What Is The Difference Between Butter And Shortening In Cookies
Butter Cookies

What Is The Difference Between Butter And Shortening In Cookies

  • July 6, 2022

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. .

Shortening vs Butter in Cookies {What Makes the Best Chocolate

Shortening vs Butter in Cookies {What Makes the Best Chocolate

Shortening vs Butter in Cookies {What Makes the Best Chocolate

Have you read our post where we answer your question, “Why are my cookies flat?”.But while my fingers were flying across the keyboard typing that post, I found myself thinking of so many more things I could tell you {or even show you} about cookie baking if we were sitting across the kitchen, chatting over a cup of coffee.I decided to put the Nestle Toll House Original Cookie Recipe to test here and made several batches of cookies with different combinations of butter and shortening, and also refrigeration and no refrigeration.But before we get into comparison pictures, let’s talk a little bit about the difference between shortening and butter.Because of the milk and water in butter, it will melt more quickly under heat than shortening will.Butter adds a rich flavor to baked goods.I knew cookies baked with shortening didn’t spread as much, but look at those results!Refrigerating cookie dough with shortening didn’t do anything in my eyes.You get some of that butter flavor, but the cookies still hold their shape and don’t run all over the pan.By refrigerating the dough for an hour and baking for about 9 minutes, the cookies stay crisp on around the very edges and a little soft & chewy in the middle.Now remember that we ran these experiments with the Nestle Toll House Cookie Recipes. .

Butter vs. Shortening in Baking

Butter vs. Shortening in Baking

Butter vs. Shortening in Baking

Shortening traps more air bubbles and has a higher melting point than butter, so recipes that use shortening tend to produce an end product that will rise a little higher, holds its shape during baking, and has an interior texture that is softer or lighter.We tested a few classic recipes, cookies, pies and cake, the only difference was using butter or 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.The butter cookie provides better flavor and a crispier exterior with some good browning around edges and a chewy interior.Shortening is 100% vegetable oil, which allows for a higher melting point than butter, so it stays solid within the pie crust dough in your oven longer.When the shortening finally melts, steam forms in pockets and it puffs the layers of dough apart, making a flaky, but not as flavorful as butter, crust. .

What's the Difference Between Butter and Shortening

What's the Difference Between Butter and Shortening

What's the Difference Between Butter and Shortening

Meaning, can you use butter when you're baking biscuits, cookies, pies and other recipes that call for shortening and vice versa?Swapping one for the other could lead to different flavors, textures or appearances — something you may be able to deal with, but it's best to thoroughly understand each fat first.It's typically made with vegetable oils and used for its ability to help baked goods retain shape while staying soft.We talked to North Carolina cooking teacher, professional food writer and seasoned recipe developer Sheri Castle to explain the ins and outs of butter and shortening.The differences between butter and shortening vary, starting with how they're produced in the first place.It has a lower smoke point, and will burn fairly quickly in heat," Castle says.While butter is yellow, shortening is a soft, powdery white — something Castle says manufacturers used for marketing."It's snowy, pure and white, which gave the sense of its high quality, safety and purity," she says.It's also why cooks use butter in all sorts of dishes, while shortening is typically used only for baking.Since it doesn't melt at room temperature, shortening can keep the final product looking clean and feeling softer for extended periods."Think of those fabulous cakes at the grocery store; they always use shortening [in the frosting] to hold the shape," Castle says.Since butter and shortening bring something different to each recipe, it only makes sense to use them in tandem.For cookies, a mix of both could result in rich, buttery flavor with a taller, softer final product.Shortening can lube squeaky hinges and locks, shine headlights and even remove gum from your child's (or your own) hair. .

