Have you ever finished cooking your perfect holiday meal, only to find that it all lacks a little je-ne-sais-quois when put all together? If you're looking for a simple way to upgrade your holiday spread without getting too complicated, look no further than a holiday butter sculpture to add that perfect finishing touch.
Of course, this isn't about the massive, lifelike butter sculptures you might see in art exhibits. You can make or buy a small, fist-sized butter turkey sculpture to pair with bread or baked potatoes for a unique and memorable Thanksgiving meal. The easiest way to get your hands on a holiday butter sculpture would be to head down to your local grocery store and see if they stock any of Keller's Creamery butter sculptures. With an Easter bunny, Thanksgiving turkey, and a Christmas tree available during their respective holiday seasons, these fun sculptures are perfect for a quick and hassle-free way of adding a finishing touch to your meal spread.
How To Make And Use Butter Sculptures
If Keller's Creamery or other brands of butter sculptures aren't available at your local grocery chains, however, they're not too difficult to make at home. As a soft and malleable ingredient with a very low melting point, butter is easy to shape using any other kind of chocolate or candy mold. You simply have to soften the butter to about room temperature, then carefully pack it into the molds before putting them in the fridge to set. While you can use any kind of mold, you'll generally want to use silicone or plastic ones so you can pop out the butter sculptures without damaging them too much in the process. You can even re-use the plastic casing for Keller's Creamery butter sculptures for a near-perfect replica made with your own butter.
Of course, once you get started with DIY butter sculpting, the possibilities are endless. If you'd rather have individual pieces of butter to top your food with, you can use a cookie cutter on flattened and chilled butter to make fun shapes instead of a full sculpture. Not to mention, you can use any kind of butter, opening up the option for delicious flavored butters like roasted garlic or thyme. Want to add a little color to your charcuterie board? Try making a butter sculpture out of red wine butter for a striking presentation that's sure to wow any guest, whether it's during the holidays or not.
Making Butter Candles
If you really want to go the extra mile and make it a holiday to remember, the surefire way to make an impression is to make a butter candle out of your butter sculpture. All you need to do is just insert an edible candle wick in the center of your butter sculpture — you can do this by either sandwiching the wick between the two halves of your molded and set butter sculpture, or poking a small hole into an already-assembled one to wedge the wick inside.
However, because the butter in your butter candle will be exposed to the candle flame the entire time it's burning, you may want to clarify your butter beforehand. Clarified butter and ghee have a higher smoke point and are better suited for proximity to high temperatures — if you have the option to do so, clarifying your butter before turning it into a candle isn't a bad idea.
Another caveat is that you probably shouldn't let it burn all the way down. While much less dangerous than vegetable-based oils, butter can still release carcinogenic toxins during prolonged exposure to extreme heat. A candle flame may be small, but it's still an open flame to be careful of. For your health and safety, butter candles are probably best treated like birthday candles: Lit up for the visual factor, then put out after the initial presentation. And while they are edible, you should probably avoid eating the burnt wick as well.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.