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Making Butter Better

Contributed by: NAPSA

(NAPSA) - Chefs are spreading the word that there may be a way to make butter even better: flavor it. Flavored butters are easy to prepare and can make your family brunch or special celebration even more enjoyable-and when they're served out of crocks, the butters can be enjoyed virtually anytime.

Try these delicious flavor ideas:

Apple-Cinnamon Butter

Add 2 oz. dried apple, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tbsp. brown sugar to 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted and softened butter. Mix all ingredients in food processor until well-combined. Serve with fresh scones, muffins or other breakfast breads.

Roasted Hazelnut Butter

Roast 4 oz. fresh hazelnuts in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove skin from nuts and coarsely chop them. Mix nuts and 1/4 tsp. lemon zest with 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted and softened butter until well-combined. Great served on country bread with afternoon tea!

Cranberry Butter

Mix 1/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries and 1/4 cup maple syrup with 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted and softened butter. Be sure not to over-mix or butter will turn pink. Place half the mixture in the butter crock and serve. Refrigerate remaining portion until ready to use. Scrumptious spread for warm waffles and pancakes.

Bananas Foster Butter

Whip together 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted and softened butter, 1/2 large mashed banana, 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon, 2 tbsp. brown sugar and 1/2 tbsp. banana liqueur until completely blended. Serve with French Toast or pancakes.

Many professional chefs recommend a French-style ceramic crock to store and serve butter. That helps the butter keep its rich, creamy taste and makes it easy to use and spread.

The design of the original butter crock, like the Butter Bell crock, dates back to French chefs of the middle ages who used the crocks to keep butter from spoiling. The Butter Bell crock creates an airtight seal of water that cools and softens the butter. The only maintenance required is to change the small amount of water every three days.

The product can make a great gift for a favorite dinner party host or virtually anyone who loves to cook and serve food.

It's available at selected houseware, specialty and gourmet outlets.

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