Cookie Ingredients: Fats

A cookie wouldn’t be a cookie without some type of fat in it. Without fat, you’d end up with a paper weight instead of a cookie. Here’s a look at the different type of fats used in cookies, how to use them and how to store them.


  • ~Generally speaking, when making cookies, you want your butter to be room temperature unless your recipe says otherwise.
  • ~Unsalted butter is preferred over salted for baking.
  • ~Butter not only helps with flavor and texture, but also helps your cookies to achieve that lovely golden brown color we all love in a cookie.

Butter Storage:

  • ~Butter can absorb odors in the refrigerator. So it’s best to keep it in an air tight container while it chills. Keep an eye on the expiration date as well. But does go rancid after a while. Unsalted (sweet) butter will have a shorter lifespan than salted as salt is a preservative. You may also freeze butter, but only for up to half a year, after which, you probably wouldn’t want to use it anyway.


  • ~While butter is always preferred over margarine, some recipes do call for it. The general purpose in using margarine is to produce a cookie that does not have a golden color when finished baking. This can be a desirable effect in some cookies.

Margarine Storage

  • ~Margarine has a shelf life of about 9 months and should be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator.


  • ~There are a few recipes out there that call for oil instead of butter. For these recipes, stick with a lighter flavored oil such as safflower oil.

Oil Storage

  • ~Many oils only last about 9 months if stored in a cool, dry and dark place such as a pantry. Oils should never be exposed to even a mild heat source while in storage as they can become rancid quickly.

So now you know about the fats you put in your cookies. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow to learn all about how to soften brown sugar. (There are many ways to save that brick in your pantry!)

Happy Baking!