Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Did you know...Shortening, Butter, Margarine...Interchangeable???

So many times we are in the middle of a recipe and we realize that we are out of shortening. But, we do have butter, or margarine.  Can they be substituted for shortening?  What are the differences?  What will the end result be?

Well, I am here to tell you that you can substitute butter/margarine for shortening.

Butter or stick margarine can be substituted for shortening in equal portions in cake and cookie recipes.  Most people prefer butter because of the flavor.

However, you can expect some changes in the texture of your baked goods.  Cookies made with butter will be darker in color and tend to spread out more as they bake.  Using part butter and part shortening will help cookies keep their shape during baking.

Cakes made with butter can be as light and tender as those made with shortening IF the butter and sugar are creamed properly.  During the creaming process, the sugar and butter are beaten together to incorporate air bubles into the fat, which helps make the cake texture light.

For best results, start with butter at room temperature (65F degrees).  The bowl and beaters should be cool to prevent the butter from getting too warm as you beat it.  Before you begin, it is also a good idea to rinse both the bowl and beater in ice water.

Cream the butter and sugar for 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and continue with your recipe as normal.

Following these simple guidelines can really help your baking be the best it can be!

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