Ah, butter—the (literally) heart-stopping star of the dairy world. Everything tastes better with it, from pie crusts and cookies to veggies and steaks. Hell, you can even fry things in butter if you want the best-tasting fried foods of your (short) life.
Unless you're vegan or lactose intolerant, butter is an indispensible ingredient. However, butter is no one-trick pony. It can take many forms that make it even more versatile and useful in the kitchen. Clarified butter has many advantages over regular butter—but there are certain cases where you shouldn't use it. More on that later.
Butter can be even more delicious than it already is. While that may be a shocking claim, it's most definitely true. Many new cooks and even seasoned chefs don't realize this, but the few minutes it takes to do these things will pay you back exponentially when it comes to that buttery taste.
Butter is one of the most versatile ingredients in the world: its variety of uses range from brightening a morning piece of toast to finishing a beautiful rib-eye steak with decadent flair.
We've already taught you a few tricks for getting chilled, rock-hard butter to spread easily on toast, and some of you probably bypass that issue entirely by purchasing spreadable butter from the supermarket. But why waste your money when you can make a healthier, tastier version at home for a fraction of the cost?
We're a little butter-obsessed here, and that includes topics on why butter should always be browned, the rationale behind clarifying butter, and even how to make a DIY butter candle. And while some may consider the problem strictly one for the first world, we're always very interested in ways to spread cold butter on toast without ripping the bread to shreds. If you read that post, you know the ingenious solutions are many and range from grating your butter to buying a heated butter knife.
Rich, creamy chocolate cups stuffed with smooth, salty-sweet peanut butter in a bite-sized package—yep, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are an amazing fix for your sweet tooth at best, and a guilty pleasure at worst. It's easy enough to buy them on a whim at the local grocery store, but it's even easier than you might think to make them right at home.
Let's talk for a second about compound butter. No, scratch that, let's not. Because compound butters are too much work. You have to shape them and roll them and tie them and cut them... no thank you.
You have warm toast, but your butter is chilled to a rock-solid state. Sure, you could warm a bit of that butter up in a microwave before spreading, but chances are you're just as impatient as the rest of us, so you slap that frigid butter on and hope for the best. It always ends up the same, though.
The peanut butter and jelly sandwich has officially left the building. When you eat this every other day in elementary school, you've sort of reached your limit. The thing is, peanut butter itself is delicious and quite versatile if used in the right way. Let's explore this kitchen cabinet staple and showcase it via the three dinner courses.
We can't resist a good peanut butter cup—especially when it's homemade. But it's not just the peanut butter or the chocolate that makes us pledge our undying love to these sweet treats over and over again. Nope. What really drives us wild about them is their shape. Yup: we love candy cups.
If you have a good food processor or blender, there's no reason not to make your own nut butters, whether you like almond, cashew, sunflower, or the perennial classic, peanut.
I'm an impulsive baker, which means that the instructions to "bring ingredients to room temperature" make me want to kick myself for not thinking ahead. Sure, some ingredients like milk or water you can heat up, but that means messing up an extra pot or pan.
Peanut butter cookies may not have as big a fan base as their chocolate-chip counterparts, but their distinct flavor is loved by many a cookie enthusiast.
Don't panic the next time you pull an empty tub of butter from the fridge. If you have some heavy whipping cream, save yourself a trip to the grocery store and just make your own. When heavy cream is shaken violently for a long enough duration, it turns to butter—and if you're doing it by hand, it also feels like your arm turns to jello.
It's easy to grab a box of pre-prepared microwave popcorn at the grocery store. Yet with so much salt, butter, and other unpronounceable ingredients, microwave popcorn can go from a healthy snack to a complicated one.
Look through the dessert recipes on any food blog and there's a pretty good chance you'll find something with chocolate and peanut butter. It's one of the most common combinations in candy bars and other sweets (not that I'm complaining).
How To: You've Been Wasting the Best Part! 5 Delicious Uses for Your "Empty" Nutella & Peanut Butter Jars
Some food jars seem like they're actually designed to prevent you from enjoying every last bit inside. The remnants of sticky foods like Nutella and peanut butter are almost impossible to scrape out with a knife or spoon, and it's a shame to throw out something that tastes so good—especially when it's the best part. A spatula could help you get that last drop out from the walls or bottom easier, but that's just ruining your chance at maximizing the full potential of those remains into somethi...
If you've never heard of cookie butter, it must be because you live in a town where there's no Trader Joe's. It was their most popular item in 2012, and when it started to become popular, the Internet promptly went nuts, posting recipe after recipe using it as an ingredient. For those of you who don't live near a Trader Joe's but still want to see what all the fuss is about, there's good news—you can make it at home—and you don't need spiced Speculoos shortcrust biscuits either!
A stack of light-as-air pancakes can make a weekend morning truly golden. While fluffy pancakes may not seem like rocket science, the reality is that there are many little details that can contribute to a pancake fail that's either too dense or too crumbly.
