What would you say if I told you; you could slather a hunk of bread in the flavor of the holidays? Here's the answer... Holiday Honey Butter. It's creamy whipped butter with a touch of the flavors and spices that remind you of sitting around your family table. No more passing around a boring stick of butter for the biscuits this year. Bring a jar of this Holiday Honey Butter where ever you are spending the holidays, for a little taste of home.
Like any other compound butter, this recipe is a breeze. A compound butter simply put, is butter enhanced with flavorful ingredients. First give your butter a chance to soften on the counter for an hour of so before starting. This ensures that the butter will combine evenly and whip up smooth. Once the butter is soft go ahead and add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whip until fluffy. I use my stand mixer with a whisk attachment but, you can feel free to use a handheld mixer or just whip it by hand. (cough-Whip it good-cough)
Normally a compound butter would be rolled in parchment and chilled in order to make it slice-able. I like to keep this holiday butter in a small air tight jar so it can easily be passed around and stays spreadable for biscuits or toast. If you'd like to make extra and keep it for a later time, you can roll it in parchment and freeze it for up to 2 months.
For the flavor explosion:
Honey. The real kind that comes from the hard work of honey bees. I used raw clover honey from a local beekeeper. Wildflower honey would be delicious as well! My best advice is no matter where you buy your honey; read the label. Ingredient lists tell all. If the ingredient list has any added sugars or chemicals, pass.
Dried Cranberries are another ingredient to be absolutely sure you read the label. Common additives include: cane sugar, sunflower oil, artificial flavors, artificial colors, soluble corn fiber, sucralose, and glycerin. Are ya kidding me? So find some unsweetened cranberries if you can. If not, the sweetened kind are fine but make sure the ingredients just say cranberries and sugar.
When you've got the dried cranberries you want, take a tablespoon and chop them up with a sharp knife as small as you can. It will only take you about a minute.
If you are like me and only keep whole spices in the cabinet, no problem. You can use a microplane, spice grinder, or even a coffee grinder to grind up the cloves and cinnamon. Get the spices as fine as you can.
Orange zest is just as easy. Use a microplane, zester, or the fine side of a box grater to shave off the orange peel. Avoid the white pith, it is extremely bitter. You'll want a nice fresh orange for this to ensure an oily flavorful zest. Feel free to substitute whatever citrus looks freshest at the store such as clementine, mandarin, or tangerine.
As for the salt, get yourself some good quality flaky sea salt. (I know, you've heard me say this before but, you will not regret it.) I like to use Maldon salt, but if you are in a pinch, my advice would be add half the amount of salt in this recipe first. Taste and add more as you wish. The flaky salt will measure differently and taste differently than any other salt. Kosher salt would be the next best thing.
My favorite thing about this recipe is how portable and gift-able it can be. Got a dinner to go to and not sure what to bring? Take ten minutes to whip up the butter and put it into a festive little jar. Hit a local bakery for some quality bread and you've got the perfect addition to any table.
This year I've picked up a few tiny latch top jars and filled them with this decadent spread. They will be refrigerated until thanksgiving to give to my guests as favors. There is nothing like a cute little ribbon around a jar of something homemade for your friends and family to take home. You can even add name tags to them and use them as place markers at the table!
Holiday Honey Butter
1 stick Unsalted Butter (Softened)
2 Tbsp plus 1 Tsp Raw Honey
1 Tbsp Dried Cranberries (chopped)
1 tsp Orange Zest
1 tsp Flaky Sea Salt
1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 pinch Ground Clove
Let butter sit out to soften about 1 hour.
Add all ingredients to a bowl and whip for 2 minutes until creamy and combined.
Refrigerate in air tight container for up to two weeks.
You're answer is no.
You can never have too much butter...