Cookie Making Tips #1: Butter or Shortening?

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Should you use butter or shortening in your cookies? Here are some things to consider:

Knowing the differences between butter and shortening can help you decide which ingredient is right for your cookies. The main reason for using shortening instead of butter is that it has a higher melting point. This helps the cookies maintain their shape during baking, leaving you with a puffier, more cake-like cookie. Butter’s lower melting point increases the spread of the dough during baking, resulting in a flatter, browner, and crispier cookie.Butter also has water in it naturally, while shortening does not. If you plan to use shortening in a recipe that calls for butter, you may want to add some water to the dough; about 1.5 teaspoons per ¼ cup of shortening. Most people will still prefer the taste of butter over shortening.

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