Using Butter Vs. Shortening In Cookies
Butter Cookies

Using Butter Vs. Shortening In Cookies

  • November 24, 2021

It seems so simple to just substitute out one ingredient with another but baking is truly a science and every change you make can result in a totally different product!I’ve done specific testing on butter vs. shortening with pie crust, biscuit, and cookies.Butter is composed of at least 80% fat (per U.S.

standards) and no more than 16% water, plus a smaller amount of milk proteins.That water content turns into steam while baking and can increase gluten production, which can result in a crisper cookie, flakier pie crust or biscuit.This means it starts to melt the moment it encounters heat, giving it that melt-in-your-mouth feeling we all love.That means no steam is created during baking which effectively reduces gluten production, so shortening cookies tend to be softer and more tender.However, it also means that it doesn’t fully melt in the mouth like butter does, leaving behind an unpleasant waxy coating on the palate.Sure, buttercream made with shortening won’t melt if you’re serving cake or cupcakes in a warm area, and it’ll remain stable for longer, but that’s not enough to sacrifice the better texture and flavor butter offers.Shortening can be a great option for people who can’t eat dairy or who subscribe to a vegan diet. .

Shortening vs. butter in baking

Shortening vs. butter in baking

Shortening vs. butter in baking

Butter.Shortening.Even though these ingredients are clearly different, shortening and butter are often used interchangeably in recipes with acceptable results.Shortening vs. butter: the ingredient to reach for depends on what you’re baking.Cookies.Cookies made with butter, especially high-sugar recipes, tend to be flatter and crispier than cookies made with shortening.To see just how different the spread would be, I baked two batches of our Self-Rising Crunchy Sugar Cookies (one made with all butter, one with all shortening), for another shortening vs. butter in baking comparison.If you’re having problems with cookies spreading, you might try replacing some of the butter with shortening.Cake.What about cake?We know shortening adds tenderness since it's 100% fat, so some of us curious bakers started wondering what would happen if it was used to make cake.One cake was baked using all butter, while shortening was the fat of choice in the other.Making the choice: Shortening vs. butter in baking.They can both be used to make delicious, tender baked goods that are full of flavor and richness. .

Difference Between Butter and Shortening

Difference Between Butter and Shortening

Difference Between Butter and Shortening

Imagine all the things you love about a cookie: chewy or crisp, moist, flavorful and melts in your mouth.It is what imparts mouthfeel qualities, affects texture and structure, and most importantly packs your cookies with flavor.As its name implies, vegetable shortening is derived from plant sources – typically soybean or cottonseed oil.Since oil is naturally liquid at room temperature, how does vegetable shortening fit into the definition of being semi-solid or solid?Palm oil has a higher melting point and is usually added to make shortening harder without as much hydrogenation.Shortening has a higher melting point (117ºF/47ºC) than butter (95ºF/35ºC), which allows it to stay solid for longer and have its structure set, resulting in a cookie that spreads less and therefore, will be taller.If spreadability is something you worry about, it might be worthwhile to use shortening in cookies like Snickerdoodle with a high ratio of wet ingredients.For better structure, aim for a butter temperature of 65 to 67ºF (18 to 19ºC) to ensure its fat crystals are intact and are firm enough to hold the incorporated air bubbles from creaming.The flavor of butter is unrivaled and since shortening is essentially vegetable oil, it simply has a bland, oily taste.Traditionally, shortening made through hydrogenation produces trans fats which have gotten a bad rap.At face value, while butter may seem like the “healthier” option, it’s worth remembering that it’s still high in calories and saturated fat. .

Butter vs. Shortening in Baking

Butter vs. Shortening in Baking

Butter vs. Shortening in Baking

Can I substitute butter for shortening or shortening for butter in a recipe?Cookies Made with Butter vs Shortening.Cookies are a good example of where you see a difference in baking results using butter versus shortening in a recipe.Cookies made with only butter may not rise as much and may spread a bit more, but the edges will be crispier and will have a rich buttery taste.Cookies made with only shortening will result in a cookie that bakes higher and holds its shape better during baking.Pie Crust Made with Butter vs Shortening.(Top pie crust photo is made with butter, bottom pie crust photo is made with shortening.). .

Baking Cookies: Butter Vs. Shortening Vs. Margarine

For some people, baking a perfect cookie is a difficult task that requires careful consideration and ample practice.In fact, making a simple switch between butter, shortening and margarine while baking cookies can have drastic effects on your final product.This usually results in flatter, crispier cookies -- and if you're not careful, they will easily burn to a crisp if baked too long.In regards to the nutritional aspect of the comparison process, all three options have advantages and disadvantages when baking cookies.Although it might be nutritionally beneficial to choose the option with the lowest fat content, the cookies' taste and texture will be impacted.Using solid butter or boiling it to a thin liquid will significantly change the ultimate texture of the cookie.Similarly, if the recipe calls for room-temperature margarine or shortening, be sure to pull the product out of the refrigerator several hours before you plan to bake the cookies. .

