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Roast Squash
Add some Bourbon Cherry Butter With Orange to your roast squash, and turn a reliable standard into something fabulous. Photo by Kelly Cline | IST.

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December 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cheese-Butter-Yogurt

Holiday Butter Recipes

Flavorful “Compound Butter” For Breakfast, Lunch Or Dinner

 

CAPSULE REPORT: Flavored butters, also known as compound butters, are a fast way to dress up almost any dish. Here we present easy recipes that are not only delicious for your own home....they make wonderful house gifts as well. In fact, these may become some of your favorite homemade gifts—so much more special than another batch of brownies.

Sweet butters, savory butters, one thing’s for sure: Make a flavored butter for your dish and you’ve got a whole lot of excitement for just a little extra effort.

The folks at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board know their butter. They’ve created six delicious flavored butter recipes that you can use at any time of the year—on your toast and pancakes...on your duck, ham, grilled fish, pork roast, roast beef or turkey...on your beets, carrots, green beans, parsnips, peas, squash and sweet potatoes....Put your butter in a pretty dish or crock, and watch your guests use every last drop (and ask for the recipe). Another idea: Make one or more butters and bring them in a crock as a house gift.

Butter Preparation Tips

  • Flavored butters may be made ahead and frozen for up to one month.
  • Allow refrigerated crocks or containers filled with flavored butter to sit at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.
  • As an alternative, you can create butter logs instead. Roll into a log shape, cover in plastic wrap and chill until solid; slice into ½-inch thick rounds and arrange on a butter dish prior to serving. You can dress up a butter log by rolling it in colorful chopped nuts, fresh herbs or dried fruit before refrigerating.
LEARN MORE ABOUT COMPOUND BUTTER AND
OTHER TYPES OF BUTTER IN OUR BUTTER GLOSSARY.

YOU WON’T BELIEVE HOW MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF BUTTER THERE ARE!

 

Recipes

You’ll want to try each of these delicious butters, because each pairs beautifully with dishes in your repertoire. But in alphabetical order, we present:

Bittersweet Chocolate Orange Butter

This luscious butter makes even the simplest bread or roll special. Try it on biscuits, croissants, toast, French toast, pancakes, waffles, even bread pudding. It’s especially lovely with banana bread and holiday breads, such as stollen.

Ingredients

  • Chocolate Orange Butter3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70%
    cacao), chopped*
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, slightly chilled
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • Optional: ½ cup roasted and salted pistachio nuts, chopped into halves and quarters†

*This is a place to use the best quality chocolate you can
find, preferably one with 70% to 85% cacao content.

†Roasted and salted pistachios add a welcome textural contrast. Most stores sell them already shelled. You may also use a different toasted nut or no nuts at all.

Preparation

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave-safe bowl on low at one minute intervals, stirring until just melted and smooth. Or, using a double boiler, place chocolate in top bowl, stirring frequently until just melted, taking care not to overheat at bottom or sides. Allow melted chocolate to cool enough to touch.
  2. Place the cooled butter in a medium mixing bowl and with an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Beat in the cooled chocolate, cocoa, zest and sugar, scraping sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed to incorporate all ingredients. Stir in nuts if desired.
  4. Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter mold and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.

Bourbon Cherry Butter With Orange

This butter combines all the elements of the classic Old Fashioned cocktail—except with butter added. Use it with duck, ham, pork and turkey; or try it baked inside an acorn squash or tossed with beets, carrots and sweet potatoes. It’s also wonderful as a spread on bread, rolls or muffins.

Ingredients

  • Bourbon Cherry Butter½ cup dried cherries*
  • ¼ cup Bourbon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room
    temperature
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest, freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, or to taste
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon orange or Angostura bitters or additional Bourbon

*Dried cherries can be ordered online or found in the bulk department of fine grocers or health food stores. You may also substitute the more readily available cherry-flavored sweetened dried cranberries.

Preparation

  1. In a small bowl, soak the cherries in Bourbon, stirring occasionally, until the Bourbon is almost absorbed. This will take 2 to 12 hours. (To speed the process, lightly heat the cherries in Bourbon, but cool completely before adding to butter.)
  2. Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl and with an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Add the soaked cherries, zest, sugar and bitters or additional Bourbon (if using) and beat to incorporate, scraping sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  4. Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter mold and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.