Shortening vs. butter in baking

Shortening vs. butter in baking

Shortening vs. butter in baking

But recently as I whipped up batches of cookies and a plethora of pies, I began to wonder about the difference between using shortening vs. butter in baking.It’s made by churning fresh or fermented cream, and then separating solids from the liquid (which is then sold as buttermilk).Even though these ingredients are clearly different, shortening and butter are often used interchangeably in recipes with acceptable results.Because of butter’s low melting point, the dough tends to spread during baking before the structure sets.As predicted, the cookies made with shortening spread less and remained slightly rounded, thanks to the higher melting point.Keep in mind this is just one reason why cookies spread; there’s a multitude of factors you can adjust if you’re committed to using butter for its rich flavor.Consider chilling your butter-based cookie dough to help control spread (and bonus, you'll also experience a wonderful depth of flavor, too!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.When shortening is creamed with sugar, it traps air molecules, which helps to leaven cakes and make them tender.It’s a sad sight to see a beautifully piped cake wilt in the sun as the baker stands by watching helplessly.We replicated hot, summery conditions (when so many of us cake bakers are called upon) by putting frosted cupcakes in a low oven for 10 minutes.There are other times when a can of Crisco is now the thing I reach for: when making pie crust, frosting, and even sandwich cookie filling.The virtue of butter vs.

shortening is a passionate topic for many bakers, and we explore both here for their distinctive baking qualities.Each baker brings unique needs and perspectives to the table, and it’s our sincere hope everyone will choose ingredients that best embrace their personal goals. .

How to Substitute Butter for Shortening When Baking

How to Substitute Butter for Shortening When Baking

How to Substitute Butter for Shortening When Baking

If you've ever wondered, "If a baking recipe calls for shortening, can I use butter or margarine instead?".Here you'll find our Test Kitchen's best tips for replacing shortening with butter when you're in a pinch.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.Fats and oils add flavor and contribute to the texture of baked goods, but they do work a bit differently.pressing shortening into measuring cup with spatula Credit: Kritsada Panichgul.Test Kitchen Tip: Because margarine and buttery spreads contain water, this reduces the fat in your recipe.There's no guarantee using margarine as a substitute for shortening or butter will yield desirable results.Test Kitchen Tip: If you've got open packages of both shortening and butter, you can use a combination of the two in your baking. .

ONE TIP to make the BEST chocolate chip cookies -- it's all in the

ONE TIP to make the BEST chocolate chip cookies -- it's all in the

ONE TIP to make the BEST chocolate chip cookies -- it's all in the

Here’s one to consider that’s pretty gosh darn important though: Butter vs. shortening.Shortening has a higher melting temperature and doesn’t contain water, so your cookies are taller and softer.So use the recipe here (adapted from Nestle’s classic) or your own, but try the one-stick-of-each method and see if it makes a difference for you.2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips Instructions Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, briefly whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.Drop by flat tablespoons on baking trays lined with parchment paper or Silpat.Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges start to brown and the center is firm.Cool on the tray for ten minutes and transfer to a wire rack.Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook.Make sure to use solid, good quality baking trays or cookie sheets and line them with parchment paper or Silpat.Drop cookies on the sheet by flat tablespoons, preferably with a one-tablespoon ice cream scoop for even baking.They are done when the edges start to brown and the middle is firm.Cool on the sheet for ten minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. .

Butter vs. Shortening: What's the Difference?

Butter vs. Shortening: What's the Difference?

Butter vs. Shortening: What's the Difference?

Butter and shortening are both fats, so they have the same job: They tenderize gluten, add necessary moisture, and help bring out certain essential flavors.Per USDA regulations, all butter made in the U.S. must contain at least 80 percent milkfat.Per USDA regulations, all butter made in the U.S. must contain at least 80 percent milkfat.Because butter melts quicker than shortening, it often results in flatter and thinner baked goods.Because butter melts quicker than shortening, it often results in flatter and thinner baked goods.There’s no doubt about it: Butter adds a creamier, richer flavor to baked goods than shortening.They also tend to be taller, as it has a higher melting point and doesn’t spread as much.They also tend to be taller, as it has a higher melting point and doesn’t spread as much.All Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies Credit: Aaron Kirk; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck; Food Styling: Pam Lolley.If you use shortening in place of butter for a flaky pie crust recipe, don’t be surprised when the finished product doesn’t turn out exactly as expected.su- Best Basic Pie Crust Dough Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio; Prop styling by Audrey Davis; Food styling by Torie Cox.It also has a distinctly rich, creamy, and, well, “buttery” taste that can’t be replicated. .

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. .

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