How to Substitute Butter for Shortening When Baking

How to Substitute Butter for Shortening When Baking

How to Substitute Butter for Shortening When Baking

You start gathering your ingredients and baking tools only to find you don't have any shortening to make the classic peanut butter cookies you're craving. .

The Difference Between Butter, Margarine, Shortening and Lard

The Difference Between Butter, Margarine, Shortening and Lard

The Difference Between Butter, Margarine, Shortening and Lard

It’s your best tool for imparting richness, flavor and helping you achieve everything from perfectly roasted veggies to cakes (like this chocolate beauty) that demand a second slice.Knowing the differences between the kings of fat—butter, margarine, lard and shortening—can help equip you to create some unforgettable dishes.Though we know it’s easy to reach for whatever’s on hand, don’t mistake the two for nearly identical products with different packaging.Using salted butter when unsalted is called for isn’t going to turn a sweet dish savory, but it may not reach its full potential.Though it’s made from raw or rendered pig fat, don’t worry, it won’t taste like pork.We’re excited that its virtues are once again being celebrated, as it’s entirely versatile and great for frying, roasting, or making some of the flakiest pastries you’ve ever tried.A lot of shortening is packed with artificial trans fat, so to protect your health be sure to look for options that are not hydrogenated.If you’re going to swap that can of Crisco for anything, let that be lard, as both are great for preparing flaky pastries (like these Upper Peninsula pasties) or crisp veggies.Knowing what butter, margarine, lard and shortening bring to the table (pun intended) will help you finesse your favorite recipes and master a wide range of dishes across the cooking gamut. .

Baking Cookies: Shortening vs. Butter

Baking Cookies: Shortening vs. Butter

Baking Cookies: Shortening vs. Butter

It calls for six ingredients—salted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, organic unbleached white all purpose flour, pecans, and a pinch of salt.In this recipe, it takes a twist by being turned into moist and tender cookie sandwiches loaded with sweet carrots, vanilla, raisins, and butter.With a cookie made from sugar, softened butter, maple syrup, egg, organic unbleached white flour, and baking soda and a frosting made with powdered sugar, maple syrup, and milk, these easy cookies are quick to make and quicker to eat!In these thumbprint cookies, a few of Arizona’s native ingredients (including pecans) come together with cactus jelly for a unique and amazing treat.For a perfectly chewy oatmeal cookie, combine butter, sugar, eggs, and rolled oats with cranberries and white chocolate chips.The sweetness of the sugar and white chocolate in combination with the mild flavor and texture of rolled oats is all brought together by the butter.This particular recipe is found on the bags of Bob’s Red Mill Cane Sugar, and is given its classic texture through a cup of softened butter.It’s called shortening because it works to coat the protein molecules of flour, making it more difficult for long strands of gluten to be created.Vegetable shortening was traditionally made by changing oil to a solid by way of partial hydrogenation (which resulted in trans fats).It’s a recipe from Michelle in Missouri that uses strictly shortening (no butter) in combination with sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, salt, chopped walnuts, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.These cookies are dense but moist, rolled in walnuts and topped with icing made from powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and whipping cream.The dough is made with an equal mix of butter and shortening, vanilla extract, brown sugar, organic unbleached white all purpose flour, salt, eggs, and of course, walnuts.In this recipe, the shortening helps the cookies to puff up a bit for a chewy texture just waiting to be frosted and eaten.Whether you choose to go the route of butter (for natural flavor and a crispy texture) or shortening (for a tall cookie that refuses to fall), we hope your baking adventure leads you to all things delicious and delectable. .

Does the fat you use in your biscuits matter?

Does the fat you use in your biscuits matter?

Does the fat you use in your biscuits matter?

Pull up any two recipes for biscuits and you’ll likely find surprisingly different techniques and ingredient lists.From various fats and liquids to flours and leaveners, you’ll find a different biscuit for just about every baker in the South.No matter the biscuit recipe, you’ll read a long and drawn out argument as to why butter or shortening is the superior fat.I’m willing to bet that there are plenty of readers who fall into bth of these camps when it comes to biscuit baking; I, personally, have always preferred butter.In the United States, it must be at least 80 percent butterfat, with the rest of its composition being made up of water and milk solids.And these numbers matter — the more water in your butter, the greater the opportunity for it to mingle with flour to form gluten and the faster it will soften at room temperature.Cold butter is less likely to mix into the flour and it will more easily form large flakes in the dough, which will lead to beautiful, pull-apart layers in your baked biscuits.As you can see in the images, the butter biscuits have an irregular and golden brown top, with fully formed and distinct layers.What we think of today as shortening is made from hydrogenated vegetable oil and became popular in the mid-20th century as a replacement for animal fats.It also has a higher melting point than butter, making it less likely to smear into biscuit dough, even if you use your hands to mix it. .

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