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Old 03-17-2012, 07:31 AM   #1
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What's with margarine?

I have to admit I haven't baked my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe for a long time. When I try it with butter, it works well, but when I try it with margarine, it just doesn't turn out the same as it used to at all.

Is margarine just not the same as it used to be?

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Old 03-17-2012, 08:46 AM   #2
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Margerine is not the same a butter and never has been. There are all different types of marg. and they are not always interchangeable with butter. Stick with butter.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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butter rocks. a friend once asked me to make a spice cake according to her family recipe for a gathering she was having. i couldn't bring myself to use the margarine and substituted butter instead. her mother was a little miffed because all the adult kids talked about how it was better than they'd ever tasted!
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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butter is a natural food product. margarine is colored oil partially hydrogenated to be hard at room temp. It has proven to be far less healthy than the real food product butter. It also tastes like sour oil.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #5
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When I was a kid, you bought oleomargerine as a white brick or in a bag. The coloring agent was separate. You had to add it and mix it well to all of it was yellow. This took a lot of time. It was our job to do this as it was very time consuming. I swore that when I grew up, I would only buy butter. I have kept that promise to myself.

Margerine at that time was made from lard. Now it is chemicals and oil products. Read the labels. When you use it for baking cookies, the oil spreads and your cookies do not puff up like they do with butter. Butter has natural water in it and when in a baked product, it causes the water to change to steam thus a higher product. Do not exchange butter for margerine. But please do exchange margerine for butter. You will have a better product and it will taste so much better. If a recipe calls for margerine, it is probably a very old recipe or the person who wrote it cannot or will not go to the expense of purchasing the better product of butter. Butter is
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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I don't remember where i heard this but margarine is only one molecule from being plastic I'm not sure if its true but seems like it.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. I'll remember that butter is better, but it's just that years ago when I baked these cookies using margarine, they turned out pretty good, but now it seems like they are putting a lot more water into the margarine or something.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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butter is better
Thats a good way to remember it too.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:14 PM   #9
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I don't remember where i heard this but margarine is only one molecule from being plastic I'm not sure if its true but seems like it.
I heard that also. And I tend to believe it. There are some things I don't listen to my doctor about. And using butter is one of them. We get Cabot butter here in New England. It is less than a dollar more than the house brand. But the taste is a million dollars different. So whenever it goes on sale, I load up. Right now I have eight pounds of it in the freezer. It is made in Vermont and shipped out every day. So the taste is always fresh. Land of Lakes for us, comes from their plant in NJ. It doesn't have the fresh taste that Cabot's has.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:16 PM   #10
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I don't remember where i heard this but margarine is only one molecule from being plastic I'm not sure if its true but seems like it.
Not true, its one of those urban legends that gets passed around from time to time. Margarine is made from vegetable oil.

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Thanks everyone. I'll remember that butter is better, but it's just that years ago when I baked these cookies using margarine, they turned out pretty good, but now it seems like they are putting a lot more water into the margarine or something.
It is quite likely that the brand of margarine you chose is to blame. Some margarines DO have a higher proportion of water in them. Look for a margarine that is 90+% canola, sunflower or other vegetable oil.

Margarine has its place in baking. You just need to be judicious in its usage. Some cookies will bake very flat when you use butter, but puff up nicely when you use margarine. This is due to the melting points of each of the fats. Don't be afraid to use margarine, just be careful which one you buy. Some are definitely better than others.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:30 PM   #11
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To add to what Alix said, these days there are actually butter, margarine, and what I call fake margarine (just called spreads). If you do cook with margarine, make sure it is actually margarine and not just a spread. Also, tub margarine is not for baking, just the sticks.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:09 PM   #12
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When I was a kid, you bought oleomargerine as a white brick or in a bag. The coloring agent was separate. You had to add it and mix it well to all of it was yellow. This took a lot of time. It was our job to do this as it was very time consuming. I swore that when I grew up, I would only buy butter. I have kept that promise to myself.

