When I was little girl, I used to spend a lot of weekends at my grandmother’s house. She is an amazing cook, and I have learned many things about good food and easy entertaining from her. One thing that I remember is that she always had little parchment paper logs of butter in her refrigerator at all times. At the time, I did not know that they had a fancy name, compound butter. All I knew was that she could make the most garlicky and wonderful garlic toast at a moment’s notice. That garlic bread inspired me to play around with making compound butters.
Compound butters can be sweet or savory. I make both types often, and find that it is a useful way to use up herbs or citrus that are about to spoil. I keep them in the freezer, and use them to top grilled vegetables, fish, chicken and even pasta. It is nothing more than softening butter, and adding in whatever you like to flavor the butter. Spread the butter mixture onto parchment paper, or plastic wrap, and roll into a log shape. Twist the ends, and chill until firm. Easy as that.
When the mood strikes to make French toast, I want to make the most flavorful and decadent French toast imaginable. To achieve this, I start by making a sweet version of compound butter. This one happens to have honey, cinnamon and beautiful flecks of vanilla bean running through it. The French toast has lots of flavor from brandy and orange zest. When the French toast is golden and brown, I put a generous slice or two of the honey butter on top. A sprinkle of powdered sugar if I am feeling fancy, and pure maple syrup. Your friends and family will feel spoiled by this breakfast, and they will not have to know how easy it was to make.
Honey Vanilla Bean Butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 vanilla bean, seeded
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, honey, sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla together until smooth.
Dollop the mixture onto parchment paper in a log shape. Roll the paper tightly and twist the ends to seal. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brandy
zest of one orange (or lemon)
4 slices French bread, sliced into 1-inch slices
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, brandy, and zest. Dip the bread slices into the egg mixture to coat.
Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Melt butter and oil together. Add bread and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. The french toast should be golden brown. Serve immediately with a generous slice of honey butter and pure maple syrup.
brunch, compound butter, french toast, honey butter
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