An Easy Template for Compound Butter, 5 Ways

An Easy Template for Compound Butter, 5 Ways

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Kelli Foster
Mar 4, 2016
(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

If you love the way a plain pat of butter transforms everything it touches, it's high time to bring compound butter into your life. Mixed with ingredients like herbs, spices, spreads, fruit, and jam, compound butter is a deliciously wonderful way to bring rich flavor to your plate. Used on everything from a simple piece of toast to roast chicken, it takes just minutes to whip together, but leaves lasting results.

Your Template for Making Any Compound Butter

To make any type of compound butter, you'll start with one stick of butter. As for salted or unsalted butter, that's totally up to you. I personally love using salted butter for the extra seasoning, although both varieties work equally well. This single stick of butter is a blank canvas, capable of taking on sweet or savory flavors from a variety of ingredients.

Before getting started, let the butter sit out to soften for at least an hour. Not only is soft, room temperature butter a lot easier to work with, but the ingredients will also blend together a lot easier, forming a more even spread.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

As for mixing the compound butter ingredients together, you've got two choices: You can use the food processor to quickly and easily whirl everything together, or you can tackle the mixing by hand. If you decide to enlist the help of your food processor, pulse the ingredients together until everything is just combined. Be sure not to blend too long, or the butter can get extra soft and melty.

After mixing, the butter will be soft and spreadable. It can be used immediately or stashed in the fridge to firm up first. Store it in the refrigerator in a covered dish or ramekin, or spooned onto plastic wrap or parchment paper and rolled into a log. When it's kept in the fridge, compound butter is best when eaten within about a week of when it's made; it can also be stored in the freezer for about three months.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Falafel Butter

Makes 1/2 cup

Nutty tahini, warm cumin, and plenty of bright, fresh parsley come together in this spread that will remind you of eating your favorite falafel. Use this compound butter to top roasted vegetables, roast chicken, or a bowl of pasta or rice.

Combine 1 stick of room-temperature butter with 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Mix by hand or in a food processor until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are well-combined.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Blackberry + Sage Butter

Makes 1/2 cup

At first taste, this butter is sweet and fruity, with a subtle undertone of savory sage. While fresh berries are nice, preserves bring a vibrant shade of purple to the whole batch of butter. (Plus, there are no seeds to contend with.) Use this butter to top a stack of pancakes of waffles, or spread on a turkey sandwich.

Combine 1 stick of room-temperature butter with 3 tablespoons blackberry preserves, 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage. Mix by hand or in a food processor until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are well-combined.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Everything Bagel Butter

Makes 1/2 cup

You can skip the everything bagel or double down on the flavor, because all the seeds and spices you love about everything bagels are right here in this butter. Spread it on toast, give your popcorn a boost, or add more flavor to a side of veggies.

Read More: How To Make Everything Bagel Spice

Combine 1 stick of room-temperature butter with 2 teaspoons poppy seeds, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons dried onion, 2 teaspoons dried garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Mix by hand or in a food processor until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are well-combined.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Mustard + Tarragon Butter

Makes 1/2 cup

This classic French-inspired compound butter is the kind of spread that goes on everything from meat and fish to veggies and pasta. It would even work on a grilled cheese sandwich!

Combine 1 stick of room-temperature butter with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon. Mix by hand or in a food processor until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are well-combined.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Mexican Chocolate Butter

Makes 1/2 cup

This spread is perfectly balanced — it's not too sweet or too spicy. It's warm, with a little kick from the cayenne that hits your tongue after a few seconds. Add a thick slice of this chocolate butter to any one of your favorite breakfast sweets or a bowl of popcorn. (Although, don't be afraid to try it in savory dishes like roast chicken, enchiladas, or chili.)

Combine 1 stick of room-temperature butter with 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix by hand or in a food processor until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are well-combined.

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