Not margarine, not butter, but spread; Country Crock is one of my go-to ingredients when I want to bake something with less fat yet not compromise the flavor. It is a delicious blend of vegetable oils, water, and salt that does a great job in the baking department. Still, there are many misconceptions about this product, and I am always very passionate about spreading knowledge and information in such cases. But, can you use Country Crock instead of butter in cookies?
Country Crock is a great butter substitute for cookies and many other dishes. Some adjustments may be needed, such as the cooking temperature and length or ingredient amount. The resulting dish will be very similar to that made with butter, but there might be some slight differences, not affecting its overall quality.
It seems that Country Crock has been sadly overlooked as a cooking ingredient and is mostly used as a spread. While I prefer butter for cooking, this spread can do an excellent job, especially if you are looking for a less fatty option or you can’t have butter for whatever reason. In this article, I will tell you everything about cooking with this type of ingredient and what you can make with it. So, let’s dive straight in!
How to Substitute Butter with Country Crock?
Substituting butter for Country Crock isn’t complicated, but there are things to know to make this a successful task. The main thing that I find to be most important is to adjust the amount and select the right kind.
I’ve had some trouble in this department because I didn’t know the exact features I would need, but after a few failed experiments, I got the hang of it.
So, the first thing to do is check your recipe to see how much butter is required. You’ll generally use a 1:1 ratio, but stay open to the idea that you may need adjustments. This means if the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, you will use 1 cup of Country Crock, but if you need to adjust, you’ll probably need to up the amount.
Another important factor is the type of spread you use. I used the more spreadable kind, and it resulted in a disaster. So, opt for the solid version because the more spreadable varieties contain more water.
Handle it just like you would do butter. You generally don’t need to make any adjustments at all.
Keep an eye on the texture of your dough or batter. If it seems too wet due to the extra water from Country Crock, you might need to adjust by adding a bit more flour to achieve the desired consistency.
This spread often has a lower smoke point than butter, so you may want to cook at a lower temperature and decrease the cooking time. Also, I tend to use less water or other liquid when cooking with it, so be very mindful of the liquid amount you add.
When Is It Okay to Use Country Crock Instead of Butter?
You can use it as a substitute in all dishes as long as you make adjustments to the recipes if they are needed. Of course, it also depends on the dish you’re making.
I’ve learned how to use it, but it took some time. So, if your dishes don’t meet your expectations right away, experiment and give it time.
You can start with simple dishes like sautéed veggies since they require little to no adjustment. If you feel that the dish needs more Country Crock, you just add some and try it out. Don’t worry about adding too much because you can always up the veggie amount.
Mashed potatoes are a great place to use it, too. You can use it just like you would do with butter. Your dish will be just as creamy!
Cookies made with it still turn out flaky and delicious, so don’t be afraid to use it there, too. You may notice a slight flavor difference, but you will still enjoy them.
You can also replace butter in pancakes, waffles, or pasta sauces, but rice dishes, stir-fries, and breads can be delicious with Country Crock. I always add slightly more compared to butter because I want my food extra rich, but you can use the same amounts.
Can You Use Country Crock to Make Cookie Dough?
Generally, yes, you can use County Crock to make cookie dough, but you need to consider your cookie-making experience because some types of cookie dough are more particular and don’t tolerate much experimentation and adjustments.
For me, the biggest problem is getting the amount right since Country Crock contains more water than butter and is, therefore, slightly thinner than butter. So, always check the consistency and tend to adjust it as much as possible by adding more spread or more flour.
Cookies often rely on the fat in butter to provide flavor and texture. Country Crock has a marginally lower fat content, but it can be damaging if you don’t adjust the baking temperature and time. I usually bake Country Crock cookies at a slightly lower temperature, and I reduce the baking time to a few minutes.
Expect some flavor difference. This spread and butter don’t taste the same, so the resulting cookie flavor will differ as well. I like the taste of it, so I find cookies with it very tasty, but they don’t taste the same as with butter.
If you are a beginner in the cookie department, I suggest you start experimenting with chocolate chip cookies. They are resilient and tolerate adjustments and substitutions.
Be careful with cut-out cookies since they are more particular and demanding, so unless you are a cookie expert, they aren’t the best to experiment with.
Can You Use Country Crock to Make Pie Crust?
Of course, you can; however, “proceed with caution” would be the best answer here. While it is possible to substitute butter for Country Crock in pies, pie crusts are very tender and sensitive to all alterations of the original recipe. Even though I encourage you to try it, I advise you to be prepared for an unsuccessful experiment.
If you are just starting to learn about baking, be very careful and study the pie crust recipe thoroughly. Make all adjustments needed and hope for the best. On the other hand, an experienced baker knows what the dough needs just by looking at it, so if you know your way around baking, by all means, experiment away!
When Is It Not Recommended to Use Country Crock Instead of Butter?
I avoid using Country Crock in delicate baking where the dough is so set in its ways that it doesn’t tolerate and work well with any ingredients other than those in the original recipe. Flaky dough is an example of such delicate dough.
High-temperature cooking is another situation where you should avoid using this spread. Sometimes, you can just adjust the temperature, but other times, decreasing the temperature may result in a poorly cooked dish.
Keep in mind that when I say that Country Crock isn’t recommended in some situations, I don’t mean that it ruins the dish, but it just means that butter works better.
If you don’t like the taste, don’t even bother using it as a substitute for butter. The flavor will still transpire, and you will end up disappointed. So, if you aren’t a fan, the sad news is that you won’t be able to mask the taste.
Have you tried using Country Crock instead of butter — in which recipe? I would love to hear about your cooking process in the comments below!