Here begins I Wanna Bake!’s first multi-part endeavor. In the coming weeks, I will be testing various types of butter (and some non-butter shortenings) to determine if there really is a noticeable difference. I will be using my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies (the one that comes on the inside of the Land O’ Lakes box), only varying the type of butter for each batch, to minimize independent variables. My trusted group of
lab rats taste testers will choose their favorites. Ideally, they will rate each batch on a scale of 1-5 based on taste, consistency, and chewiness, but in all likelihood I will not be present during the taste test, so I won’t be in a position to demand evaluations.
This will be a single elimination tournament, with each heat taking place on a different week (not necessarily consecutively, because I don’t want to burn out my taste testers on chocolate chip cookies). Round 1 will proceed as follows:
Fresh cream butter vs. Kerrygold: the battle of the expensive, buzzwordy butters.
Land O’ Lakes vs. Countryside Creamery (Aldi brand): Battle of the store-bought butters.
Cream cheese vs. margarine- Battle of the non-butters.
After the first round of eliminations, the three winners will face off in the final battle for supremacy. I will confess that I am a firm believer in using the cheapest option when it comes to butter, but I am open to the possibility that there factors other than cost which make an important contribution to cookie making. We shall see if my non-scientific bias is upheld or shattered.
Depending on how this experiment goes, I may try it again with pie crust and other baked goods. If you have any suggestions for other types of butter or shortenings, or other things I should try this experiment with, leave them in the comments or e-mail me!