Margerine at that time was made from lard. Now it is chemicals and oil products. Read the labels. When you use it for baking cookies, the oil spreads and your cookies do not puff up like they do with butter. Butter has natural water in it and when in a baked product, it causes the water to change to steam thus a higher product. Do not exchange butter for margerine. But please do exchange margerine for butter. You will have a better product and it will taste so much better. If a recipe calls for margerine, it is probably a very old recipe or the person who wrote it cannot or will not go to the expense of purchasing the better product of butter. Butter is
Been there, done that. My sister and I used to fight over who got to squeeze the bag.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:15 PM   #13
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Been there, done that. My sister and I used to fight over who got to squeeze the bag.
The bag wasn't too bad. Coloring the brick with the potato masher took for ever. I hated that job. The reason we got the brick was because it was cheaper.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:04 PM   #14
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Margarine in Quebec was uncoloured for years, by law. No one bothered to mix in yellow food colouring, though I know about that from my mum.

It meant that I could tell in a restaurant if they had put butter or margarine on my toast before tasting it.

Unfortunately, margarine companies in other provinces convinced the courts that it was unfair competition, so now we can get coloured margarine here.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:10 PM   #15
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Look for a margarine that is 90+% canola, sunflower or other vegetable oil.

Okay, I will! Safeway just has two kinds in sticks, Blue Bonnet is the one I used last, and neither one of them are any good...I'll have to look as I go to other stores.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:21 PM   #16
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I don't remember where i heard this but margarine is only one molecule from being plastic I'm not sure if its true but seems like it.
That is said of many foods in an attempt to show that they're bad for you. Sometimes, it's true. But it's completely meaningless as a measure of being natural or beneficial or a hazard. Oxygen is one molecule from being deadly carbon monoxide. Will you avoid oxygen? Water is one molecule from hydrogen peroxide. Gonna give up water. Salt is one molecule from being a poison. Early plastics were made from egg and milk proteins.

The same meaningless statement is made about Cool Whip, Velveeta, Cheese Whiz, and Pam. This sort of thing runs rampant on the Internet, along with all sorts of other misinformation.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by GLC

That is said of many foods in an attempt to show that they're bad for you. Sometimes, it's true. But it's completely meaningless as a measure of being natural or beneficial or a hazard. Oxygen is one molecule from being deadly carbon monoxide. Will you avoid oxygen? Water is one molecule from hydrogen peroxide. Gonna give up water. Salt is one molecule from being a poison. Early plastics were made from egg and milk proteins.

The same meaningless statement is made about Cool Whip, Velveeta, Cheese Whiz, and Pam. This sort of thing runs rampant on the Internet, along with all sorts of other misinformation.
I was told in Nursing school it was because margarine can have the same effect on your arteries as plastic building up plaque, etc., etc... I can't remember all the details now.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:39 PM   #18
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Butter is a natural animal product used as a cooking fat and as a spread.

Margarine is a vegetable oil product intended primarily as a spread. It has a significant water content which has to be taken into account if you want to use it for frying.

I'm not an expert baker and thus have no comment about margarine's baking qualities.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:43 PM   #19
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I don't remember when it happened, but "they" said margarine was not good for you because of the oils and fats, so the manufacturers started adding water to the product to replace I don't know how much of the fat. Before moving here to Mexico, I used Nucoa because it was labeled margarine when most of the others were labeled spreads. See if you can find a product labeled margarine and try your cookies again. I agree, some cookies bake better when using margarine.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:58 PM   #20
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Just playing the devil's advocate here...

Let's say you have a product with serving size of 1 oz. (2 tablespoons) which has X amount of calories, fats, carbohydrates, etc... Let's say you reformulate it and add 50% water. Now you have a product with the same 1 oz. serving size but now it's only half the amount of calories, fats, carbohydrates, etc. Yeah, it's also half the amount of vitamins and minerals but who looks at their spread to ensure they get their RDA of vitamins and minerals?

And what ingredient could be cheaper than water?
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