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My recipe calls for shortening. Can I use butter instead? 

Vegetable shortening (such as Crisco) contains no water, while butter does, so it takes slightly more butter to accomplish the job: for every one cup of shortening, you will need to use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of butter. Shortening makes crusts flaky and baked goodstender, but lacks the great flavor of butter. I often find that a combination of the two is best; that is, substitute part of the shortening with butter to get the best balance of flavor and texture.

Most vegetable shortening is now free of trans fats, but check your label.