~Orange Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean Breakfast Butter~
When I was a busy mom raising three boys, making a fancy-schmancy compound butter for their bagels, English muffins, pancakes or waffles wasn't high on my list of weekday things to do. I made breakfast every day, but when it came to the condiments, it was every man for himself: the peanut butter, preserves, maple syrup and butter went out on the table commando-style.
Now that it's just Joe and me (a more relaxed morning schedule), the bread, muffins, pancakes and waffles are made from scratch, and, I have the time to take pleasure in and put thought into "the small stuff" too: like making the butter taste extra-special. For my homemade cinnamon-raisin bread, a simple concoction of 2 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons of Cinnamon 'n Sugar turns my homemade cinnamon-raisin bread into a totally delightful toast experience.
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When it comes to breakfast, everyone will agree that oranges are the premier citrus fruit: orange juice, orange marmalade, orange segments, etc. The bright taste of orange is simply a refreshing way to start the day. The combination of orange and cinnamon is a long-established one, meaning: I did not invent it, I just love it. It was only natural for me to stir some orange flavor to my Cinnamon 'n Sugar butter, and, marmalade came before the oily zest because it's nicely-sweetened and ready to use.
Time out to talk about the vanilla bean:
Using kitchen shears, cut the bean in two down its entire length. I find this easier to do if I cut the bean in half (into 2 shorter pieces) first. Or, you can use the tip of a paring knife to split the bean open down its entire length. Holding onto the bean, run the knife blade down the length of the exposed center to scrape out all of the seeds.
2 large, soft, fresh vanilla beans, split open as directed above, seeds removed
1 teaspoon Cinnamon 'n Sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2-2 tablespoons orange zest, 1 large orange works out right
2 tablespoons orange marmalade, at room temperature
~ Step 3. Using a microplane grater add the orange zest. Do not zest the orange in advance or it will lose its bright color and begin to stick together (get clumpy) instead of being light, loose and airy.
Tip: Don't bring the entire jar of marmalade to room temperature, just 2 tablespoonsful.
If serving free-form, to slather on bread, refrigerate 2 hours or overnight, to give flavors time to marry. Overnight is best. Return to room temperature prior to serving.
If scooping it into small portions or shaping it into a log, refrigerate 20-30 minutes, or unti it is just firm enough to shape.
Once scooped onto a parchment lined baking pan or rolled into log and wrapped in plastic, refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Use small scoops of compound butter as directed, cold or at room temperature. Logs must be sliced cold, then used as directed, cold or at room temperature.
Note: I always scoop this particular butter because it's easy to place a dollop on a hot pancake or waffle. (PS: It's delicious on a fish fillet too!)
Special Equipment List: cutting board; kitchen shears; paring knife; spoon; microplane grater; 1/2 cup food storage container w/lid; small ice-cream scoop; baking pan; parchment paper
Cook's Note: To get a recipe for one of my favorite savory compound butters, which is great slathered on toasted bread, dolloped onto a grilled steak or roasted chicken breast, or, tossed into pasta for a luscious side-dish, just click into Categories 4, 12, 20 or 22 for ~ Italian Basil, Tomato, Garlic, Parm & Pepper Butter ~ !
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2014)