Friday, November 26, 2010

Molds make butter better on holiday table



One way to put a special touch on a holiday table is to mold the butter. I used my collectible Pampered Chef stoneware cookie molds that were just taking up room in my cupboard to make molded butter for Thanksgiving dinner. We set six tables at the community feast and each table got it's own heart-shaped butter.

The technique is simple.
1. Place your stoneware mold in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
2. At the same time, set out a stick of butter to soften for 20-30 minutes.
3. Remove the mold from the freezer and unwrap the butter.
4. Using the heel of your hand or the back of a metal spoon, smoosh the butter into the mold evenly.
5. Refrigerate the mold with the butter until the butter is firm.
6. Run a knife's thin blade around the outside of the butter, then use the tip of the knife to carefully pry up the butter in corner. Turn it out onto a plate.

I wrapped my butter hearts individually to protect them from odors. I packed them in a plastic lidded container to store and transport them. Make sure you put them on the butter plates while they are still cold and firm.

If you think you don't have the time or the equipment to pull that off, you can still make the butter special by flavoring it. This recipe tastes like the sweet, spiced butter served at steakhouses. In addition to hot rolls, it's also good on baked sweet potatoes.

CHRISTMAS SPICE BUTTER

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon sugar

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and well-combined. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. Makes 1 cup.

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