Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday Tips #2 - The Cold Butter Problem

Tuesday Tips #2- The Cold Butter Problem

I love baking, and moving onto the boat hasn't changed that. Our Tartan 42 has a wonderful galley, and I bake often in it. I also happen to have a captain with a particular penchant for cookies. Inevitably, making cookies is an impromptu thing, spurred on by the realization that I've already heated the oven for dinner and may as well not waste the propane used to heat up the oven. This usually results in the realization that I don't have enough softened butter to cream with the sugar, something I nearly always do by hand. After a lot of experimentation, I've come up with a solution to the dilemma that works so well that I use it for biscuits, pie crust, and any other recipe that requires cutting cold butter into a flour mixture. All you need is a very inexpensive cheese grater like this one, although I've had mine for over twenty years.

Take your chilled or frozen stick of butter and grate it into your bowl. If you're cutting the butter into a flour mixture, then grate about a half inch of the stick and stir that in, then repeat until it's all mixed in. Using a whisk, it will cut into the flour mixture in no time. If you grate it all then try to stir it in, it will clump into a ball and make it harder. If you're grating it into sugar to cream, do a small portion as well, mixing it lightly into the sugar until you have it all grated. After its lightly mixed in then you can beat it to cream it into the sugar. Enjoy!

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