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Cooking: Butter Substituted for Shortening

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Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 11, 2007
6:41 PM

Post #4072367

I have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I grew up with and certainly love more after trying numerous other recipes. My concern is that it is made with shortening and I know that is one of the most terrible things you could consume. Now now I KNOW cookies are not health food by far...but I'd like to substitute butter which is better digested in your body.

Does anyone know (short of possiby ruining a batch of cookies) can I sub equal amounts of butter for the shortening?

And if so, what might be the possible results (i.e. crunchier cookies, thinner cookies, etc).

allysgram
Sedalia, MO

October 11, 2007
11:49 PM

Post #4073245

Yes you can. I make chocolate chip cookies and I only use butter, they are delicious.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts


Directions:
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

I melt the butter before stiring in the sugars, it melts the sugars better.


MistyMeadows
Payneville, KY
(Zone 7a)

October 12, 2007
2:20 AM

Post #4073862

Tir Na Nog, My experience is that cookies made with butter (especially chocolate chip) do tend to get thin and burn quicker if made with butter. The only time I ever use margarine is in these cookies and I only use Blue Bonnet or Imperial ;) I don't think I would like cookies made with shortening.
gabriell
Tyler, TX
(Zone 8b)

October 12, 2007
3:12 AM

Post #4074158

I have not had shortening in my house in years. I use butter in everything. Real butter. I think anything tastes better with the butter flavor and I've never had trouble with the texture.
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 12, 2007
3:19 AM

Post #4074205

Hmmm...

Thank you allysgram...I really like my recipe though... have tried so many :)

Misty---the margarine is the other thing I avoid to so that wouldn't work as a sub for me...cookies with shortening are no different really---add sugar to it and anything's good! lol! But that would be interesting---see if people can taste the difference in a taste test.

Well it's decided I guess, the only way I'll know is to make a batch.

Gabriell, this cookie recipe is the ONLY reason I have shortening...otherwise I have no recipes that call for it. Weird huh...

MistyMeadows
Payneville, KY
(Zone 7a)

October 12, 2007
3:22 AM

Post #4074219

I do have shortening, but I only use it to grease my pans and then flour. This is the only thing I use margarine in and I'm particular about which ones. I use only real butter in everything else. It's the only way to go :)
allysgram
Sedalia, MO

October 12, 2007
11:06 AM

Post #4074686

Me to. I only use Butter, the real thing, unsalted. I use it in everything and have had no trouble with the texture.Just better taste, and better for your health.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

October 12, 2007
1:46 PM

Post #4075061

Tir-Na-Nog,
I'd say try out your recipe replacing the shortening with the same amount of butter. I don't think the cookies will be ruined, but may be a bit different in texture. I find with all butter the edges brown more and are crisp (at least at first), but are delicious, and I actually like the texture better. I also use only unrefined sugar, again in an effort to eat more unprocessed foods. That may be too much of a flavor difference for some, but, again, I find them richer and more flavorful. I think much of baking is personal prefernce, anyway :).
I suspect your cookies would easily find a home, even if they are not to your taste. In fact, I'll send you my address...
Margo
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 12, 2007
3:00 PM

Post #4075292

Margo you are to awesome!!!! LOL! I was just thinking---you know every time I make them for someone if they don't like them I couldn't tell---they eat 'em up! LOL!!!!

And I realized you know probably not much taste difference because I only use the butter flavored Crisco brand. So the real butter likely would just change the texture. I prefer my cookies soft and chewy and not crisp so I'll have to try a batch and see how it goes. Stocked up on choc chips today!

