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Old 02-10-2007, 11:42 AM   #1
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Shortening Questions - Advice/Help

I came across a baking recipe I would like to try. The recipe calls for shortening. Is there something else I could use in place of same for baking? How healthy(?) is shortening? Since, I've never cooked with Crisco or lard, I did some poking around on the web, and got lost in descriptions of trans-fats being lowered in Crisco etc - or sub 1/2 butter and 1/2 margarine. What do you use for shortening in a baking recipe? Any input/advice from the bakers out there is appreciated TIA.

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Old 02-10-2007, 11:54 AM   #2
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Crisco is now trans-fat free. You can sub butter or probably margarine (not much healthier if it is regular margarine). What is the "baking" recipe? It sometimes makes more difference in cookies than cakes. Sometimes if you take the recipe as a whole and calculate its "healthiness" by the bite, it may not make a whole lot of difference.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:59 AM   #3
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Mish, what exactly are you baking? Could you post the recipe? And how concerned are you about what you are eating?

Shortening is vegetable fat so in that respect it is better for you than either butter or lard. But then you run into the hydrogenated issue and the trans fats issue.

I personally feel that if I am baking and eating something I have baked I'm not going to consume a ton of any of it.

My personal choice is usually to go with lard instead of shortening. I won't go into my weird reasoning there, just that I prefer to use animal rather than vegetable that has been altered to stay solid at room temp.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:05 PM   #4
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mish, I usually use butter. But lard and Crisco both make great pie crusts.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:07 PM   #5
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Here is the recipe I had in mind - JUMBO Coffee-Cake Muffins:

Jumbo Coffee-Cake Muffins

But, yikes, the fat is way up there.

I love coffee cake, and thought the muffins were a great idea - reminded me of the pre-packaged "Little Debbies" - but BIGGER. Also thought about adding chocolate chips to the mix - but ouch - may be too high in fat for me (sour cream & all).
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:11 PM   #6
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mish, that's not all that much shortening. 1/4 cup is half a stick of butter - spread out amongst 6 huge muffins (you could eat them one-half at a time). Use fat-free sour cream. Or use applesauce.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:23 PM   #7
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If it's a cake, you can use any type of oil instead of shortening, including olive but not motor, on a one-to-one basis. I've made lots of cakes with olive oil as the shortening, and they came out great.

If your making cookies, you can use butter instead of shortening , again on a one-to-one basis. The cookies will come out crispier, and they will bake a bit faster, so keep a close eye on them.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:30 PM   #8
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Mish, yes you can replace the shortening with any vegetable oil and to reduce the fat content, use low fat milk, sour cream or yoghurt. But do increase the baking soda to 1/2 tsp for better rising.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:44 PM   #9
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Muffins are very forgiving Mish. Go olive oil or applesauce, that will be great. Let us know how they turn out.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine
If it's a cake, you can use any type of oil instead of shortening, including olive but not motor, on a one-to-one basis. I've made lots of cakes with olive oil as the shortening, and they came out great.

If your making cookies, you can use butter instead of shortening , again on a one-to-one basis. The cookies will come out crispier, and they will bake a bit faster, so keep a close eye on them.
Caine, lol. I'm leaning toward the olive oil. All good advice. Thank you.
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