Earlier this week I shared with you a collection of my favorite free printable kitchen helpers. That post was inspired by this Chobani substitution chart I recently discovered, which has since disappeared from Chobani’s website. I was intrigued by the thought of substituting Greek yogurt for less healthy ingredients like butter and mayo. I’d substituted Greek yogurt for sour cream and créme fresh in dips before, but the baking substitutions, like butter and buttermilk, left me less convinced. So I decided to put the butter substitution to a test using a time-worn, well-known recipe – Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.
To test the Chobani Greek yogurt substitution, I decided to bake two batches of the cookies. The first would be the recipe exactly as written, with 2 sticks of butter. The second batch would remove 1 stick of better and substitute in a quarter cup of non-fat Greek yogurt, per the substitution chart. Below are my observations and final recommendation.
From the beginning of the process, I could see a difference in the appearance of the Greek yogurt dough and the traditional dough. When the “fats” were creamed together with the white and brown sugar, the sugar creamed with the Greek yogurt had a shinier appearance and smoother texture than the straight butter and sugar mizxture.
Once the dough was finished, that smoother, shinier texture remained. The visual difference in the dough can be seen below. There was also a very slight difference in the taste of the raw cookie doughs. (I can’t actually recommend that you test your dough the same way. Generally, eating raw cookie dough is “bad,” but I won’t judge you if you nibble on it as well.)
The final and most important test was the final cookie. Fresh from the oven and without close inspection, there was not much of a difference between the two types of cookies.
However, a closer look shows slight differences between the two cookies. The all butter cookies have a slightly crispier and browner edge, while the Greek yogurt cookies are puffier and with a less defined, crunchy edge. The Greek yogurt cookies, upon tasting were chewier, but tasted exactly the same as the all butter cookie.
Additional research, using SparkRecipes’ calorie counter, revealed some interesting facts as well. Based on baking 5 dozen, or 60, perfect cookies, the Greek yogurt dough resulted in a cookie that has nearly 11 few calories than the traditional recipe and almost 2 less grams of fat.
The Final Verdict
Somewhat surprisingly, substituting Greek yorgurt for half of the butter in the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies worked well. It resulted in a different, chewier texture, but identical flavor profile. Furthermore, you save about 11 calories per cookie when using the Greek yogurt. I imagine, in a real pinch, even vanilla flavored yogurt could work, if the amount of white sugar were decreased.
I don’t think I will be adding the Greek yogurt substitution to my regular cookie rotation because I preferred the texture of the all butter cookies. However, I am curious to try it in other recipes, such as brownies or quick breads, where the texture issue will be less prevalent, and even welcomed.
Check out other Cork and Spoon health ingredient swaps!
The Facebook Challenge – Healthy Chocolate-Cinnamon Zucchini Bread (in which oil is swapped for apple sauce)