I know what you mean about preferences and healthy eating though---I had my first taste of BROWN unbleached/unprocessed rice the other day and oh my gosh I will try NOT to even eat white rice now. It actually HAD flavor! It was chewy and oat flavored and so I was able to use less soy sauce (yes I know a big no-no for some davers) but it's a move in the right direction.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

October 12, 2007
3:08 PM

Post #4075316

Tir-Na-Nog wrote;"I prefer my cookies soft and chewy and not crisp"
Just reduce the baking time a bit,and they should be a better texture for you. They'll be softer while warm, too, so eat them quickly *G*

" it's a move in the right direction."
Baby steps are perfect. That's the best way to make a real change, and make it last. I'm like you, I've found that the "whole" products really DO taste better. I ate so many veggies this summer, because they tasted SO good right out of the garden. Plus, they were "mine", and i knew there was no bad stuff added...
Margo
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 12, 2007
4:28 PM

Post #4075573

ohhhh how I long for a home veg garden---first year in another place though and never time to put one in when we first re-settle. hoping next year!
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 12, 2007
4:29 PM

Post #4075580

Okay THAT was weird?
wineaux
Tucson, AZ

October 12, 2007
6:54 PM

Post #4075973

yes it was...LOL
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

October 13, 2007
11:45 AM

Post #4077946

What did I miss??
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 13, 2007
12:04 PM

Post #4077973

:) My post repeated 4x's at the same time! Terry edited it for me.
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

October 13, 2007
12:17 PM

Post #4077992

Thanks:). Have to say that all this talk of cookies has gotten to me. It's nice and chilly, and I need to turn on the oven...Oh! Heavens, how did the flour, butter and chocolate chips get on the counter...
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 13, 2007
12:44 PM

Post #4078043

*snort*! I'm coming over!!!! I live in Texas and even we are having chilly mornings now.
:(
catmad
Pelzer, SC
(Zone 7b)

October 13, 2007
2:11 PM

Post #4078319

Batter hurry. Those things don't last long around here :)
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 16, 2007
9:12 PM

Post #4090225

Okay made a batch. Haven't eaten yet, still cooling. Took longer to bake---about 5 minutes more, yep, thinned out like pancakes. Wondering...can I add more baking powder? Or baking soda? Both of which are in the recipe.

And funny that I mention it-----did you know that baking soda is IN baking powder? So weird.

I will have to keep playing with the recipe and see what I can come up with. If all else fails, I'll just resort to the butter Crisco because I love this recipe. =D
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 16, 2007
11:50 PM

Post #4090759

I ate one. Not worth the calories. They flattened even more after cooling. They are thin and crisp just as I don't like them. Only thing good is the choc chips lol.

Going to go back to same ol' same ol' unless someone has a better suggestions. =)
shune
Burien, WA
(Zone 7b)

October 16, 2007
11:55 PM

Post #4090783

The only suggestion I can think of would be to chill the dough before baking. But you might have already done that. Don't know if it's worth getting another batch of cookies you don't like.
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 19, 2007
3:29 AM

Post #4099664

Well I got the newest edition of The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook today. Page 499 is the "Big and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies" recipe. Described as:

Quoting:The quest began simply enough: We wanted the ultimate home-baked chocolate chip cookie. It had to be thick (1/2" high), jumbo (4" in diameter), and bursting with chocolate. It also had to have a mouthwatering texture that was crispy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. One key element in achieving this cookie, after lots of testing..., was the use of melted butter. It acts very differently from softened butter in a cookie dough (they are not mere substitutes for one another). The melted butter is what accounts for the inside of the cookie being more chewy. But to keep a chewy cookie from being tough, you need to add a little extra fat, which we did in the form of 2 egg yolks. The yolk is what helps the chewy cookie stay tender. And finally, removing the cookies from the oven before they look completely baked and letting them finish baking on the hot baking sheets for 10 minutes is a must because it helps the cookies to set without overbaking and ruining that marvelous chewiness.


Going to try another batch instituting these ideas into my recipe. It would just add 2 egg yolks in addition to both recipes also using 2 eggs and then the melted butter.

Should this not work, I will just try the America's Test Kitchen ccc recipe.

And if that's not fantastic then I'm just back to the plain ol' Crisco, lol.
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 21, 2007
3:07 AM

Post #4106066

DH suggested I follow the ATK's recipe in the book. I was AMAZED at the texture---they were not flat as a pancake, they were not crisp---they were almost perfect! Mine are a little sweeter. It was almost the same quantities of same ingredients but the ATK recipe has 3+ cups of flour, mine only has 2. Going to try this melted butter technique in mine and see how that goes to.
RDT
Crossville, TN
(Zone 6b)

October 21, 2007
11:17 AM

Post #4106559

Tir, can you share your chocolate chip cookie recipe?
Linda
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

October 25, 2007
2:19 PM

Post #4121901

Linda, sorry, not ignoring you, just been busy week and recipes are down while computer is upstairs.

