butter substitute for cookies?

Kstew b&w
Posted on 06/26/2012 by soup_lover_9
Hi y'all.
I was wondering if I can substitute the butter called for in this recipe with yoghurt. I usually replace butter with yoghurt in cakes, and it turns out fine, but can I do this with cookies? (I live in a small city in China, where butter is hard to come by, but there's plenty of sweetened yoghurt).


Recipe: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/03/27/peanut-butter-mm-cookies/

I don't have shortening or margarin either. Could I mix some yoghurt with the butter? Or will that be a disaster? 
They have oil here, but not to make this sound bad or anything, but I don't trust it. I've heard rumors about how it's being processed from some of the other foreigners. :/
kamaliitaru 26th-Jun-2012 06:40 am (UTC)
I'm not sure how the yogurt would work. Do you have any other fats you can substitute? Margarine or shortening may be a better alternative than yoghurt. I'm a bit worried about the moisture of the yogurt and how it will interact with the rest of the ingredients.
knittinggoddess 26th-Jun-2012 06:43 am (UTC)
I don't think it would have the same sort of results. Doesn't the butter add a certain amount of tenderizing to the cookie, that wouldn't happen with yogurt? (Creaming the butter and sugar before adding to the dry ingredients makes the batter have little pockets of butters surrounded by flour. Those pockets puff up in the oven as the butter melts.)

Do you have shortening, margarine, or anything that's mostly solid at room temp?

This thread has a bunch of cookie recipe recs that call for oil instead of butter: chowhound.chow.com/topics/581805 I tried searching for cookie recipes that didn't have ANY butter at all, but most of the cookie recipes with yogurt involved only partial substitutions.

Also keep in mind that these recipes with yogurt usually call for unsweetened, meaning you're going to have to reduce the sugar in the rest of the recipe.

Edited at 2012-06-26 06:44 am (UTC)
etantvert 26th-Jun-2012 07:16 am (UTC)
I'm afraid not. You need another solid fat (or another recipe). However, if you can find shortening or margarine, that would probably work.
doc__holliday 26th-Jun-2012 09:59 am (UTC)
coconut butter/thickened coconut milk or oil generally works for me when I go butterless (for my vegan friends) in cookie recipes. Anything else will make them end up too cake-y.
turple_purtle 26th-Jun-2012 01:04 pm (UTC)

Coconut oil occurred to me as well.
ginnysday 26th-Jun-2012 11:44 am (UTC)
i have had tofu cookies in which the tofu replaces the butter. they werent too bad either!
soup_lover_9 29th-Jun-2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
I'll give tofu a try next time! How much do you use for a stick of butter?
mysid 26th-Jun-2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
Post-Update: The biggest problem you're going to have is that yogurt has a much higher water content than butter. You've had good results when making cakes because cake batter requires liquid. Cookies, on the other hand, usually don't have added liquid.

Since you are making peanut butter cookies, maybe you could make use a recipe for those that doesn't require any butter, like this one. (I've never tried it; I just googled it now.) Add M&M's to it, and it should be similar to the recipe you want to make.
mysid 26th-Jun-2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
And now I'm rereading my comment and cringing at the typos and grammar mistakes. Oops.
soup_lover_9 29th-Jun-2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
minxy_baby 26th-Jun-2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
Can you get cream and make your own butter?
soup_lover_9 29th-Jun-2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
I wish.
eofs 27th-Jun-2012 02:12 am (UTC)
I wonder if you could just skip that recipe altogether, and instead substitute butter for peanut butter in another recipe - eg, the rainbow m&m one linked from that very blog post. It's not anything I've ever tried (I think peanut butter is vile with sweet stuff) but it might be worth a shot, the properties are not dissimilar. You won't end up with the same end product, but it'll be more recognisable than with yoghurt.

but I don't trust it. I've heard rumors about how it's being processed from some of the other foreigners. :/

It's 3 o'clock in the morning and I read that as that the oil is made from foreigners...
caketwins 29th-Jun-2012 05:13 am (UTC)
I second everyone who suggested using a recipe that doesn't involve butter. That, or replace it with a banana or something instead? I've used bananas in cookies before, they can come out slightly muffin-like, but I'd bet it'd taste delicious with the peanut butter! And maybe using ones that aren't too ripe would cut out the liquid and some of the taste factor.

I've never heard of anything bad about the oil in China, and never had a problem with it while I was there. What are the rumors?
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