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Old 03-20-2012, 08:39 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Not all butter is the same...

And you thought butter was just butter.
I don't want to get into a disagreement with you. My point is that margarine varies in composition far more than butter. Butters vary usually AFAIK only several percent in composition of fats, milk solids, etc. where margarine by contrast can vary much more than that, and is wildly different than butter.

Butter is a cooking fat and a spread. Margarine is a spread with pretensions (in some peoples' minds) of being a cooking fat, although not as bizarre to consider using in baking, provided you adjust your recipe.

As far as taste? IMO no comparison at all! Butter is butter and it tastes like butter, and it tastes good! (Yes, butters vary a lot on taste, I agree with that.) Margarine tastes like... like it wants to be butter and it's pretending to be butter, but margarine is NOT butter!
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:02 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I don't want to get into a disagreement with you. My point is that margarine varies in composition far more than butter. Butters vary usually AFAIK only several percent in composition of fats, milk solids, etc. where margarine by contrast can vary much more than that, and is wildly different than butter.

Butter is a cooking fat and a spread. Margarine is a spread with pretensions (in some peoples' minds) of being a cooking fat, although not as bizarre to consider using in baking, provided you adjust your recipe.

As far as taste? IMO no comparison at all! Butter is butter and it tastes like butter, and it tastes good! (Yes, butters vary a lot on taste, I agree with that.) Margarine tastes like... like it wants to be butter and it's pretending to be butter, but margarine is NOT butter!
Yahoo!! Margerine is not butter. During this past recession you have to look closely. A quart of ice cream is not a quart any more. It has the same package, but there is less in there. Now I am wondering if margerine has met the same fate. I will have to look the next time I go shopping. A pound is no longer a pound.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:38 PM   #53
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What's odd today is that various "buttery" spreads have come to be what so many people assume butter tastes like, and many would think real butter inferior because it doesn't have the "hyperbutter" flavor. And would think there's something wrong with it, because it doesn't ripple up smoothly under the knife as tub spreads do.

Unilever claims, "Now 4 out of 5 butter lovers agree, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Original tastes just as good as fresh butter!"

Either they are merely people who blindly agreed that they "love butter" without actually tasting it much, or it happened that four of their five test subjects had a tasting disability. Of course, they don't actually say it tastes like butter. They say it tastes "as good as" butter. I guess I would agree. It's not an unpleasant taste, just as butter isn't unpleasant. But it's not butter taste. It's what a clever engineer would create who had exhaustively researched descriptions of butter and had analyzed the flavor components of butter, without actually having tasted butter.



"More flavor!", his masters commanded. And he jacked up the flavor again. Having themselves no more knowledge or memory of butter, they finally declared it done, issuing only one more command. "Salt hell out of it, and send it out."

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Old 03-20-2012, 10:44 PM   #54
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Just add a major dose of MSG to your margarine if you can't believe it isn't butter...

SRSLY, is this issue about taste, health or cooking facility? The answers are different in every category.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:20 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
Just add a major dose of MSG to your margarine if you can't believe it isn't butter...

SRSLY, is this issue about taste, health or cooking facility? The answers are different in every category.
Taste: Butter
Health: Butter
Cooking: Butter

My choice is clear.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:32 PM   #56
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Taste: Butter
Health: Butter
Cooking: Butter

My choice is clear.
I can't disagree with you, even though the OP's post and the topic is why his/her cookie recipe isn't working.

I like to use margarine as an occasional pan fry fat (99% of the time, to fry an egg) and I use more/mostly often olive oil and/or butter in baking.

But still, our job is to find out why the OP's recipe isn't working. Doesn't matter what you or I like margarine vs. butter.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:58 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I can't disagree with you, even though the OP's post and the topic is why his/her cookie recipe isn't working.

I like to use margarine as an occasional pan fry fat (99% of the time, to fry an egg) and I use more/mostly often olive oil and/or butter in baking.

But still, our job is to find out why the OP's recipe isn't working. Doesn't matter what you or I like margarine vs. butter.
I don't know why her recipe isn't working. You asked the question about choices.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:03 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Alix View Post
We've sort of gotten away from the OP's original question. As interesting as all our opinions are, we really should try to answer the question without getting too far afield.

I'll reiterate that margarine's are not created equally and thanks to Barbara for reminding us about the tub margarine not being good for baking! Definitely look for the baking margarine in blocks or squares, and again, look at the ingredient label for the proportions of the ingredients. The higher the content of vegetable oil the better off you will be. I have found that Parkay works well for baking and strangely, Safeway's generic brand is also very good. Depending on what I am baking I will use half margarine, half butter. I'm not sure what the prices are like where you live, but here, margarine is about 1/3 the price of butter.

Butter gets saved for toast and for finishing dishes here. I bake so much that we'd be broke if I used butter for everything. I have to admit, I wouldn't anyway because some things just don't bake as well with butter. I have even (gasp of horror!) chosen to use lard to make some things as it gives a better result!
Look it up. Lard is healthier than an equal amount of butter. But I still wouldn't spread it on my toast.

Sausage grease spooned over pancakes though, that's good eating.

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Old 03-21-2012, 02:41 PM   #59
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I don't know why her recipe isn't working. You asked the question about choices.
Well I've addressed the OP's question as best as I can, by theorizing that the higher water content and lower fat content of margarine vs. butter has changed the recipe for the worse. She took away some shortening and added some water, in a recipe that does not call for water.

I'd have to arrange a scientific experiment to prove my theory. I would bake three batches of cookies.
  • a control batch baked with the standard butter recipe
  • a margarine batch baked with margarine replacing butter
  • a special batch baked with a water/butter mixture
The water/butter mixture would be adjusted to have the same quantity of fat and water as the margarine.

Then I would have a group of test subjects taste a cookie from each batch without knowing which batches were which and have them answer a questionnaire and describe what they thought of each cookie.

If nothing else it would either prove or disprove my theory that it's the water in the margarine (and the lower fat content) that spoils the cookie recipe.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:15 PM   #60
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Look it up. Lard is healthier than an equal amount of butter. But I still wouldn't spread it on my toast.

Sausage grease spooned over pancakes though, that's good eating.
There are no biscuits like lard biscuits.
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