Posted: Sep 26, 2014 5:00 AM
 
Sure you love butter — and apparently after all these years it’s actually better for us than margarine. Who knew? Butter adds flavor and texture to your recipes, but you can take it up a notch by adding herbs and spices.

Compound butters are a great way to bring a variety of flavors into your everyday meals. Sweet or savory, there are tons of recipes for these amazing condiments. Here are our five favorites right now.

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Savory compound butters

Lemon and herb butter

Lemon and herb butter

This delicious herb butter with a hint of lemon would be amazing melted over the top of a steak or slathered onto a crusty French roll.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Soften butter at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mash and cut the butter with a pastry blender or knife to break it up.
  3. Add the chopped parsley and the lemon juice, blend into the butter with a rubber spatula.
  4. Put the butter mixture on a piece of waxed paper and shape into a small log.
  5. Refrigerate until firm. Slice butter log into individual servings and serve.

Blue cheese butter

This is amazing on a juicy burger or on a sourdough baguette.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Soften butter at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mash and cut the butter with a pastry blender or knife to break it up.
  3. Add the Dijon mustard and blend into the butter with a rubber spatula.
  4. Add thyme, blue cheese and sea salt, blend again.
  5. Put the butter mixture on a piece of waxed paper and shape into a small log.
  6. Refrigerate until firm. Slice butter log into individual servings and serve.

Parsley-orange butter

Parley-orange butter

Try this compound butter on corn on the cob for an interesting take on the traditional summer side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or Italian parsley leaves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Soften butter at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mash and cut the butter with a pastry blender or knife to break it up.
  3. Add chopped parsley and orange zest, mix well with rubber spatula.
  4. Add sea salt and black ground pepper to taste.
  5. Put the butter mixture on a piece of waxed paper and shape into a small log.
  6. Refrigerate until firm. Slice butter log into individual servings and serve.

^Sweet compound butters

Maple pecan butter

The flavors in this butter blend are amazing on warm homemade waffles or pancakes, or on a slice of raisin toast.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/8 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Soften butter at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mash and cut the butter with a pastry blender or knife to break it up.
  3. Chop pecans into small pieces, blend into butter with rubber spatula.
  4. Blend in maple syrup.
  5. Put the butter mixture on a piece of waxed paper and shape into a small log.
  6. Refrigerate until firm. Slice butter log into individual servings and serve.

Salted caramel butter

Um, hello? This sweet treat would be incredible on a slice of toast or a stack of buttermilk pancakes. Just sayin’.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Soften butter at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mash and cut the butter with a pastry blender or knife to break it up.
  3. Combine the sugar and water in a small, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil.
  4. Boil mixture until caramelized, for 5 to 6 minutes, until mixture is amber in color.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the heavy cream slowly until smooth, then let mixture cool to room temperature.
  6. Add the caramel, salt and vanilla to the butter and blend with rubber spatula.
  7. Put the butter mixture on a piece of waxed paper and shape into a small log.
  8. Refrigerate until firm. Slice butter log into individual servings and serve.

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