Butter and Shortening

Ask the Test Kitchen

When a recipe calls for both margarine and shortening, why can’t I use just one or the other? —L.P., Arvada, ColoradoButter, margarine and shortening all have different properties that affect the texture and flavor of baked goods. Combining two different fats such as margarine and shortening will give a recipe some of each fat’s best qualities. For example, by using both butter and shortening in a cookie recipe, you will get the wonderful flavor of butter, while the shortening will keep the cookies from spreading too flat.