composite (+ plain ol') butter donuts

Donut shaped butter. Butter rings. Whatever you want to call them, they are a super-simple way to serve butter at your next gathering. A small plate with a ring of butter, garnished with herbs, or maybe the center filled with chutney, depending. Scatter several of these around the table and everyone's got pretty butter.

I mixed up a few batches of my favorite composite butters (curry and anchovy) from Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook, and I made a set of plain, unsalted butter donuts, too. In general, one stick of butter will make two donuts. Please note right off the bat, as ridiculous as this sounds, that you must oil the donut pans! Otherwise, you and your donut pans will be in a world of hurt. Maybe I found this out the hard way. Also, you want your butter to be truly at room temperature, to be sure you can press it all the way down in the pan and not end up with gaps and bubbles. Also possibly learned the hard way.

So, you'll need parchement or wax paper, tin foil, as much (unsalted) butter as you wish, herbs and/or spices, salt, and olive oil, to grease those pans!

Here's the play-by-play:

 Curry butter provisions. Butter at this point can be slightly lower than room temperature.

 Fold ingredients together.

 Using two spoons can help assure the spices are fully integrated into the butter.

 Minced anchovies and butter.

Work until anchovies incorporated and butter smooth.

HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! Lightly but thoroughly oil the pans with olive oil.

Press the butter all the way down into the pan recesses to insure a smooth donut surface.
Shown here is the plain unsalted butter version.

 Smooth each donut with the back of your spoon.

Here are the anchovy and curry butter versions, ready to rock. These both work so nicely
with an East Coast shrimp boil dinner and a loaf of rustic bread, by the by.

After you've filled your pans with butter, wrap tightly with wax or parchment paper covered in foil, then stick in the freezer for an hour. To remove, loosen or remove the paper and foil, turn the pan over onto the counter over a dishtowel, and if the donuts don't fall out right away, give it a nice hard whack on the counter. Mine took one whack for the donuts on the corners and an extra one for the ones in the middle positions. Out of the ten I made, one cracked in half on the way out of the pan, but was easy to put back together.

The plain ones came out beautifully, because I really pressed them into molds. The anchovy and curry donuts didn't get that kind of attention, obviously.

As the rings come out of the pan, quickly collect them and lay flat side down on a parchment or wax covered baking sheet. They are butter, after all, and they want to melt in your hands! You can store in the refrigerator or the freezer, just remember to keep them wrapped up extra tight in the freezer as not to lose moisture or take on (or give off) food smells.

I think these are just beautiful, and I can't wait to serve them to company!


  1. Looks awesome. What kind of bread is that? It looks delish too!

    1. Windy! I don't know, something really seedy from Whole Foods. I hope I'm getting some of your jam, by the way!

  2. Loving the creativity. Loving all the new use of photos as well.

    Well done, Tiffany! I'm really liking the direction Corner Blog is heading off to!

    1. Thank you so much, Larissa! I miss you, and am assuming you're back and writing again. Will try to catch up on my reading this weekend. :)


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