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Thread: Question: What kind of butter for Cookies?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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    Question Question: What kind of butter for Cookies?

    Hi,

    As a lot a girls are already planning for Christmas baking, I have couple questions:

    1- What kind of butter do you use for your cookies?

    2- Can I substitute by margarine?

    3- How long before Christmas can I make them so they keep fresh?

    4- In what kind of container do you store them?

    Thanks for answering my questions.

    Hélène


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    Post

    Helene,

    I'm a firm believer that most cookie recipes (not CL's, of course) contain twice as much butter as necessary. (Well, sometimes) I always use Land O' Lakes Light Butter; it has half the calories and fat of regular, and everything I've made it with has turned out great. I'm sure something like lace cookies, in which the butter has to melt just so, wouldn't work, but for most things light butter has always worked well for me. The package says not to use it for baking, but what do they know?
    Hope this helps!
    Emily

  3. #3

    Post

    1- What kind of butter do you use for your cookies?

    I always use regular, unsalted butter. I feel that substitutes just don't make for the same quality cookie. Though after reading emilycat's comment, I'm kinda curious to try!

    2- Can I substitute by margarine?

    I don't like to substitute margarine, but you certainly can if you wish to. It can change the consistency of the cookie since it's a bit more "watery". Also, I'd rather have the extra cholestrol and avoid the partially hydrogenated oils in margarine. Margarine has gotten such a bad rap lately that I'd rather just use butter which tastes better anyway.

    3- How long before Christmas can I make them so they keep fresh?

    I haven't stored baked cookies for an extended period of time, but you can roll the cookie dough into logs, freeze for up to 2 months, and then just slice and bake when ready. Very handy.

    4- In what kind of container do you store them?

    Since I freeze the cookie dough, I roll the logs in parchment paper, secure ends with tape and then place in a ziploc bag or wrap in tinfoil. I have frozen baked cookies in a tupperware-type container before and that seemed to work just fine.

    Hope this helps a little.




    [This message has been edited by lindrusso (edited 10-16-2000).]

  4. #4

    Post

    I was a skeptic about freezing cookies until 2 years ago when I was asked by my best friend to make my mom's Christmas cut-outs. She had them when we were kids, and she couldn't make them herself, no matter how hard she tried. They live 350 miles away so I baked them, put them in a Rubbermaid or Tupperware container, put waxed paper between each layer, and put them in the freezer. Drove them back, and you would have thought we just pulled them out of the oven. (They were not frosted - she was going to do that).

    I'm a butter convert. I stock up when it's on sale. It makes a richer butter cookie, and you can definitely tell a difference in the taste. In a pinch, though, if I don't have butter handy, I will use margarine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Lone Star State
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    Post

    I use unsalted butter for most cookies, but I have a couple where I found I like margarine better. Butter and margarine can result in different textures, especially since there can be a lot of variance in brands of margarine, from types of fat to water and air content. When I do use margarine for baking, I stick to a brand that I know works. I have heard a lot here about Land O Lakes light, and I might try, but probably not with holiday baking.

    I freeze cookie dough, usually in waxed paper rolled logs like described above, but I haven't frozen the baked cookies. At the holidays, I use tins or Tupperware type containers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, In 46219
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    155

    Post

    I use Blue Bonnett butter. On the front of the package it says Perfect For Baking, so thats why I buy it. My how easy of a sell am I!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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    Cool

    Thanks for all the replies.

    This year I will try to use butter instead of margarine and finally what a great idea of freezing the dough. I never thought of if.
    Then around Christmas all I will have to do is bake them and then present them in nice tin boxes.

    Have a great day.

    Hélène

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
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    Post

    I use unsalted butter as well (Land O' Lakes), but I do use butter flavor Crisco when I make chocolate chip cookies.

    On the subject of baking, has anyone seen the ads for the super-fine sugar they are now selling in grocery stores? I can't remember the brand (maybe C&H?), but I saw the ad in the November MSL. The ad said it's supposed to be superior in baking to regular granulated sugar because it does not clump as much. It's the kind bakers use. Wondered if anyone has tried it....

  9. #9

    Post

    I generally will use butter for most cookie recipes. Butter adds so much more flavor - and it also adds a crispness you can't get with margerine or shortening.

    HOWEVER, butter can't do everything. If I'm looking for a more tender, chewy consistency, I'll opt for 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening or margerine. The holidays are the only time that margerine ever makes it NEAR my kitchen -- and it's all for the sake of texture


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Lone Star State
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    Originally posted by Danielle:
    On the subject of baking, has anyone seen the ads for the super-fine sugar they are now selling in grocery stores? I can't remember the brand (maybe C&H?), but I saw the ad in the November MSL. The ad said it's supposed to be superior in baking to regular granulated sugar because it does not clump as much. It's the kind bakers use. Wondered if anyone has tried it....
    I have seen the ads also (C&H), but have not seen it in the stores. I don't know if we will get it since our stores don't carry C&H. I've never really had a problem with the regular stuff, and our local brand does carry a superfine. Other than dissolving in meringues or cold drinks, does anyone feel a need? Or is this a way for C&H to try to expand their market by creating demand for another product. Also, I think you can just whir regular sugar in your processor for an occassional use of superfine sugar.

  11. #11

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    On the subject of superfine sugar, I'm wondering why suddenly the media blitz. Stuff's been around for years, actually. I have a very old recipe for chocolate mousse that utilizes it. Seems to me that once along the way I was in a pinch and couldn't find superfine, and the regular granulated worked just fine-- even in something like that...

    Insofar as the butter questions are concerned, I think whether or not you subsitute butter for margarine depends upon your recipe. Something predominantly butter-- such as a spritz-- I would NEVER use anything but butter. No matter what anyone says, I simply don't believe margarine imparts the same flavor OR texture. If it's a fairly minor ingredient in the cookie, sure you can cheat and go with the margarine. Just be sure to use stick margarine, not tub. It's also a good idea to check your product to make sure it doesn't say "not recommended for baking." I've got some recipes which say only "shortening." I'll actually use Crisco instead of either butter or margarine in those. Insofar as butter is concerned, I use the best I can find (usually Land O'Lakes salted) although I have recipes which specifically ask for unsalted.

    I'm not a big one for pre-baking and storing, nor do I generally freeze either cookies or dough. Not that I'm saying it's a bad practice, rather (1) I don't have room in my freezer and (2) I kind of enjoy the whole baking while listening to Christmas music thing. I don't want to do things too far in advance. A lot of recipes these days are very nice, providing freezing and storage suggestions. Others you just kind of learn. Bar cookies don't usually keep too long-- I usually save them for last. Ginger cookies (mine anyway) seem to get better with age, so I'll actually make them about four days before I'm planning to serve or give them away. Some cookies change and mellow with age-- certain spice cookies, for example, or shortbread. Others seem to have very short shelf lives. If I were baking somewhat in advance, I'd be inclined to prepare and freeze the stuff with the shorter shelf life so I can do them at the last minute, then go ahead and bake the ones that need to age a bit.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Naples, Florida
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    158

    Post

    I frequently use 1/2 butter and 1/2 lower fat stick margarine, and I've never had any problems. But as Gail said, it also depends on the recipe. If I think that the recipe truly requires all butter, then that is what I use. However, I usually like my cookies to be a little thicker and chewier rather than crispy, so I also use 1/2 butter or margarine and 1/2 butter-flavored Crisco. I guess I wouldn't know if alot of my recipes would taste better with all butter, because I've always used a combination in most of them !!
    As for freezing, I have frozen dough many times, but not baked cookies. I don't even bother to shape it into logs; I just scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a sheet of waxed paper and fold up the edges, shaping it into a round at the same time. Then I put it in a Ziploc bag and label it and into the freezer it goes. I've found that even in a big lump it takes practically no time at all to defrost on the kitchen counter.

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