12.18.2009

Alternative "Fat"

Boy, the Twelve Days of Cookies took a lot out of me! But more baking was in store. The Diner was very busy this week with more mixing, baking and finally sorting of cookies.

There was one slight problem though, WonderSlim. Here’s a little background –

I don’t have shortening or lard at the Diner, ever. I don’t cook with them; I don’t want them in the things I cook. I just don’t think a real or artificial solid FAT is necessary, since. Okay, I use butter like there is not tomorrow, but somehow that is different!

A few years ago I found a wonderful product called WonderSlim. I look for it each year during the holidays to help reduce or replace the fat requirements in the cookie recipes I bake. Last year I looked and looked and could not find WonderSlim. I asked at supermarkets and health food stores and no one knew what I was talking about. Finally, just after the first of the year I found a jar at a discount store, so I scooped it up!

I made HH some chocolate chip cookies, using WonderSlim, and saved the jar so I could better show the grocers this holiday season if I had trouble finding it again. The jar came in handy, since; once again, no one knew what I was talking about.

I called the manufacturer on the back of the jar, trying to track down a local outlet. The bad news (well, I guess that depends on your point of view!), the product was discontinued. It didn’t catch with consumers, as it was sold as a fat and egg substitute.

I read the ingredients on the back of the jar, and noticed that prune puree was the main ingredient (HH, you should not be reading this otherwise you may question the content of the cookies at the Diner in the future!) So I wandered the aisle of the supermarket, got creative, and viola! Pureed prunes are solid in the baby food aisle! Perfect! Since a half cup of WonderSlim replaces 1 cup of shortening, I used two-pack of baby pureed prunes to replace the shortening and the cookies are great!

The cookies are a little darker than normal, but their texture and taste are just fine.

So if you are looking to eliminate that nasty container of solid artificial shortening (or some other solid fat) from your baking, try the pureed prunes.

I experimented and used apple sauce for another recipe, since I have heard that this works also, but I thought the apple sauce made the cookies a bit more flat, the batter was runnier.

And here’s the research…

Fats

fat = solid fat
Equivalents: l Ib, = 2 cups
Substitutes:
For baking

General notes: Reducing fat will give baked goods a denser texture; to correct for this, try
increasing the sugar in the recipe and/or beating the egg whites and folding them into the batter.
Also try using a softer flour, like pastry or cake flour.
• applesauce (Applesauce can replace up to % of the shortening in many recipes. Add
with the liquid ingredients and reduce sugar in recipe ifthe applesauce is sweetened.) OR

• pureed prunes (Pureed prunes can replace up to % of the shortening in many recipes; it
works especially well with chocolate. Add with the liquid ingredients.) OR

• apple butter (Apple butter can replace up to % of the shortening in many recipes, also
reduce sugar in recipe if the apple butter is sweetened. Add with the liquid ingredients.) OR

• fruit-based fat substitutes (Especially good when baking with chocolate; add with the
liquid ingredients. For best results, substitute only 3/4 of the fat with this.)OR

• ricotta cheese (This works well in many yeast breads that call for solid fat. Substitute
measure for measure. For best results, substitute no more than 3/4 of the fat with this.) OR

• bananas (mashed) (Substitute measure for measure.) OR

• omit or reduce (In many recipes for quick breads, muffins, and cookies, you can reduce
the amount of fat in the recipe by about a third without seriously compromising the
quality.

• oil (Avoid substituting oils for solid fats when baking cookies, cakes, and pastries; it will
make the dish greasy and dense. If you must do so, substitute 3 parts oil for every 4 parts
solid fat and consider increasing the amount of sugar and eggs in the recipe. Pie crusts
made with oil aren't as flaky as those made with solid fat.)

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