Shortening?
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Shortening?
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I always use butter in baking but my first batch of  Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies calls for Crisco so that is what I used.  The next batch I used half Crisco and half butter.  The third ba
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Forums  »  Baking Forums  »  What are you Baking?  »  Shortening?

Shortening?

posted at 3/17/2013 6:12 PM EDT
Posts: 51
First: 3/14/2013
Last: 4/12/2014
I always use butter in baking but my first batch of  Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies calls for
Crisco so that is what I used.  The next batch I used half Crisco and half butter. 
The third batch I used all butter.  
I was astonished to discover that the half and half cookie seemed so much better.
Did I learn something? 
What do you use when baking cookies?

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/17/2013 7:18 PM EDT
Posts: 612
First: 10/17/2012
Last: 4/9/2013
 Hi Sue! I haven't ever thought of the difference. What was better about them? I'm curious.

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/17/2013 7:53 PM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
Sue, there was a great episode of Good Eats on The Food Network.  Alton Brown made cookies all from the same basic recipe but slight variances made big differences in the cookies.
All butter the cookie comes out flatter because the butter has a lower melting point so the cookie spreads out more.
All shortening the cookie comes out puffier.  The shortening has a higher melting point so this allows the cookie to set before the shortening begins to melt resulting in a higher cookie.

There were a lot of other "hints" from adding an extra egg yolk, melting the butter, and more.
I keep meaning to record the episode when I see it again but I never catch the whole thing.
Bottom line is it depends on the type of cookie texture you want.  Much of that I bet is based upon the type of cookie your Mom made when you were a kid. 

If you go to the Food Network site and search for Alton Brown cookie recipe there are three there that use the different methods.  But it does not explain all the other hints and ideas that were presented in the show. 

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/17/2013 10:33 PM EDT
Posts: 1819
First: 9/9/2008
Last: 4/16/2014
I use butter or margarine in cookies but that's just my personal preference.  Usually the recipes that call for shortening get filed and somehow not used lol.

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/18/2013 8:21 AM EDT
Posts: 612
First: 10/17/2012
Last: 4/9/2013
 Nikki, you had the information that I needed. I love puffy cookies! My mom never made cookies except at Christmas.

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/18/2013 10:30 AM EDT
Posts: 4948
First: 6/4/2010
Last: 4/30/2013
I always use butter when baking.The taste of butter makes everything better.I really don't make cookies because I'm lazy so in a  9x 13 goes the cookie dough.Since hubby passed away I haven't baked much.He always wanted something sweet after his dinner.

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/18/2013 11:49 AM EDT
Posts: 2161
First: 8/8/2008
Last: 4/16/2014
Shortening and butter when making pie crust or even oil I can't find a crust I like they just don't teaste like thet use to  Mom'sw crust was useing crisco bu the shoetening to day is not the same as it was back in the50's  anyone finde a good pie crust. tryed about 3 or 4 using all od the above.

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/25/2013 10:29 AM EDT
Posts: 982
First: 9/23/2008
Last: 3/27/2014
I always use butter when baking, mainly because we love the taste.  My Mom made the best pie crust and she always used lard.

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/25/2013 1:24 PM EDT
Posts: 1856
First: 10/8/2010
Last: 2/12/2014
My mom always used Crisco for pie crust.  I like half butter half Crisco, not some other brand of shortening.  For cookies I usually use butter because that's what I have.  I do have Mom's brownie recipe that calls for shortening.  That reminds me, I need to buy Crisco

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/25/2013 1:33 PM EDT
Posts: 2161
First: 8/8/2008
Last: 4/16/2014
all butter never anything else

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/25/2013 2:31 PM EDT
Posts: 1417
First: 10/26/2009
Last: 3/15/2014
I generally use whatever the recipe calls for, shortening, butter, margarine. I love to bake, but I'm a recipe-follower and not very adventuresome. I guess I'm afraid that if I vary the recipe, it may not turn out, and I HATE wasting ingredients! lol
RE: pie crust - I followed my Mom's recipe using lard. It took me about 15 years to get it right! However, a few years ago my older sister introduced me to Trader Joe's frozen pie dough, and I now use that all the time. My family never noticed the difference, and it's so much easier. I do roll their dough a little thinner than what they suggest.

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/25/2013 8:51 PM EDT
Posts: 3406
First: 10/6/2010
Last: 4/15/2014
Verlee, next time you need a pie crust make your own but use 1/2 water and 1/2 vodka in place of the ice water.  Ice the vodka and use that.  You can use more liquid as it will evaporate off in baking still leaving you with a flaky tender crust.  I was watching America's Test Kitchen or Cooks Country and they gave that as a hint.  It works.  I can add more liquid so the dough is easy to work with but I end up with a great crust. 

Re: Shortening?

posted at 3/26/2013 6:14 PM EDT
Posts: 1856
First: 10/8/2010
Last: 2/12/2014
Thanks for the tip, nikki.  Now I'll have to go buy vodka.