Saturday, November 1, 2008

a treatise on shortening

let's face the facts, for some strange and inconceivable reason, shortening, a soft but mostly solid baking ingredient arouses in many a disgust that other fatty semi-solid baking ingredients, say butter, do not. why? perhaps the unnatural and corpse-like white/grey color, that it doesn't really expand beyond baking horizons, and the fact that in order to find it in the grocery store you always have to ask someone. and then there are people out there who KNOW that you are a user. and given the general aura of weird and gross that surrounds shortening, such a thing can't be good.

but i have been sent to show you the light! alas, the light did not come to me engraved on some golden tablets buried under a hill, but rather on a vegan baking blog in the form of Lime-Ginger Cookies. so let's talk business:

3/4 cup vegetable SHORTENING!
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbs powdered ginger
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup molasses, the sludge of the gods

mix together, roll into small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet in an oven heated to 350 degrees. (secret from lou's archives:) turn on the light and watch the magic happen. for the frosting, just mix lime juice with more powdered sugar than you're comfortable with, wait for them to cool slightly, and then smear. or if you're impatient go with the dipping method.

i am convinced that the soft but ever so delightfully chewy consistency in these cookies is partially due to the shortening. besides, if you are trying to seduce some waifish vegan babe, this little number is probably worth its weight in gold. and as we and countless investment ba(n)kers all know, gold is back in.

"what did the investment banker say after the financial crisis?"
"would you like some fries with that?"

-with files from the Gazette and a vegan with a blog named tamara(?)

the spanish word for shortening is "manteca," or more illuminatingly "grasa"

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