Substitute butter for shortening?

I have a favorite gingersnap cookie recipe that calls for shortening. Last year I tried substituting the shortening with coconut oil, and my cookies were flat and crispy instead of chewy and delectable. I don't remember if I also tried the trans-fat free shortening or not, but I vaguely remember that I did and the texture was still off. Can I just use butter? What will happen?

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour December 4, 2011

Go ahead and try the butter. If you want the cookies to be chewy try melting the butter before adding it. Butter has some water in it (about 20%) so it's not going to behave the same as shortening. By melting the butter you release the water so it it able to interact with the flour to form gluten. The gluten should lend a chewy texture. You may want to scale your recipe down by half (or more) since this is an experiment.

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Anitalectric
Anitalectric December 4, 2011

I love to use coconut oil in cookie recipes for the flavor. Sometimes I will do half coconut oil half safflower oil. Why don't you try chilling the dough before baking it? That is my sure fire way to get tall cookies. You can even roll the dough into logs, wrap and freeze. They can easily be sliced and baked direct from freezer to hot oven.

Shortening in cookies never tastes right to me.

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