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Three Simple Compound Butters

by Nick

Ok. So this isn’t so much of a recipe as it is a reminder.

And the reminder is simply that you can put things in butter and it makes it even better.

So, basically, butter can be better than butter. I’ll wait while you wrap your head around that.

Yield
1/2 cup butter per recipe
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Three Easy Compound Butters

Ingredients

  • Lavender Butter:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoons dried culinary lavender, ground or crushed
  • Date Butter:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3-4 dates, mashed
  • Lemon Butter:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, zest only

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) Mash butter with a fork in a bowl until it's soft.

2) Mash in ingredient of choice and mix well to combine and distribute it. For the lavender, crush or grind the buds before mixing in with the butter.

3) Scoop butter onto wax paper and roll into a tight ball.

4) Roll the butter up into a cylinder and label it.

Store in the freeze for two weeks.

The Add Ins

These three compound butters (the technical term for butter with stuff mashed into it) all just have one other ingredient besides butter.

Here’s the visual version for the reading impaired.

add ins

Just some basics.

Lavender

Lavender is starting to be a pretty big deal and I’m seeing it pop up all over the place in random stuff so I figured it would probably be delicious with butter.

Lavender is a pretty subtle flavor though. It’s floral after all. It’s not going to knock your teeth out or anything.

In fact, when you first stir the lavender into the butter, you won’t be able to taste it much. But if you let it sit in the fridge for a day or two, the butter will slowly absorb some wonderful flavors.

In hindsight, this would’ve been better if I had ground or crushed the lavender buds before mixing. So you should do that if you can.

Put this stuff on almost any baked good in the world and you’ll be in good shape.

lavender

Smells good.

Lemon

This one is the opposite of the lavender. There is absolutely nothing subtle about it. Zest a whole lemon into a bowl with 1/2 cup of butter and the smell alone will make you hungry.

It’s an intense lemony flavor that really goes well with rich butter.

To do this one right though, you’ll definitely want to get a microplane so you can get a really fine zest and not get any of the white bitter part in the lemon.

Again, this one goes really well on baked things, but also can work on savory stuff. Try it with rice or some grilled chicken for a nice finish.

lemon

Lots of zest.

Date

This one was a bit experimental for me, but I’ve been on a date kick lately mainly thanks to these cinnamon rolls.

The key with the date butter is to make sure you completely mash up the dates before adding the butter so the flavor is throughout the butter and you don’t just have huge chunks of dates.

Basically make a paste out of it and then mash in your butter.

This stuff would be especially wonderful on pancakes or waffles.

date

It’s a date!

Storing the Butter

While you could use all of these right away after making them, they will be better if you can make them a day or two in advance because the butter will actually absorb a lot of flavor. Especially with the lavender, it helps to make it in advance.

To store the stuff correctly, mash it together well and then just plop it down on a piece of wax paper.

wax

Plop.

Roll the wax paper over and form a cylinder with the butter. You basically want to remake the stick of butter that you mashed.

Use the wax paper to help form the butter into a log.

rolled

All rolled up

Once you have it roughly in shape, twist the ends to seal the butter in and be sure to label this stuff!

lemon

Delicious little thing.

I think these are just beautiful.

Kind of rustic looking, but whatever.

rolls

Not hard, people.

The first thing I did was try the lavender version on a toasted english muffin.

It was really good, especially with a bit of honey.

muffin

Simple and wonderful.

There are a ton of compound butters out there, but hopefully these are new to you.

You can make all three of them in under ten minutes if you have the ingredients handy and the butters will keep perfectly in the fridge for weeks so you can just slice off what you need and store the rest for later.

Do you make compound butters? What are some of your favorite add-ins?

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9 comments on “Three Simple Compound Butters

  1. We’ve been loving grilled sockeye salmon with a bit of compound butter – I use lemon zest and fresh herbs – specifically parsley and dill. I also enjoy a more herby combination, especially with marjoram (my new favorite fresh herb). That’s fantastic on steak.

  2. Chive butter is a wonderful thing. I freeze it in handful-sized lumps and take it out as needed.

  3. I agree – beautiful suggestions that I’ll make soon! Loving lavender this summer. Compound butters store well in the freezer too. I keep a small log of a savory compound – butter, garlic, sea salt, pepper, rosemary and anchovy paste – for grilled meats.

  4. Made the lemon butter and had it on green beans. Yum! Then used the rest of the lemon to make lemon basil simple syrup which I had in a vodka lemonade (it had been a long day) – both were great.

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