Mix:

1 c Crisco
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teas vanilla

Then add:

1/2 teas salt
1/2 teas baking soda
1 teas baking powder
2 c flour
1 c oatmeal
1 12 oz bag milk choc chips

Bake @ Linda, sorry, not ignoring you, just been busy week and recipes are down while computer is upstairs.

Mix:

1 c Crisco
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teas vanilla

Then add:

1/2 teas salt
1/2 teas baking soda
1 teas baking powder
2 c flour
1 c oatmeal
1 12 oz bag milk choc chips

Bake @ 350° for 10 mins+.
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

November 14, 2007
6:55 PM

Post #4192686

Well I tried the butter in my recipe. They flattened out quite a bit more than the America's Test Kitchen recipe. Though they weren't flat as a pancake. The flavor definately says butter.

Still not quite what I was hoping.

So one more option. Does the BRAND of the butter make a difference? I was using the generic unsalted sticks from Sam's Club.
Bubba_MoCity
Missouri City, TX

November 14, 2007
7:12 PM

Post #4192751

I'm sure that fresh churned butter would be better than any brand, but in Texas, I think Falfurias tastes the best. And as far as I know, it is available in most markets. There was a time when their distribution was much more limited, but we could get it in San Antonio (1964-69). Now I see it everywhere in the Houston area. As for "standing up" as well as a vegetable shortning, probably no brand will do that. Good luck with you trials - keep us all informed of your results.
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

November 15, 2007
12:05 AM

Post #4193760

Thank-you Bubba!
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

November 23, 2007
8:28 AM

Post #4221622

Tir_Na_Nog, you can substiture equal portions of coconut oil or palm oil for the shortening if you do not want to use the melted or clarified butter. Coconut oil is very healthy for the thyroid (and if we're going to eat cookies, we'll need that metabolic boost! LOL!). Palm oil is sold by Spectrum Naturals.
http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=87
Scallionboy
New York, NY

November 23, 2007
1:44 PM

Post #4221814

No offense to garden_mermaid, but I gotta jump in here.

Butter adds flavor, contributes to texture and moistness, and adds to that difficult-to-define, but very real, quality of mouth feel.

For the record: Butter has about 66% saturated fats. By comparison, peanut oil has 18%, soybean oil 15%, olive oil 14% and canola oil 6%.

Palm oil has 58% saturated fats. It's the most widely used cooking oil in the world. But it's not good for you, besides being an ecological disaster.

Coconut oil has 92% saturated fats, MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH AS LARD. It's one of the worst things you can put in your body.

I'm a chef (ok, ex-chef) and not a nutritionist, and I tend to eat what tastes good and not worry too much. Or at least I did until my internist started screaming at me and gave me the scrip for Lipitor (works like a charm). So I've been watching my diet a little bit, and reading a little bit. What's obvious ain't always what's true.

For example: HEAVY CREAM=BAD. OLIVE OIL=GOOD. And it's true that cream is full of bad fats (again, we're not talking about culinary value, and I'm not giving up my ganache or my cream sauces). But a cup of heavy cream has about 860 calories. And a cup of extra virgin olive oil, full of good, unsaturated fats, has about 1900 calories. So it ain't all about the kind of fats.

My deal is that at least cream and butter and olive oil taste good. I just can't see coconut oil, unless maybe it's in my shampoo.

A bientot.
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

November 23, 2007
2:36 PM

Post #4221971

Scallion, as a chef I appreciate your input. As I was reading the suggestion of using coconut oil my inner self was screaming NOOOOOOOOO! I DO appreciate the suggestions of other oils. But I did read up on this stuff years ago and learned that coconut oil (often the oil movie theaters use to make that popcorn, and why most people can't duplicate that MOVIE POPCORN flavor, they don't know it's coconut oil) is terrible for you.

