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Chocolate Chip Cookies with Lard

Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 315 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Baking

OK, I know this forum is more about healthy living and this might not qualify, BUT! I have an overabundance of lard and I'm trying to use it more in baking that calls for butter that I have to pay a lot for. My 10 year old daughter just made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and substituted lard for the butter. We added a little extra milk too. They came out wonderful, just a little crumblier than normal. No one complained!

I use lard for pie crusts and as the fat when I cook on the stovetop, but I'm wondering if anyone else has any pointers for wonderful uses I haven't thought of yet?


  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 315 ✭✭✭

    By the way, so sorry I posted under current events. My cookies hardly qualify. Don't know how I did that!

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    Although I have never used lard myself my relatives when I was a child lived on it and swore by it. It helped tremendously though that one of my uncles was a pig farmer.

    So what I remember of those days, she always used lard in all of her baking. But she always said if it was being used in anything in baking which had minimal flavor (like a pie crust ) she used 2/3 lard and 1/3 butter-it was homemade though also so it was pure butter not like what you buy in stores today which has a much higher water content.

    The reason was the lard was actually healthier for you but the butter added a better flavor. So if the final dish ended up in the oven to be baked lard it was.

    But then she used it on top of the stove to prepare all of her cooking also since lard was readily available but butter took more work. Her philosophy was easy. If I already have a good fat source which worked well why spend the money and make the time to be making butter.

    So for your sake I'd say just experiment some in your own cooking just leaving it in the back of your mind if you need a boost in the flavor profile, use some butter or add something else to your recipe with a strong flavor. To me that would mean on a custard pie I'd use the lard/butter combo but on a fruit pie or savory pie just use lard.

    Hope this helps.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,412 ✭✭✭✭

    Lard used to be the preferred fat for deep frying, especially french fries.

    Bacon fat is awesome for pan cooked popcorn, I wonder if lard would be too.

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 640 ✭✭✭✭

    I cook and bake with lard all the time. I get mine from a local farmer who pastures his pigs.

    As already mentioned, lard is terrific for deep frying. I also love it for stir frying. I usually use a mix of lard and butter for pie crust, because butter has such a good flavor. I think I use an all lard crust for the easter pie I make each year, but I can't find my recipe right now.

    @shllnzl I'm pretty sure I have used lard for popcorn.

    I've never actually made them, by my sister used to bring us cookies from Okinawa that were made with lard. They were like shortbread, but even more tender and crumbly. They are called chinsuko.

    (Pigs are important part of Okinawan cuisine, by the way, and they don't waste any of it. My vegetarian sister did not enjoy seeing pig faces for sale in the stores.)

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,424 admin

    My mom always used straight lard for pie crusts, not a mix as some have stated, and it was always tasty and super fluffy. If it is natural lard and not store bought, it is said to use a little less than the recipe says so that you don't get a greasy mix.

    I did this and so then went to a straight butter pastry (we make butter). My failure was so bad, I was scared off the lard pastry for many years. We recently did a pig, so I will try using lard again. Hopefully I can find the perfect ratio as I really loved that pastry recipe.

    I use bacon grease for seasoning my cast iron and when I cook something in them (unless butter is needed for sauteing). It works much better and adds better flavor than any oil that I have tried.

    My MIL uses lard in cooking on the stovetop exclusively. I find that her excessive use of it makes many things far too rich for my tastes. She grew up this way and will die cooking excessively with lard.

    Butter and lard, from properly raised sources, are both considered healthy fats by natural, grow your own, whole food people. When it becomes unhealthy is when the animals are raised improperly, & if it is used in excess, just like any food...moderation is key. Cooking or baking with it all the time as @blevinandwomba does, I would not consider excess. Putting huge gobs of it in your fry pan in your cooking and continuously adding more big gobs of it as my MIL does...well, I consider that excessive and so, an unhealthy use of a good fat. A third or less of what she uses would be good enough to do the job. I figure that she "deep fries" pretty much anything on the stovetop. Sigh.

  • My grandmother cooked almost exclusively with lard for much of her life. Her pie crusts were fabulous! I will always wonder if the change to Crisco was what gave her such health problems in later years.

    One great use for excess lard is to make goat milk soap (probably other types, too.) I don't make it myself, having easy access to either real lard or fresh goat's milk. But there are lots of online instructions. The lye can be a little scary to work with the first time, I imagine. But the soap would be so worth learning how if you have goat's milk.

  • SuperCSuperC Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 257 ✭✭✭

    Lard is best in piecrusts without butter. Eventhough lard has no “flavor,” it sure keeps people healthier than other fats.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,361 admin

    I've been making pastry with lard for many years and I agree that it is the best. I have never found the need to add butter. I receive many compliments on my pastry with savoury fillings as well as sweet; same recipe. I use the "Never Fail" recipe with the addition of a spoonful of baking powder added. I'm not raising pigs anymore so don't have any access to home grown lard but whenever the opportunity arises and it is necessary to shoot a bear, I always make lard. Bear lard is renowned for being one of the best lards for pastry and I tend to agree.

    I haven't used lard in cookies for a very long time but I do recall having a recipe that was for lard cookies. i'll have to see if I can find it again.

    Whenever I make Yorkshire Pudding (popovers for those of you south of the border), I always use lard. Just not the same using some kind of oil.

  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 315 ✭✭✭

    Thank you thank you thank your for all the awesome replies!! It all sounds like really great advice. I NEVER thought of using it on popcorn or in soap. I'm going to look up chinsuko too- I can read some Japanese, so this will be fun!

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