This week I have a question from Kris T: I have a baking question for you: I have stopped using shortening in an attempt to eliminate trans fats from my diet. When I bake a recipe that calls for shortening, can I substitute butter? I have tried this with a few recipes. Some have turned out OK but some cookie recipes have resulted in cookies that spread too much and were very thin & flat. Any suggestions on how to adapt recipes to using butter instead of shortening? Butter works pretty well any place that shortening is used. The thing about shortening is that it is more stable than butter so it will hold up better at room temperature, say in something like a buttercream - but that also means you get that nasty mouth coating quality instead of the melt in your mouth consistency that butter has. It also holds together in cookies so they spread less. To get better results in cookies made with butter, chill the batter before you bake it - this will slow down the spread and help the cookies keep their shape. One other item I feel I must share in the interest of full disclosure - butter does contain some trans fat, however the amount is a significantly lower amount than in shortening. Both butter and shortening contain saturated fat, however butter is inf act higher in saturated fat than shortening or margarine. There are varying opinions on whether one or the other is preferable from a health stand point. The health community is divided about the issue, some nutritionist would recommend less saturated fat for a healthier diet while others would feel that consuming trans fats have more negative outcomes than saturated fat. But in the end - butter tastes really really good! Feel free to ask me any of your food-related questions, just leave a comment on any post in the Foodie-file. I answer one question a week. You will find a lot more answers to cooking questions under the Foodies Ask category of the Foodie-file.