What Is Compound Butter?


Popular in many restaurants, compound butters are butters with ingredients added to provide additional flavor. The added ingredients can be sweet, such as honey, or they can be savory, such as garlic. Making compound butters is very easy, even for those who don't consider themselves good cooks. You can customize the compound butter with whatever herbs and flavors you enjoy.


  • Compound butter made with sweet ingredients can be used to top waffles, bread or toast. Possible sweet ingredients to add to butter include cinnamon, jam, maple syrup or honey. When adding honey to the butter, use a one-to-one ration. For instance, use ¼ cup of butter and ¼ cup of honey mixed together. If you are adding spices, such as cinnamon, use a small amount first, such as 1 tsp. mixed into ½ cup of butter. You can always add more to your taste, as desired.


  • Savory ingredients that can be added to compound butter include herbs, spices and peppers. Fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary and sage all add flavor to compound butters. Garlic, chives, dill, shallots, parsley, paprika and peppers are also possible additions to the butter. You can add as much flavor to the butter as you like. It is also possible to add a touch of acid to the butter with fresh lemon juice.


  • To make compound butter, soften the butter to room temperature so it will be easier to mix. Prepare all of your added ingredients, such as chopping herbs, grinding pepper or juicing a lemon. Add the additional ingredients to the butter in a mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients together until they are well incorporated. Roll the butter into a log-shaped roll, and place it in plastic wrap. Freeze it for at least two hours before slicing.


  • There are numerous uses for compound butter. You can add it to dishes like pasta and mashed potatoes to add creamy flavor. It can be used as a spread for bread, toast or bagels. It is also possible to use compound butter as a topping for steamed vegetables, chicken breasts, roast beef or fish. Or, toss the compound butter with shrimp or add it as additional flavoring to sauces.

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