Mashed potatoes are universally beloved, and for a good reason — they're cheap, tasty, and relatively easy to make. What's more, they're adaptable to just about every dietary regimen, whether you're vegan, gluten-free, or lactose-intolerant. And they're a staple for holidays such as Thanksgiving.
Corn on the cob is one of the most popular accompaniments to a bountiful meal shared with a group because it's cheap, easy to prepare in a number of different ways, filling, and fun to eat. The butter is passed around the table for guests to smooth onto their own cooked ear of maize, then people dive in once everyone's corn is dripping with golden goodness.
Microwave popcorn promises so much—a tasty, relatively healthy snack that's ready in minutes—yet it rarely delivers. Most of the time you'll end up with a scorched bagful or a bunch of stubborn un-popped kernels, but it doesn't have to be that way. With a few simple tricks, it's easy to get perfectly fluffy, tender-crisp popcorn every time.
Hey, coffee drinkers—your morning cup of joe is killing your metabolism.
Corned beef and cabbage is rarely eaten in Ireland (or at least America's version of the dish), but on St. Patrick's Day, many Irish Americans and wannabe Irish Americans will head to the bar to eat sloshy, poorly cooked versions of corned beef and cabbage while downing some jolly green ale.
Few things are as frustrating as grabbing food from the fridge just to discover that your leftovers have gone bad. When it comes to cheese, you may have taken every last precaution to keep it as fresh as possible—sealed plastic containers, saran wrap, parchment paper—but to no avail.
Any other person can make plain pancakes... but only the most awesome of cooks can make stuffed pancakes. Luckily, this isn't a tough technique—in fact, it's so easy that you'll find yourself getting bored of the run-of-the-mill pancakes and dreaming of all the things you can stuff pancakes with, instead.
Making a good pie crust can seem intimidating to the uninitiated, but once you master this skill, a whole world opens up to you. Not only can you make all manner of fruit, custard, and cream-filled pies once you know all the tricks, you can branch out into the world of quiches, savory pies, and flaky, crispy turnovers, too. We've already told you how to get perfect, firm fruit pie fillings, so now, let's learn about crust.
One of my favorite things is finding an easy way to make what is normally a complex dish. Case in point: pasta sauce. Usually its depth of flavor is the result of fresh herbs, shallots, tomatoes, seasonings, olive oil, and a touch of dairy being cooked and added in stages. Long simmering mellows out each component's inherent character and turns pasta sauce into something that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Apples are great snacks, and they're often paired with peanut butter or sliced cheese for a well-rounded energy boost of carbs, fat, and protein. The apples are an important part of the equation, as they are low-calorie and full of vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and lots of other good stuff. It's the other half that's always the problem, as eating too much peanut butter or cheese is an easy way to polish off a boatload of calories and fat in one sitting.
It's no secret that the microwave is a modern-day wonder that, when used correctly, can cook a wide variety of food in a snap.
There are countless recipes for mug cakes (and breads) on the internet, but not all of them are good. Mug cakes promise a warm, moist, and fluffy cake after a few minutes and with minimal work... but sometimes, all you end up with is a chewy, rubbery mess.
You've probably noticed artichokes at the front and center of your local grocery store or farmer's market recently, as spring is artichoke season; They may look like strange, complicated vegetables if you've never cooked them before.
Make delicious candy for Easter from the comfort of your kitchen with copycat versions of your favorite classics: Marshmallow Peeps, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Reese's Peanut Butter eggs, Almond Joy bars, and chocolate bunnies. The best part is that you get your sugar fix without the preservatives.
Calling all popcorn fanatics: we know a bit of drizzled butter is all that's needed to make a delicious bowl of your favorite finger food, but we've got some interesting mash-ups of flavors that we think you should try the next time you veg out on your couch for another Netflix marathon.
Girl Scout cookies are arguably some of humankind's greatest creations. Not only are they tasty, but they also support an excellent, female-empowering cause. While many folks (cough—yours truly—cough) have been known to plow through an entire sleeve of cookies at a time, there are ways to use Girl Scout cookies beyond shoving as many as you can into your mouth at once.
Everyone and his mother (and grandmother) has a chocolate chip cookie recipe that he swears is the absolute best recipe, guaranteed to produce a chocolate chip cookie so good it will make you weep with joy. The problem with that is that everyone—relatives included—has a different idea of exactly what constitutes a perfect chocolate chip cookie.
If there's one thing that gets used far too frequently in the modern kitchen, it's the trash can. Home cooks everywhere waste enormous amounts of food by throwing it away before it's actually ready to be tossed.
Cookies for breakfast seem like a clear dietary no-no, but these three-ingredient breakfast cookies are easy, healthy, portable, and can be made in advance. They're also dairy-free, egg-free, and have no added processed sugar, so they can also be called allergy-friendly cookies. If you use gluten-free quick oats in this recipe, they are also gluten-free breakfast cookies! Besides all of those reasons, these cookies are only about 50 calories each when they're made with just the original three...
We're always looking for great food hacks to help us become better cooks who can create delicious food with less waste, fuss, and hassle. You never know where the next good tip will come from, so we've all learned to keep our eyes and ears wide open.