Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Taste Test Tuesday: Chocolate Chip Cookies...Real butter vs. Dairy free margarine

Yesterday, I made two batches of cookies. One batch with real butter and one batch with dairy free margarine sticks (I used blue bonnet light). I've made cookies with dairy free margarine sticks before but never actually taste tested them right along side cookies made with real butter. Let me tell you, if you follow the recipes exactly, there is a huge difference. My son, along with some of my friends children, have a dairy allergy. So, I did this just to compare the cookies.

I melt my real butter (and then let it cool to room temperature) before adding it to the sugar when I make cookies. This makes for a cookie that is really chewy. However, after brainstorming for a while about why the dairy free cookies didn't turn out as good, I realized that it has the opposite affect when using dairy free margarine. It actually makes the batter extremely runny, like soup.

All in all, you can definitely make cookies with dairy free margarine and they will taste good (as long as you just use room temperature butter that is not melted). However, cookies made with real butter are no contest the best way to make a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie!!

THE BEST (in my opinion) Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 whole large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt - can substitute with Fleur de Sel or grey sea salt (this is what I use)
1 cup chocolate chips (You can use up to 2 cups, if desired. I really like just one cup and I used to make all of my cookie recipes with 2 cups.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Melt the butter then allow to cool to room temperature (This is a very important step if you are using real butter. If you are using dairy free margarine then skip this step and just let your margarine come to room temperature). Then using a large bowl or in your upright mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown and white sugar on high speed. Next add the vanilla extract, egg, egg yolk and beat until smooth (make sure to crack eggs into a separate bowl to make sure there are no shells pieces).

Sift the flour and baking soda together (if you don't have a sifter you can just use a whisk). Then stir in the salt and set aside. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using stoneware or a greased cookie sheet, form equal size rounds of dough (about 1/4cup of dough). Make sure to leave enough space between each cookie as they will spread out as they bake. Refrigerate for fifteen minutes before baking.

Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes or until the edges turn a light golden color. Once done, cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.


beckyquilts said...

I used to use a solid old fashioned margarine for cookies and the texture was fine. Problem is now they say that the trans-fats are bad for you..."Light" margarines have a lot of water in them that doesn't do well in cookie batters. Look for a margarine that has little water and don't melt the margarine first. Just cream the margarine and sugar together and add the other ingredients.

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