The funny thing about butter is that a lot of people treat is as the red headed step child of cookie baking, seriously. They make a big deal out of the flour. They wax poetic about the quality of the sugar that they use. They might even launch into long conversations and discussions and expositions regarding the choice of cookie pans that they use. When it comes to the butter, people might shrug their shoulders. They might have the casual attitude of thinking that any stick of butter is as good as any other.
This really is too bad because butter adds a tremendous amount of flavor, body, and personality to your cookie recipes. The next time you bake a batch of cookies that requires butter, compare that batch with previous batches. If something seems off, or if something seems unusual, this might have more to do with the fact that you either cut back on the butter, or you did something that impacted the fat level or fat content of your cookie batter.
This is extremely important to note because a lot of people can easily get stuck in their cookie baking hobby. If you tend to bake cookies casually, you might be thinking that it’s a one way street. It can only go up. You might think that you’ll always remain passionate as far as baking is concerned. Well, this is assuming too much because let’s face it, you’re only one bad batch away from doubting your baking skills. You really are.
When was the last time that you burned a batch? Didn’t it knock you back on your heels? Didn’t it kind of discourage you for a few days? Well, this happens to the very best of us. And unfortunately, if it happens with any frequency, it can mean a downward spiral for you. You start doubting your ability to bake. You even may reach a point where you feel that you really can’t get it together for some reason or other. It seems that regardless of what you try, when you try, or how you try, things just don’t work out.
Well, there’s no need to enter that downward spiral zone because believe me, once you’ve entered that zone, it’s really hard to crawl out. So do yourself a big favor and just pay more attention to the butter content of your cookie recipe. You can substitute margarine, but pay attention to the impact on the texture as well as the taste.
By constantly experimenting and figuring out the sweet spot for butter in your recipe, you can actually cut back on the amount of fat your cookie recipe requires while at the same time maximizing the butter’s flavor. There’s no need to treat butter as some sort of alien or unwanted ingredient that you’d rather do without.
Instead, treat it the way it should be treated, which is an amazing flavor source that can truly wake up the vibrancy and texture, as well as taste of your baked creations. You have to constantly experiment because this is not just going to materialize overnight. The magic formula is just not going to drop in your lap for no reason. You have to actively search for it. You have to go through several dozen batches on a completely trial and error basis. But once you hit that formula, then you’re well on your way to creating one awesome batch after another.
The limits of butter
Now comes the hard part. Sure, when you’ve whipped out your cookie pans and slapping on them some awesome cookie batter, you might be thinking that you’re in for some great cookies. You might think this is all a slam dunk. While that very well might be true, please do keep in mind that there are limits to butter. Butter won’t cover up the lack of salt. Butter won’t cover up any shortfalls in sugar. In other words, you need to make sure your cookie recipe is still on point. You can’t just rely on butter to carry your cookie recipe. If you did, that’s a surefire recipe for disappointment.
At the very least, take care of the right salt and sugar level. Make sure the cookies have the right topping so you can be assured of a nice combination of great taste and texture. If you’re going to fill out the texture of the cookie, you might want to include baking with flaxseed or other ground up seed. This can go a long way in not only boosting the overall dietary fiber content of your cookie batch, this addition can add much needed texture.
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