Effect of different edible fats on the spread ratio of sugar cookies
Fats are a crucial ingredient in baked goods as they can change the flavour, colour, texture, spreadability, and nutritional value of the product. For cookies, greater spreadability is considered more desirable. Although butter is typically used to enhance flavour and spreadability of cookies, there are many other types of fats that can be used as substitutes depending on their physicochemical properties and saturated fat content. However, consuming high levels of saturated fat is commonly associated with heart disease. The goal of the study is to determine the effect of saturated fat on cookie spreadability using different fats for healthier susbtitutes. Based on previous studies, cookies with higher saturated fats will have the lowest spread. We hypothesize that different substitute fats will result in different cookie spreads. A sugar cookie recipe was adapted to substitute butter for coconut oil, lard, avocado, and peanut butter with butter as the control. White, dark, semi-sweet chocolate, and sea salt caramel chips were also tested to determine additional spreadability of cookies made with butter. Cookie diameter was measured before and after baking to calculate the spreading ratio. Statistical analysis showed significant differences between all fat substitutes except for lard and butter, which shows that lard is an appropriate butter substitute. The additional fats added in butter cookies also showed a significant difference in cookie diameter ratio between caramel and other treatment groups. However, all chocolate fats were not significantly different from each other. Our results show how saturated fat content can affect cookie spreadability, which can inform butter substitution for healthier options at home or commercially.