Food Lab: Shortbread cookies (butter vs. margarine)

The following is a comparison of the  observations I experienced when making cookies for a butter vs. margarine shortbread taste test. I used butter, Becel Omega-3 Plus and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (a margarine with butter flavouring).

Here is the recipe and the differences I noticed as I was preparing each batch.

Ingredients:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter (or margarine), softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Buttershortbread-butter-box Becel Omega-3 Plusshortbread-becel I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buttershortbread-cantbelievenotbutter
Dough is dry and crumbly.dough-butter Dough is wet and sticky.dough-becel Dough is wet and crumbly.dough-cantBelieve

 

shortbread-comparison

Left to right: Butter; Becel; I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

  • The first column is the dough that was made with butter. This batch was the easiest to work with and had a slight yellow color.
  • The second column is the dough that was made with Becel. This batch was the most difficult to work with as it was very sticky to work with and doesn’t have much color.
  • The third column is the dough that was made with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. This batch wasn’t as easy to work with as butter but wasn’t as difficult to work with as Becel. This batch also doesn’t have much color.

The results:

Taste test time!

shortbread-tasteTest
Pink Label: Butter (this batch browned more than the ones made with margarine)
Green Label: Becel Omega-3 Plus
Yellow Label: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter