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Spectrum Shortening

by on February 12, 2009 · 15 comments

Hello Everyone,

Today is Thursday and I have some non-hydrogenated shortening. I’m going out of my way to find shortening-based cookies, which is unusual. Never thought I’d be doing that.

I bought the shortening, Spectrum, at a new grocery store that opened up in a nearby neighborhood. I’d tried it before, but I think I ended up throwing most of it out and can’t remember why. I’m giving it another shot.

As for the grocery store, it’s called Newflower Market and it’s part of the Sunflower Market chain. Anyone ever been there? It reminded me of Sun Harvest, but with a different smell.

Anyhow, it was grand opening day and the parking lot was packed. Good thing they opened mid-week. I wasn’t sure the store would be worth almost getting killed in the parking lot, but it was because they had strawberries for 88 cents, whole pineapples for less than a dollar, and best of all “premium” wines 3 bottles for $10.00. When I was in line at the check-out, someone said they had Amy’s Black Bean Breakfast Burritos for 99 cents. I didn’t want to lose my place in line and I figured I could make my own burrito for less than that, but apparently it’s a great deal.

Okay, that’s all for now. I’m off to find a crunchy oatmeal cookie with lots of shortening.

Your Friend,

Cookie Madness

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Published on February 12, 2009

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennie February 12, 2009 at 9:24 am

I, too, use Spectrum and may know why you threw it out previously – the consistency becomes pretty flaky and hard to work with after having been opened.

My tip is to heat it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds prior to each use. Check it to make sure it’s not melting, just softening up.

HTH!

Rachel B February 12, 2009 at 9:41 am

Ooo! This is the perfect opportunity to make Whoopie Pies. I recommend Nancy Baggett’s recipe; I think the book is “All-American Cookies,” or something to that effect.

By the way, Crisco-brand shortening is trans-fat-free now, though that may be different than totally non-hydrogenated . . . not sure.

CindyD February 12, 2009 at 9:53 am

We have a Sunflower Market near us and we’ve shopped there a lot for fruits and vegetables. We find that the specials are better quality at the beginning of the sale week. Also, for anyone that eats beef, check the grade – we’ve been told their Harris ranch beef is not choice.

CindyD February 12, 2009 at 9:55 am

PS – My favorite cookie is an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie that needs shortening to be crisp. It’s from an old Farm Journal cookbook, if you’re interested.

Steph February 12, 2009 at 10:21 am

I can’t wait to see your shortening cookies b/c I’m always curious about the textural differences when using different ingredients. I tried a cookie with nontransfat Crisco and I really missed the butter flavour. Shortening does have it’s advantages with giving you that really crisp cookie esp in gingerbread.

Katrina February 12, 2009 at 10:40 am

The oatmeal cookie I grew up with and that my mom got from her mom is all shortening and one of the most perfect oatmeal cookies in my opinion. Let me know if you’d like to try it. I don’t think I’ve ever posted it. It’s perfectly crisp/chewy and not too puffy, it’s more thin.

Pearl February 12, 2009 at 10:54 am

i don’t think they have spectrum in san diego, but i do think that 99 cents for an amy’s burrito probably is a great deal! LOL :)

Heidi February 12, 2009 at 11:14 am

Looks like they are opening one up here by me soon. Have to go check that out.

When I do all my Christmas cookies, which come from old family recipes, I’m always reminded that most use shortening instead of butter b/c of all the rationing that was going on. I tried making our family’s sugar cookie with all butter and it just wasn’t as easy to work with, so I went back to half butter, half shortening.

Anna February 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Jennie, I just used it in some cookies and it was definitely flaky. And this was after opening it for the first time. It still seemed to work, though.

Rachel, that’s a great idea! Nancy’s Whoopie Pie recipe is the best.

About Crisco, it’s still hydrogenated. I don’t know how many tablespoons you’d have to eat to get 1 gram of trans fats, but it’s trans fat free per serving only. I use it anyway, but feel guilty.

Cindy, I am going to email you a request for that recipe. Thanks for the tip on when to shop Sunflower Market.

Steph, I made molasses cookies and they were great. However, I don’t think it was the best recipe I could have chosen because the cookies are supposed to be soft. I like recipes where the shortening is used to make crunchy cookies.

Katrina, I sent you a request :).

Pearl, I’m kind of mad at myself for not buying the Amy’s burritos right then and there. Maybe I should go back. If the $3.00 wine is decent, I’ll go back for more of that AND burritos. I’m thinking Fuzz might eat one of those burritos for breakfast.

Heidi, I know what you mean. When you swap shortening and butter, results aren’t the same.

Louise February 12, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I’d eat one of those burritos for breakfast. Other than oatmeal I don’t much care for cereal, so I have stuff like microwaved scrambled eggs in a wrap, hummus on a pita, soup, etc. A $.99 burrito sounds good. :-)

Krystal February 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm

I have the most awesome recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies using shortening if you’d like to try it–Just let me know. I love this site–btw :)
Krystal

Daisy Doodles February 12, 2009 at 7:26 pm

I have been using Spectrum for a year now and really like the results. I get it at WHole Foods. I don’t remember having any issues with it, but then again, I am the one that ends up with moldy green cookies :P

I have used Spectrum in place of lard in tamales and had excellent results!
Heather

Jen February 12, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I love Spectrum. I love it. I keep it on the floor in my pantry and the cold floor causes it to be a bit hard in the winter, but like another person above said- you can soften it pretty easily.. I usually just leave it out on the counter for a bit or microwave it if I’m in a hurry. In the summer months it stays really soft.

If you want an awesome oatmeal cookie recipe, hunt down the farm style oatmeal cookies from the Betty Crocker Cookie Book. I always make those with Spectrum and it’s my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe of ALL TIME. If you don’t have access to the recipe I can email it to you.

T. Martin February 12, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Anna,

I hope you like Spectrum this second time around. It is always on Whole Foods shelves and I have been using it for years now.

Petunia June 17, 2010 at 1:14 pm

My favorite use of Spectrum shortening is as “cold cream” to remove makeup. All natural, and no added fragrance or colors… and relatively cheap.

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