My Thoughts on Powdered Shortening:
Powdered Shortening is very similar to powdered butter.
While I’m not a HUGE fan of shortening in general, I do keep this in my storage. The reason is that liquid oils go rancid very quickly, especially if stored in heat or light. This can make them very difficult to store. Even if stored in a very cool, dark place, they still only have a shelf life of a few years.
Storing powdered shortening has decreased the amount of oil that I need to store. It cannot be used for frying, it works well in baking and you can make pie crusts and even tortillas with it!
It isn’t 100% Shortening; Make Sure to Adjust!
Powdered shortening also contains milk to help in the drum drying process. I’ve found that when baking with powdered shortening, my recipes turn out better when I add 1 1/2 times what is called for. For example, if a fresh ingredient recipe calls for 1/2 cup shortening, and you want to use powdered shortening instead, add 3/4 cup shortening powder.
Add far less water than you think!
I found a ratio of 1 cup powder to 1 T. water works well. Any more water and the recipe ends up too wet. So if a recipe called for 1 cup shortening, but I wanted to use powdered shortening, I would add 1 1/2 cups powder and 1 1/2 T. water. You may need to adjust this a bit depending on your elevation.
You don’t have to hydrate the shortening separately.
You don’t have to mix your shortening up separately for most recipes. You can just add the powder and water at the same time. For example, in my chocolate chip cookies, I cream my sugar and butter / shortening before adding other ingredients. I add the sugar, the powders and the correct amount of water all at the same time. It looks a bit different than fresh, but bakes up just fine!
If your recipe calls for you to “cut in” your shortening, just add the dry powder with the dry ingredients and then the appropriate amount of water to the wet ingredients.
Expect your recipes to turn out a bit different
I can’t say that cooking with powdered shortening won’t change the end product at all. It does change it, but that isn’t always a bad thing! I’ve found it makes my baked good a bit more airy and fluffy. Sometimes, that can be a great thing!
You cannot fry with powdered shortening
Even if you mix it with a bit of oil this will not work.