General Baking Question About Mixing/Beating

Hi all! I'm planning on trying this recipe in the next hour or so and am hoping for insight on beating together the shortening and sugars as described in step 1. Should I soften or melt the earth balance buttery substitute before attempting to beat? Also any suggestions on how best to measure 1-1/3rd cup (assuming I don't melt)?

Many thanks in advance for the community support :-)

* 1-1/3 cup vegetable shortening or butter substitute (I like Earth Balance)
* 1 cup white or raw sugar
* 1 cup well-mashed banana
* big pinches salt
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* Jam, Nutella, fruit butter or traditional filling
* 4 tablespoons water

(1) Beat together shortening and sugars

(2) Add in banana, water and vanilla, beat well. Don't worry if the mixture separates out here--it looks ugly but it works!

(3) Beat in the salt and flour to make a smooth dough.

(4) Form a ball, cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

(5) On a floured surface roll out to less than 1/8 inch thick.

(6) Cut 3-inch circles in the dough.

Note: It's good to work in batches as the dough softens quickly. You can gather scraps and re-roll them, but put them in the freezer or refrigerator while you deal with your circles.

(6) Dot a scant teaspoon of jam or filling in the middle of each circle.

(7) To make the traditional triangle shape: fold one side of the circle, then fold the next third so there is some overlap, then fold the last third. the jam center should still be visible.

Note: to keep them from opening up, instead of folding up and pinching sides together "up-side" to "up-side", use some of one edge (what used to be facing up) to fold OVER the other edge (what used to be on the bottom), then pinch.

(8) Place a few inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets (in case of runny jam) and bake at 375F for 12 or so minutes, until you can see some browning.

(9) Let cool before enjoying--the jam will firm up nicely (Nutella turns into a nice dense consistency too)



StevenJC123 February 26, 2018
KTR, Jill, Smaug, thanks for your quick and detailed replies! Just mixed everything (earth balance sticks, with a stand mixer) and letting the dough ball firm up in the fridge!
Smaug February 26, 2018
Also, the weight is likely to be different with the whipped as opposed to the cube- A cup of butter is 1/2lb.- I'd use that as a standard failing anything else (so you'd want 2/3 lb, 10 2/3 oz.). If you have a scale, shortening and, probably earth balance, are neater to handle by piling on a piece of wax paper on the scale, rather than using measuring cups. If you have a stand mixer you shouldn't need to worry about the temperature of your fat.
jill February 26, 2018
Here's what I'd do: first off, is the Earth balance in sticks, like butter?? IF its in stick form, 1-1/3 cups is 21-1/3 tablespoons (or 2 whole sticks plus about 2/3 of another stick). It its more solid (comes in a tub), I'd measure as peanut butter or honey, in a liquid measuring cup...which gets sticky and you kind of have to squish it in the cup. In either case, beat as ktr indicated. Good luck, and hope this helps!
ktr February 26, 2018
I would beat the sugar and butter substitute together using an electric mixer or a whisk. I wouldn't melt the Earth Balance, but I would soften it - if you can allow it come to room temperature that is best. Otherwise, if it is straight out of the fridge, soften it by putting it in the microwave on half power for 15 seconds at a time until it is soft but not melted.
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