Professional chefs and bakers agree there is no substitute for the flavor and performance of real butter for cooking and baking. For the best tasting results this holiday season, follow these helpful tips when using butter:
Keep it Fresh
- Store butter in its original packaging or in a tightly covered container in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not on the refrigerator door shelves.
- Keep butter away from foods with strong odors or distinct flavors.
- Butter can be frozen in its original container for up to four months from the time of purchase.
- To protect the flavor of butter, wrap the container in aluminum foil or in an airtight plastic freezer bag before freezing. Once butter is thawed, it should be used within 30 days.
- Salted butter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months and in the freezer for 6 to 9 months.
- Unsalted butter can be stored for up to 2 weeks refrigerated and frozen for up to 5 months.
How the Cookie Crumbles
For melt-in-your-mouth cookies, use slightly softened butter. With its low melting point, butter helps make cookies soft and chewy on the inside, but crisp and golden on the outside.
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The Upper Crust
For flakier pie crusts and puff pastries, keep butter as hard and cold as possible prior to use.
The flaky texture is produced when cold pieces of butter, trapped between thin layers of dough, melt during baking, creating small air pockets.
The Scoop on Sauces
Butter makes sauces smooth and creamy, and creates a cohesive consistency by helping mix both fat- and water-based ingredients. For the best consis-tency and flavor, use cold, hard butter.
Adding butter along with savory or sweet spices helps retain the flavor of the spices and works to integrate the flavor throughout the entire dish.