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A recent report from Nielsen found that buying local is the most popular food-related cause that consumers care about. Join in on the trend this holiday season by cooking and baking with all-natural Wisconsin farm to table butter.

“With the growing interest in buying local food, the holiday season is the perfect opportunity to use Wisconsin dairy products,” said Suzanne Fanning, Senior Vice President at Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. “Not only does Wisconsin butter provide a fresher taste, but Wisconsin residents can feel good knowing that they are supporting the state’s iconic industry, which contributes $45.6 billion annually to our state’s economy and creates over 150,000 jobs. From Thanksgiving dinner to Christmas cookies, there is no better option than including Wisconsin butter in your holiday cooking and baking.”

Why are your recipes better with local butter?  

1. It is a sustainable choice. Local products have a smaller carbon footprint and travel less distance from the farm, to your local store, and into your kitchen. This promotes better air quality and reduces pollution.

2. It connects you to local farmers. By supporting the local economy and dairy farmers, this creates a closer relationship between you and the farmers in your community who produce your food.

3. It is a simple, pure ingredient. Local butter starts with the best quality milk from Wisconsin, thanks to the state’s lush grasslands. That is something you can feel good about serving your family and friends.

4. It makes homemade cooking and baking fresher. When it comes to irreplaceable flavor and texture, all-natural butter makes a huge difference. Not only is it delicious and nutritious, Wisconsin butter is pure and all-natural, which will make rich sauces, golden flakey crusts and buttery cookies.

5. It works for all your kitchen needs. Before buying, make sure you have the best butter for the job! Unsalted Butter is a solid choice for cooking and baking while Salted Butter is recommended to spread on foods like fresh bread or mashed potatoes. Cultured Butter or European-Style Butter are also ideal for baking and can provide a rich, complex flavor. For cooking needs with high heat, Clarified Butter and Ghee will get the job done without much splatter or burning.

When you use a powerhouse ingredient, like real butter, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to get a great tasting meal on the table. Make cooking and baking easy this holiday season with recipes found on WisconsinCheese.com such as Mascarpone Spritz Cookies, Warm Garlic Cheese Bread and Cheddar Blue Cheese Puffs.

When grocery shopping, check the label to make sure you’re buying local butter from Wisconsin.

Mascarpone Spritz Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 container (8 ounces) Cello® Rich and Creamy Mascarpone cheese

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

Green and red food coloring, optional

Assorted sprinkles

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in mascarpone. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and salt; beat until mixture is blended. Gradually beat in flour until combined. Divide the dough into thirds. Tint dough with food coloring if desired.

Fill cookie press with dough according to manufacturer’s directions. Press dough 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Decorate with sprinkles. Refrigerate baking sheets for 5 minutes. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until edges are just golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. Makes about 9 dozen.

Warm Garlic Cheese Bread

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 ounces Saxon Asiago Fresca™ cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)

3 ounces Maple Leaf Nordic™ Fontina cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)

2 ounces Nordic Creamery Parmesan cheese, grated (2/3 cup)

¼ cup minced fresh parsley

1 loaf (1 pound) French bread, halved lengthwise

Heat oven to 400°F. Line a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Beat butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the garlic, asiago, fontina, parmesan and parsley; beat until mixture is combined. Place bread cut sides up on prepared pan; spread with butter mixture. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheeses are bubbly and edges begin to brown. Serves eight.

TIP: Prepare butter mixture up to 3 days in advance. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Cut butter mixture into small pieces; let stand until softened. Spread on bread, and bake as directed. 

Cheddar Blue Cheese Puffs

½ cup water

½ cup milk

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

6 ounces Roelli Dunbarton Blue® cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)

Heat oven to 400°F. Line a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Bring the water, milk, butter, salt and pepper to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Add flour; stir vigorously until mixture pulls away from the sides of pan and a ball forms, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating each until well combined. Continue beating until dough is smooth and glossy. Stir in Dunbarton Blue®. Pipe or spoon heaping tablespoonful rounds of dough on prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Serve warm.  Makes 30 puffs.

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