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Festive Flavored Butters for Holiday Entertaining

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Author: (ARA)

(ARA) - Dress up your table for the season with a holiday favorite - real butter. With the addition of a few choice ingredients, butter can take on an unexpected and appealing new flavor - one that is sure to have your guests reaching for more.

     Flavored butters, whether savory or sweet, are perfect for spreading on breads, melting on vegetables and embellishing the main dish, from turkey to steak.

     Keep the following tips in mind when serving flavored butters:

* 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 for 15 minutes before serving.

* Refrigerate flavored butter logs until chilled solid; slice into 1/2-inch thick rounds and arrange on a butter dish prior to serving.

* Dress up a butter log by rolling it in colorful chopped nuts, fresh herbs or dried fruit before refrigerating.

* Flavored butter makes a delicious hostess gift - wrap it up with a holiday bow and accompany with your favorite recipe for using the butter.

     The following recipes feature some of the season's most popular ingredients and flavor combinations - from fragrant oranges and bittersweet chocolate to fresh sage and browned butter.

     Additional flavored butter recipes and a short video demonstrating how to make flavored butters can be found at www.ButterIsBest.com.       Bittersweet Chocolate Orange Butter

Serving Notes: This luscious butter makes even the simplest bread or roll special. Try it on toast, biscuits, pancakes, French toast, waffles or bread pudding. It's extra special with banana bread and holiday breads, such as Stollen.

Ingredients

3 ounces bittersweet (at least 70 percent cocoa) chocolate, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, slightly chilled
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons orange zest, finely grated
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Optional: 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachio nuts, chopped into halves and quarters (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.)

Method

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.

Cranberry Sage Brown Butter

      Serving Notes: This flavorful butter is equally good with or without dried cranberries. Serve it during the holidays on potatoes, vegetables or meats.

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, divided
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely diced (optional)


Method

1. In a medium skillet, melt one 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.

Courtesy of ARA Content

                                                                                                               

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