Can you use light butter for cookies?

All-Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Rose Nguyen

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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I bought a Betty Crocker cookie mix and used "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter". The cookies didn’t work at all! Was it because I used "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter"? 

I love that the Betty Crocker web site says “Aside from taste and texture, butter and margarine are about the same when baking”. Well, if not for taste and texture, why eat a cookie?!

Of course, the site goes on to explain that margarine should be at least 80% vegetable oil. By law, margarine (and butter) must contain 80% fat. Spreads, like the one you used, can contain far less. Fat is an important part of what gives baked goods their structure, and a big part of what helps them brown. So when you use a spread with a lot less fat, it makes sense that the cookies won’t turn out right.

For more tips, see Top 10 Cookie Baking Secrets and Tips. 

Recipe: All-Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jan, 2013

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