Hi all! Thanks in advance for any and all help!
I'm interested in finding out what brands of ingredients you find works best, since we all know there's a huge difference in quality between brands. Please keep in mind, I currently do not buy in bulk. If you can also tell me where you get the best deal for the item, that's very welcomed and appreciated. Specifically:
1. A high fat ratio shortening
3. Confectioners sugar
4. Clear vanilla extract
I use Crisco or I get a high ratio shortening from a local cake supply store and I don't know what the name of the brand is. I also get my clear vanilla from here.
As for the butter, I've used butter from Sam's Club or I've purchased Tillamook from a local grocery store.
Confectioners sugar is just C&H brand.
I've never had any problem with these ingredients.
SHORTENING: High ratio shortening is not readily available in retail grocery stores. It has to be purchased through restaurant/food service supply stores or online. The most common brands are:
* Sweetex: high ratio cake, icings, fillings
* Primex: cookies, pie, & frying
* Nutex: liquid high ratio cake shortening
Stratas has a retail line, but the shortening in that line is not high ratio
Other high ratio shortening brands:
* CK Products
BUTTER: brand depends on the application as butterfat and water content varies brand. Season also effects color and melting point. If quality control is your concern, then you will need to do some research on the dairies that produce the butters you might use. A dairy farm in a region where cows cannot graze all year will have seasonal changes in their butter production due to the supplemental feeding of hay during winter. Hay lacks chlorophyll and carotene, so butter will be very light in color. The cream produced during the winter is also higher in saturated fat, so the melting point is slightly higher. By contract, butter produced from cows that graze is much brighter yellow and has a slightly lower melting point. The butter I buy from California dairies is consistently "summer" butter since cows here can graze almost all year around.
VANILLA: LorAnn Clear Vanilla Extract. Clear vanilla is imitation vanilla, so taste between brands is significantly different. What taste pleasant to one, may be unpalatable to another. Its really a very subjective.
SUGAR: When it comes to sugar in general, I prefer pure cane sugar and C&H brand. I do not like sugar beet sugars.