm in Baking, desserts and sweets
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reply by: Mike Nolan on November 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm
Mike Nolan

I've rolled cookie dough in a pasta roller several times, but it doesn't produce a very wide strip (maybe 4 1/2 inches.)

Someone may make a pasta roller that can be taken apart and cleaned easily. (I had to take my KA pasta roller apart recently, it took me 45 minutes to get it back together.)

I have arthritis in my hands and can't use a traditional rolling pin, but I find that the flat (eg, not tapered) handle-less rolling pins work well for me.

reply by: sandra Alicante on November 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm
sandra Alicante

Can you not enrol the help of a teenager or someone else who wants to learn how to bake?
Alternatively would an old laundry mangle work? Perhaps there is a technical college that would like a project to make something for you, or a workshop?

Aside from that I can only suggest making log shapes out of chilled dough and slicing into cookies.

reply by: Mrs Cindy on November 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm
Mrs Cindy

Or maybe an electric cookie press. That's what I use since I can't stand up to roll dough. But I also like Mike's suggestion of the pasta roller. Should have thought of that day before yesterday!


reply by: Mrs Cindy on November 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm
Mrs Cindy

Sandra, I love the way your mind works! A laundry mangle!!! Who'da thunk it? Great idea. I may have to talk to some of the shop kids I know. Thanks for the inspiration!


reply by: uninvited-guest on November 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Just curious, is it the MOVEMENT of rolling dough, the act of PRESSURE on the pin, or a combo of both that makes it painful?

First, I would try rolling the soft dough between 2 sheets of parchment before letting the dough firm up in the fridge... less pressure needed to be used, and easier on the body.

Second, I'd try adjusting your height to the rolling surface. Perhaps standing on a short stool, or sitting in a chair will help by changing the angle of your arms to the work surface. Also by standing higher, you can use body weight to do some of the work.

reply by: cmbuscarino on November 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Thanks for asking, but I'm not sure which action causes the pain. I'm usually fine when I'm doing it, *then* it starts hurting later that night. But since it hurts when I raise my arm above my shoulder, I would bet it's the rolling action.

reply by: mumpy on November 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm

is it both arms or only one?....if only one, is it your dominant hand?....i have only limited use of my left arm/hand - i'm fortunately right-handed - so rolling anything is tough for me, but i do own a one-handed rolling pin (about 4 inches wide, pampered chef, i think) similar to this;
there are some things that simply have to be rolled, so if the problem isn't in your dominant hand, this might help.

good luck with this!