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Bourbon Cherry Butter with Orange

Bourbon Cherry Butter with OrangeThis butter combines all the elements of the classic 'Old Fashioned' cocktail and consequently finds a cozy place in the holiday kitchen and on the holiday table. Use it with pork, ham, duck and turkey or try it baked inside an acorn squash or tossed with carrots, beets and sweet potatoes. It’s also wonderful as a spread on bread, rolls or muffins.

Recipe Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried cherries*
1/4 cup bourbon
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons orange zest, freshly grated
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, or to taste
1 tablespoon orange or angostura bitters or additional bourbon (optional)

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, soak the cherries in bourbon, stirring occasionally, until bourbon is almost absorbed. This will take 2 to 12 hours. (To speed the process, lightly heat the cherries in bourbon, but cool completely before adding to butter.)
  2. Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl and with an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle) or wooden spoon, beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides.
  3. Add the soaked cherries, zest, sugar and bitters or additional bourbon (if using) and beat to incorporate, scraping sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  4. Scrape into a small bowl, serving crock or butter mold and cover tightly; or shape into a long roll in grease-proof paper (plastic, wax or parchment) for storing and slicing as needed.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

*Dried cherries can be ordered online or found in the bulk department of fine grocers or health food stores. You may also substitute the more readily available cherry-flavored sweetened dried cranberries.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.