But also as I said in the beginning post...heck, I know cookies aren't health food :). But I know that butter IS better for your body than shortening. Seems I can't find a good substitute just yet though. May give it a try one more time with a name brand butter and see if that helps.
garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

November 23, 2007
8:09 PM

Post #4222807

Scallionboy, I don't disagree that butter adds flavour and texture. But if butter does not create the desired texture in Tir_Na_Nog's oroginal recipe, the coconut oil or palm oil are possible althernatives.

You may be a chef, but I'm a practicing nutrional therapist. The health of my clients improves rapidly when I pull them off of the unhealthy poly unsaturated cooking oils and limit them to naturally stable, healthy traditional fats. Corn oil, canola oil and their kin generate big $$$ for certain vested interests in the agribusiness sector.

Saturated fats got a bad rap years ago due to a study based on consumption of artificially saturated fats (ie, the hydrogentated fat in margarine). This was the study that got healthy tropical oils replaced by the unhealthy hydrogenation of unsaturated oils. That study has since been disproved. Saturated fats are needed for important biological functions.

Unsaturated fats are inherently unstable once extracted from the source and rapidly rancidify. They are difficult to store safely and cause extensive free radical damage to the body. There is a strong correlation between the increased consumption of these unheathy unstable vegetable oils and the incidence of heart disease. Not that ph4rma companies want you to know this. They like the increased market share for their drugs.

Coconut oil and palm oil are very healthy stable fats. Olive oil and butter are also healthy, canola oil is not.

http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/coconut_oil.html
http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/import_sat_fat.html
http://www.enig.com/trans.html

Palm oil is not ecologically unsustainable as a FOOD crop. It is unsustainable as a FUEL crop, as is the use of corn for ethanol. Does that mean we should stop eating corn as a food?

As far as movie popcorn or microwave popcorn goes, there are a host of other chemicals in the "butter flavour" topping beyond just coconut oil. Coconut oil is naturally saturated. So why do so many popcorn bags have "artificially hydrogenated coconut oil" on the ingredient list? Sounds like the manufacturer/food technologists have destroyed the original qualities of the coconut oil and/or are re using some type of waste oil.
shune
Burien, WA
(Zone 7b)

November 24, 2007
12:50 AM

Post #4223621

What about lard? (if you can find non-hydrogenated)
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

November 24, 2007
1:26 AM

Post #4223714

Well I was wanting to skip shortening for it's bad rep, lard probably the same reason.

Decided though for as seldom as I make cookies I'll just keep the Crisco. :)
shune
Burien, WA
(Zone 7b)

November 24, 2007
2:27 AM

Post #4223845

Butter and lard are saturated animal fat. Crisco is hydrogenated vegetable oil. Which is worse?
Scallionboy
New York, NY

November 24, 2007
4:38 AM

Post #4224162

garden_mermaid,
I'm unaware of the qualifications for calling oneself a "practicing nutritional therapist" and what kind of education that requires or what kind of treatment you're allowed to conduct.

And I'm not going to belittle the Weston A. Price Foundation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weston_A._Price without knowing more about Dr. Price, the dentist. But personally, I'll stick to the American Heart Association's opinions on saturated fats http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3045790.

Eat what you wish to eat. But saying that studies have been "disproved" without citing either the study or the refutation, and encouraging people to structure their diets in a way that runs counter to virtually unanimous contemporary medical opinion just doesn't butter any turnips.



garden_mermaid
San Francisco Bay Ar, CA
(Zone 9b)

November 24, 2007
5:47 AM

Post #4224266

I doubt that a "virtually unanimous contemporary medical opinion" exists on anything Scallionboy. You are free to chose the diet you wish to follow. I am merely letting you know that alternative studies exist. The information is widely available if you chose to find it. You can check your local library for Mary Enig's book or Udo Erasmus's book as a start. They have are plenty of citations there. You can also call the Price Foundation for suggestions and follow up on PubMed or your local med school library. I get results with my clients when I change their diets. That's what counts. If you believe that all information provided by the gov't agencies is correct then that is what you should follow. We are each responsible for our own health.

shune, butter and lard are better than Crisco. Crisco is an artificial, highly processed product.


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