Unsalted butter is best for baking cookies but you can use salted butter if that's all you have on hand.
Your oven isn’t going to fall into a crater deep into the earth if you use salted butter. However, the recommendation from moi and pastry chefs everywhere to use unsalted.
Using unsalted butter allows you to control the flavor of your cookies or whatever you're baking.
How Much Salt Does Salted Butter Have?
Salt is added to butter to improve shelf-life and add flavor.
The salt level in salted butter depends on the manufacturer.
However, on average, a stick of butter contains a quarter teaspoon of salt or 1.6 grams of salt.
This can vary. Certain manufacturers add up to ¾ teaspoon of salt per stick, which is a fair amount.
Check the nutrition information on your package of butter to see how much is really in there.
Also, keep in mind, that salt in butter extends the fat's shelf life by nearly double. So unsalted butter will most likely be fresher.
Salted butter lasts five months while unsalted butter only two months. Both types of butter can be frozen, if well-wrapped, indefinitely.
How to Use Salted Butter in Your Cookies
While I agree with virtually every pastry chef in the U.S. that unsalted butter is superior and may be fresher for baking cookies, I'm not a fan of running to the store for one thing.
So if you only have salted butter, use it but adjust the salt in your recipe accordingly.
For every stick of salted butter you're using, reduce the additional salt the recipe calls for by a quarter teaspoon.
Baking Resources for New Bakers
What Should a Beginner Bake? will help you get started if you've never done any baking by yourself.
Also, Baking Cookbooks for Beginners are an excellent source of inspiration and recipes.
Where can you find cheap baking supplies?
What about making cookie production better, faster and easier. Find out what OG bakers recommend to make cookies better, faster and easier.
What about those big pieces of sugar on top of muffins?
Fixing Cookie Dough
How to fix cookie dough that's too sticky.
Try these tips if your cookie dough is too dry.
No. Salt is added to butter by manufacturers to increase butter's shelf life.
To improve longevity for one. Salted butter lasts five months. Meanwhile, unsalted butter lasts about two months. However both salted and unsalted butters can be wrapped well and frozen indefinitely.
Manufacturers also add salt to butter to add flavor.
If you're baking anything other than a batch of cookies, check the recipe and do a little research first. Baking relies on chemical reactions. Depending on the other ingredients in your baked good, salted butter may affect your results. If a recipe lists butter as an ingredient but doesn't specify, you can safely assume you should use unsalted butter.
Yes, it usually does. The more expensive butter, think European butters, brands such as Plugra, contains the highest percentage of fats--at a minimum 82 percent fat. Meanwhile, the minimum percentage of fat for USDA Grade A butter is 80 percent fat. That leaves you with a water content of 15 to 20 percent.