My boy recently went on a field trip with his class to an 1800’s homestead where they helped churn butter the old fashioned way. Because I love the idea of making whatever you can yourself, I immediately went out and bought a pint of heavy cream to make our own butter.
There are numerous ways one can make homemade butter. I started by shaking the cream in a container with marbles. When it started becoming too hard to shake, I finished it with a handheld mixer. You could also use a blender to seperate the butter and buttermilk. When it starts to clump, you pour out the buttermilk (save for homemade buttermilk waffles or pancakes) and then wash the butter with cold water. The butter will keep longer if you remove as much buttermilk as possible.
We ended up with about a cup of butter and 6 ounces of buttermilk.
Later in the day, I ran out to the mailbox and was pleased to see the December issue of Martha Stewart Living. I truly treasure sitting down with a steaming cup of coffee and a new issue of my favorite magazine. Inside I found a recipe to try out our freshly made butter with… Brussels Cookies.
I started with this:
In a bowl, whisk:
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp salt
In another, cream:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
Mix the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add:
- 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 egg whites at room temperature
Beat on high for another 3 minutes until well combined.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed ingredients, along with:
- 1/3 cup finely chopped nuts of your choice (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts)
- 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag with 1/2 inch plain round tip. Pipe 2 inch long fingers onto a parchment lined baking sheet. I got about 9 fingers on each sheet.
Bake in a 350F oven for 8-12 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges.
After they cool for a bit, place about 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat until spreading consistency.
Sandwich the cookies and enjoy.
I made mine with hazelnuts but have come to realize that I like walnuts and almonds better. The next time I make these (and there WILL be a next time) I will try almonds.
They have a better consistency a day later when the mixture of chocolate and cookie has had a chance to mingle :)