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~Orange Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean Breakfast Butter~

IMG_3634When 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. 

IMG_3073Now 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.

Click into the Related Article link below, for everything you need to know about:

IMG_3151~ The Savory-Sweet Simplicity of Compound Butter ~

OrangesWhen 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:

IMG_3531It was, however, the day it occured to me to add some vanilla to the mixure, in the form of actual vanilla beans (not liquid extract) that I stopped tweeking this recipe.  It was perfect!

6a0120a8551282970b015437fdf8df970cThe inside of a vanilla bean is filled with thousands of flavorful seeds. To remove the seeds from pod:  

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.

IMG_35298  tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (1 stick)

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

IMG_3559 IMG_3550~ Step 1. Place butter in a medium bowl and thoroughly stir in the vanilla bean seeds.  Allow mixture to rest 5 minutes then stir again.

IMG_3564Step 2.  Stir in the Cinnamon 'n Sugar and the sea salt.

IMG_3568~ 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.

IMG_3582~ Step 4. Stir in the orange marmalade.

Tip:  Don't bring the entire jar of marmalade to room temperature, just 2 tablespoonsful.

IMG_3593 IMG_3585~ Step 5. Transfer butter to a food storage container and cover.

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.

IMG_3602Once 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!)

IMG_3614Place a dollop or two on a "hot stack" (short or a tall)...

IMG_3622... and when it gets all melty, drizzle on the warm maple syrup...

IMG_3636... then tell me you love me!

IMG_3682Orange Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean Breakfast Butter:  Recipe yields 8 tablespoons equivalent to 1 stick of butter or 1/2 cup.

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

IMG_3391Cook'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)


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