Today on the show:
Michelle Mielke from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board was with us to talk about holiday baking with real WI butter.
Butterisbest.com is where you can go to order your recipe cards. We got to sample some of the goodies in the recipe book and they were amazing! I can't wait to bake them for my family.
She also brought in some helpful baking tips which we didn't get to cover on the air so here they are:
Helpful Tips for Holiday Baking, Cooking with Butter:
- Keep it fresh. Store butter in it's original packaging or in a tightly covered container in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the refrigerator door. Keep butter away from foods with strong odors or distinct flavors.
- Butter can be frozen in it's 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.
- 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 cohesive consistency by helping mix both fat-and water-based ingredients. For the best consistency and flavor, use cold, hard butter.
- Flavor enhancer. 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.
- Get prepped. Before you begin baking, make sure you are familiar with the recipe, its ingredients and preparation techniques. Read the recipe thoroughly and organize the necessary ingredients and equipment in your baking area.
- Measure up. Baking is a science: the more accurate your ingredient measurements, the better your end product. Sift or stir dry ingredients as the recipe directs, prior to measuring, and then carefully spoon into the correct sized measuring cup, leveling off with a straight edge. Measure liquids in a clear measuring cup placed on a level surface. Bend over to read the amount at eye level.
- No substitutions. Do not use spreads, such as margarine or shortening or part-butter products, to replace butter in a recipe. Spreads contain less fat and more water than butter and will not perform the same.
- Avoid sticky situations. Keep cookies from sticking to baking sheets by using a layer of parchment paper to cover the baking sheets or by buttering the sheets with a piece of buttered paper towel.
- Chill out. For the best cookie results, keep dough chilled in between baking batches of cookies. For cutout cookies, work with only one small piece of dough at a time and keep remaining dough refrigerated.
- The right roll. Roll cookie dough between two layers of lightly floured parchment or wax paper. The cookie dough will roll evenly and remove easily, without sticky to the rolling pin or counter.
- Quick to cool. Cookies bake best when the dough is placed on cool cookie sheets. Accelerate the cooling process by running tepid water over the back of your baking sheets. Dry thoroughly.
- Well-defined lines. For crisp-looking, well-defined holiday cookie shapes, place cutouts on a cookie sheet and refrigerate about 30 minutes before baking.
- Perfect timing. Watch cookies carefully during baking and remove when they begin to turn light brown around the edges. Remember, cookies continue to bake from the heat of the cookie sheet after they are removed from the oven.
- Safe storage. Store soft cookies, such as drop cookies, in a container with a tight lid, and crisp cookies, such as florentines, in a container with a loose lid.