Cranberry Sage Brown Butter

This flavorful butter is equally good with or without the dried cranberries—so if you want something more on the savory side, make it as Sage Brown Butter. Use it during the holidays on meats, potatoes and other vegetables. As Sage Brown Butter, it is delicious year-round tossed with pasta or as the finishing butter on broiled or grilled fish. Fresh sage is important to achieve the wonderful flavor: Don’t make this recipe with dried herbs.

Ingredients

  • Cranberry Sage Butter1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened,
    divided
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
  • Optional: ¼ cup dried cranberries, finely diced

Preparation

  1. In a medium skillet, melt 1 stick of butter over moderate heat. When butter begins to foam, add onion and garlic and continue cooking until butter turns a nut brown color. Remove from heat and stir in sage, salt and pepper; cool completely.
  2. Place the remaining butter in a medium mixing bowl and, with an electric mixer, (fitted with a paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Add the brown butter mixture and beat to incorporate, scraping down the sides. Stir in cranberries if desired.
  4. Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter mold and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.

Honey Sesame Butter

This versatile butter turns simple vegetables into stunning side dishes—add a pat or two to asparagus, carrots, green beans, parsnips or snap peas. The sweetness from the honey also makes it a good partner for breakfast breads and bagels, pancakes, French toast and waffles...all the way to dinner rolls.

Ingredients

  • Honey Sesame Butter1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room
    temperature
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil*
  • 3 teaspoons lightly toasted sesame seeds† (or a mix of black and white sesame seeds)

*Use toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds to bump up the sesame flavor.

†To toast sesame seeds, place seeds in a single layer on an ungreased, shallow pan. Bake at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to cool.

Preparation

  1. Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl and, with an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
  2. Add the honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds and beat to incorporate, scraping down the sides. Taste for salt.
  3. Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter molds and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.

Pomegranate Clementine Butter

With its beautiful magenta hue and sweet, tart flavor, this butter will find fans at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a versatile bread and muffin spread, waffles garnish, turkey and ham complement (try it on a sandwich), and melts temptingly on sweet potatoes and other vegetables.

Ingredients

  • Pomegranate Butter 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room
    temperature
  • ¼ cup reduced pomegranate syrup or
    pomegranate molasses (do not reduce), chilled*
  • 2 tablespoons clementine zest, finely grated†
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar, or more to taste
  • Optional: ¼ cup toasted and chopped
    almonds, hazelnuts or pecans

*To make pomegranate syrup, boil 16 ounces of pomegranate juice in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat until reduced to ¼ cup. You can also use pomegranate molasses—available from many specialty grocers or at EthnicGrocer.com.

†Any orange or mandarin variety may be substituted for clementines.

Preparation

  1. Place butter in medium mixing bowl and with an electric mixer (fitted with a paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
  2. Beat in the pomegranate syrup or molasses, clementine zest and sugar, scraping sides of the bowl as needed to incorporate all ingredients.
  3. Stir in nuts.
  4. Scrape butter into a small bowl, crock or butter mold and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll on grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.

Pumpkin Five-Spice Butter

This is not the same as the “pumpkin butter” you can purchase in jars, which is more of a pumpkin preserve. It’s a marriage of pumpkin and butter, richer and yummier. Serve it with breakfast pastries and waffles to dinner breads and muffins—not to mention adding richness and flavor to beets, carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes. Or use it in the kitchen when preparing turkey, ham or other pork dishes that require butter.

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Butter1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room
    temperature
  • 1/3 cup canned or fresh pumpkin purée,
    strained (to remove excess water)
  • 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest, finely
    grated
  • 1½ to 2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice
    powder*
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: Confectioner’s sugar or honey
    for sweeter applications
  • Optional: ¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

*Bottled five-spice powder can be found at supermarkets, specialty food stores or Asian markets.

Preparation

  1. Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl and with an electric mixer (fitted with a paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
  2. Add pumpkin purée, zest and five-spice powder, scraping down the sides of the bowl, and beat to incorporate all ingredients. Taste for five-spice powder and salt. Add confectioner’s sugar if desired.
  3. Stir in nuts if desired, and taste again for salt.
  4. Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter molds and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.
SEE MORE BUTTER RECIPES
HERB BUTTERS, NUT BUTTERS, SPICED BUTTERS, SWEET BUTTERS

 

Recipes and photos © Copyright Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. All other material © Copyright 2005- 2014 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. Images are the copyright of their respective owners.

 



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