A cookie is a flat biscuit made in a variety of shapes and sizes with different decorations for its toppings. Traditionally, a cookie is made from flour, eggs, butter, baking powder and sugar. With a wide range of cookie cutter shapes and sizes, there is no stopping you from getting creative with your cookies, and let's not forget about the toppings and sprinkles that make them so appealing. While everyone loves to eat these 'yummy melt in the mouth' cookies, it remains a distant dream for those who are watching their weight due to personal or medical considerations. Butter, as we know, is high on calories - 100 grams of butter contains approximately 740 calories. Well, I guess that is quite a frightening picture if you want to lose weight, but the alternatives seem even more daunting. Cookies baked without butter, God! That kind of just takes the taste out of them. So should one just skip it then? No Way! If you read further down, you will know that there is a perfectly healthy way to get around to baking cookies with no butter.
How to Make Sugar Cookies Without Butter
One of the reasons butter is used to bake cookies is to cream the flour and other ingredients into a malleable dough, and to allow the cookies to bake without them getting stuck to the tray. Plus, butter helps bakery items to rise evenly to get that spongy texture. So before you go on and substitute butter, accept the fact that your cookies may not taste the same. That does not mean they won't taste good, but just different. Following is a list of substitutes that one can use to bake sugar cookies with no butter.
Shortening is basically a semisolid fat used in cookie recipes as it helps the cookies get a crumbly texture, without making the cookie fall all over. Shortenings can be free of trans fats, hence making it a better and healthier alternative to butter. Benefits of using shortening include no refrigeration, and a longer shelf life of baked goodies. Presently, one can get organic, zero cholesterol and zero trans fat shortenings in the markets. Ideally, the measurement for using shortening stands at ¼ cup for every 1 cup of butter used.
Another substitute that not only helps in replacing butter, but also in reducing the quantity of sweeteners, is fruit purees. These fruit purees are readily available as fruit puree butter. Butter made of dried plums and apples can be easily used to replace butter in taste and flavor in cookies. Many cookie recipes that use fruits can also use pureed bananas, pumpkin, pineapples and pears to get that rich creamy texture that is associated with butter. Half a cup of any pureed fruit can be used in place of one cup of butter.
Cooking oils can be very well used as substitutes for butter without compromising on the taste and texture of the cookies. Healthy vegetable oils, like olive, flax seed, corn, soybeans, peanuts, safflower seeds, canola, etc. can be easily blended in cookie recipes that call for liquid syrups, egg yolks, granulated sugar or other sweeteners, and nuts and fruits with flour and other dry ingredients. Vegetable or nut oils spread blend fast, have a mild flavor and aroma, the quality that vegetable oils heat quickly at even low temperatures is especially helpful. Using different cooking oils will result in crisp cookie textures.
Well then, without worrying about calories, bake and serve some yummy cookies, and if you do find some more butter substitutes, do share them with me!