I just got a call from a client needing "dairy-free" cookies. Do some of you substitute margarine for the butter in the recipe? (I know some margarines still contain milk, so I'll have to find one that doesn't.)
Because of the higher water content, do you have to add a bit of extra flour when substituting?
Thanks for the help, anything appreciated!!
Have you considered using solid vegetable oil shortening (like Crisco) and butter flavor plus a little water? No dairy here.
All âmargarine-likeâ products that I would consider using in No Fail Sugar Cookies contain dairy (they contain whey which is a dairy product).
More on margarineâ¦
In the USA butter and margarine have close to the same amount of fat (~80%) and water (~17%).
In NFSC, the hard, stick margarine will actually make the cookie spread less, even though spreading is not an issue with the NFSC using butter. You do give up a bit on flavor and mouthfeel when you use margarine in place of butter.
The other products that people confuse with âmargarineâ are the âvegetable oil spreadsâ. They typically contain 65% fat and lots of other stuff, including water. Some people have good results and others have surprises. The main thing holding âvegetable oil spreadsâ together are the emulsifiers and they can âbreakâ under a variety of conditions.
I would avoid using the soft products sold in tub containers for baking.
I wisk you good luck in finding an acceptable alternative.
Thanks so much for all that awesome info, Peanut123!
I bought some dairy-free margarine at the health food store today and I'll try the recipe out with it. (Unfortunately, the client asked that I not use shortening...she'd prefer margarine, but she'll get what works best in my opinion!! )
I use margarine (preference is Imperial brand) anytime a recipe says "butter". Grew up in a house of 6 kids in the days where single income was the norm, and when you had 6 kids to feed, you did NOT "waste" money on real butter when the 29 cent A&P brand yellow stick of fat worked JU--U-U-U-U-UST fine!
My dil is vegan so had to come up with dairy free. I bought vegan margarine at the health food store
Thank you both! I wasn't sure if I could simply substitute margarine for butter. Do you have to compensate with a little more flour due to margarine's water content...or is that irrelevant? The cookie still won't spread out of shape or anything?
Yep, you sure can. I grew up substituting marg for butter my whole life. It wasn't until a few years ago that my mom started baking with half butter and half marg that I even knew there was a difference!
I was watching Alton Brown last night and he said that if you want to sub shortening for butter that you add 20% less shortening than butter and use 20% more milk to allow for the liquid:fat difference between the two.
I most always make the NFSC with imperial marg ! Works great,doesent spread ! Not sure thats one you can use but I then would think other brands would work to !
If you use Imperial, Fleishmans, or Blue Bonnet you should not have any trouble. These margarines are all recommended for baking and have less water content. I prefer Imperial but I am sure the other are equally tasty.
Thank you so much everyone for all your help! Much appreciated.
We just want to see what your creating next !LOL!
GREAT NEED TO KNOW INFO
peanut123... nice to know for whenever needed, Thanks !
where do you find that kind of margarine?
I travel a lot and always make time to explore the local grocery stores looking for interesting ideas and ingredients. I have seen this brand of margarine in Washington, D.C., Kansas, and Texas.
The box indicates that it is distributed by Motherâs Food Products in Elmwood Park, N.J. A quick internet search shows numbers of (201)589-4900 for phone and (201)589-5297 for fax.
Hope that helps.
My order isn't until June, so nothing to report back yet.
I'll see if the local health-food store carries any brands like that, Peanut123. I'm in Toronto, Ontario though...so maybe they have something similar. Thanks!
Okay, the client actually called and now needs the cookie order for this Sunday, so I went on the search for the margarine and am just baking now.
I initially went for the firmer Imperial margarine in pre-measured 1/2 cup squares, trying to avoid the softer brands in tubs. Just like Peanut123 pointed out though, many brands might not be milk-based, but they DO contain whey powder in the ingredients. I couldn't use those for this order.
So, I visited a vegan/organics store and told them the situation about looking for a dairy-free & whey-free margarine that would still hold up
to baking. They gave me a list of three available. I purchased
Fleischmann's Salt-Free Lactose-Free Non-Hydrogenated margarine. (Photos attached below.)
To double-check the brand's ingredients, I also called the Unilever products hotline (1-800-565-7273) and confirmed with them that this margarine is indeed "100% dairy-free and whey-free." It also is recognized as Kosher & Pareve.
But how would it fare in baking the cookies??
I decided to just substitute it exactly (volume for volume) in the recipe. Although the taste isn't quite the same (less rich, a bit blander), I solved that as best as I could by doubling the vanilla in the recipe. The dough seemed just a touch drier than usual, but still rolled out pretty well. It baked nicely, didn't spread hardly at all (even less than with butter, in fact) and did get a nice firm cookie after cooling.
The few things I will say are that the cookies seem to bake & brown faster. (Not sure if that is my imagination or not?) I ended up reducing the oven temp by 25 degrees AND baking for 4 minutes less than usual.
The other is that they don't get as firm when you throw the tray of raw cookies in the freezer. Although they did firm up enough to gently lift the stiff cookies from the tray, you had to be extra gentle because they just weren't rock-hard like the butter cookies get.
Still, overall...a success! (I'll post the finished cookie pics after the weekend.)
Thanks so much for everyone's help and advice.
I've never used "real" butter in any cookie recipe. I always use bluebonnet...the regular one NOT LIGHT. When I make NFSC I add 1t butter flavor to spruce it up a bit and about 1T extra flour...no big deal. I'm sure your cookies will be spectactular Antonio74...they always are!
antonia74.. Im sure they will be a big hit ! and beautiful as always !
Thank you sooooooooo much! My sister is a vegan and I always have to figure out what to do when she comes out to visit. She is getting married this summer and wants me to make her a cake (Ugh!) All organic ingredients No hydrodgenated oils, processed sugar or bleached flour. Sounds delicious huh?
I was just thinking of chopping up a bunch of fruit and arranging it on tiers.
Turned out well! Here are the cookies:
and just another pic for here too...
antonia74.. Perfect as always ! Love the bright colors !