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Requested by:

Photo by Linda (LMT)

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Fort Myers, Florida, USA
Linda (LMT) is looking for: (4 recommendations)
Did you know BUTTER comes in grades ... For the best quality butter look on the package for AA (the highest quality), A is next then B. I would think this makes a difference especially when baking.

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Last updated: Jun. 19, 2013 4:01 pm
Posted: Jun. 19, 2013 7:34 am
 
Commented by: Heather
Jun. 19, 2013 7:44 am
hmpf I did not Thanks
Comments:
Indiana Peggy
Jun. 19, 2013 7:51 am
It would be interesting to have samples of the different grades, salted, unsalted, and do a blind taste test. Here's info from the USDA.gov website: ______"The specifications for the U.S. grades of butter are as follows:----- (a) U.S. Grade AA. U.S. Grade AA butter conforms to the following: Possesses a fine and highly pleasing butter flavor. May possess a slight feed and a definite cooked flavor. It is made from sweet cream of low natural acid to which a culture (starter) may or may not have been added. The permitted total disratings in body, color, and salt characteristics are limited to one- half (1/2). For detailed specifications and classification of flavor characteristics see Table I, and for body, color, and salt characteristics and disratings see Table II.------- (b) U.S. Grade A. U.S. Grade A butter conforms to the following: Possesses a pleasing and desirable butter flavor. May possess any of the following flavors to a slight degree: Acid, aged, bitter, coarse, flat, smothered, and storage. May possess feed flavor to a definite degree. The permitted total disratings in body, color, and salt characteristics are limited to one-half (1/2), except, when the flavor classification is AA, a disrating total of one (1) is permitted. For detailed specifications and classification of flavor characteristics see Table I, and for body, color, and salt characteristics and disratings see Table II.------ (c) U.S. Grade B. U.S. Grade B butter conforms to the following: Possesses a fairly pleasing butter flavor. May possess any of the following flavors to a slight degree: Malty, musty, neutralizer, scorched, utensil, weed, and whey. May possess any of the following flavors to a definite degree: Acid, aged, bitter, smothered, storage, and old cream; feed flavor to a pronounced degree. The permitted total disratings in body, color, and salt characteristics are limited to one-half (1/2), except, when the flavor classification is AA, a disrating total of one and one-half (11/2) is permitted and when the flavor classification is A, a disrating total on one (1) is permitted."
 
the4taals
Jun. 19, 2013 7:51 am
no Walmart butter for baking, too much liquid, was given a bunch last year what a nightmare!
 
DIZ♥
Jun. 19, 2013 7:56 am
That is good to know. I had 3 failed batches of my "never fail" toffee last year at X-mas and I swore up and down that it had to be the butter.
 
Indiana Peggy
Jun. 19, 2013 8:21 am
So another interesting thing to do: melt a stick of Walmart butter (which is labeled grade AA) and a stick of brand name butter and see if there is a difference in the water that separates. I wonder if there is any way to know from the labeling how much (if any) water is in the butter. I know there is water in the spreads in plastic tubs. They even make your toast soggy.
 
Indiana Peggy
Jun. 19, 2013 8:29 am
Linda, this is so interesting. Glad you brought this up. I found an article that says previously frozen butter does not do well in baking. So much I am unaware of! Here's the link, if you care. Interesting article. -----http://www.joyofbaking.com/Butter.html
 
westcoastmom
Jun. 19, 2013 8:32 am
That's interesting Peggy, I always thought you had to freeze it!
 
Indiana Peggy
Jun. 19, 2013 8:47 am
Yeah, mine is all frozen!
 
Linda (LMT)
Jun. 19, 2013 9:28 am
Oh boy ... I keep butter in the freezer too. I'm thinking to conclude some baking failures may all be due to the butter somehow and to think I was blaming the flour. More reading to do.
 
Commented by: westcoastmom
Jun. 19, 2013 8:04 am
Yes, I find different butters make a huge difference! I prefer Cultured/European butter. It's next to impossible to get grass fed butter in Canada, so the next best thing here is organic butter as the cows are fed primarily grass. The theory is grass fed has better for you fats like omega 3's.
Comments:
westcoastmom
Jun. 19, 2013 8:07 am
Also store your butter in the freezer so it doesn't loose it's taste, or take on the taste of other things in the fridge. Butter lasts 4 weeks in the fridge, 8 weeks in the freezer from the date it was made on.( if it doesn't have a use by date)
 
lisa
Jun. 19, 2013 8:22 am
Interesting! I actually buy Aldi's brand most of the time & have never had any baking mishaps w/it nor never noticed a diff between it &, say, Land O Lakes. I also use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, which I L-O-V-E.
 
iceemama
Jun. 19, 2013 8:27 am
That is really interesting. I never knew that and I never noticed the rating on the package. Thanks for letting us know!
 
westcoastmom
Jun. 19, 2013 8:30 am
I never noticed a difference until I splurged and bought the $$$$$ butter. Used it in my regular cookie recipe, and oh my it was good. Hubby bought the 'el cheapo' butter the next time, and my cookies had no flavour comparatively. If butter is a star flavour in your recipe, then I say splurge! ;)
 
lisa
Jun. 19, 2013 8:48 am
I'm going to look for that next time I hit the store. I wonder what dept it's sold in?? I don't recall seeing anything more expensive than Land o Lakes in the refrigerated butter section but maybe I'm just not looking close enough?? Maybe it would be near the expensive cheeses? What do you think? I need more of a reason to gorge myself on chocolate chip cookies....please ;)
 
Linda (LMT)
Jun. 19, 2013 9:29 am
I wonder what grade HOMEMADE butter falls into?? for baking.
 
mickdee
Jun. 19, 2013 9:33 am
Though I don't do a ton of baking, I haven't bought any other butter than "Plugra" (European) for 20 years. I agree with westcoastmom. Lisa, many stores carry it now, are there Hiller's out by you? I usually find it in the butter section on the top shelf. I guess it's like liquor! Lol!
 
Celeste
Jun. 19, 2013 10:04 am
Yes, it is true. I buy only local butter, it's very fresh and good. If you don't have local butter find out where the butter in your market comes from. Find one that is made close to home, if you can :)
 
westcoastmom
Jun. 19, 2013 10:54 am
Lisa,where I live, it usually depends on the store you shop at. Some have a wide range of different butters, and some stores only sell a brand or two. It's usually up high like others suggested, above all the other butter. It might say European style or Cultured on it, and most likely in foil packaging only.
 
lisa
Jun. 19, 2013 11:57 am
Ok, thanks, ladies! I'm going to try to find some on my next shopping excursion.
 
Jun. 19, 2013 4:00 pm
I think when you some bargain/off brand butter you probably get the lower grades. Major name brand butter is only available in the AA grade. I have made homemade butter from heavy cream, but the consistency is more like whipped butter, so you can measure it the same for use in baking. I assume during the manufacturing process, industrial machinery presses out the excess moisture making it more dense.
 
Jun. 19, 2013 4:01 pm
sorry typos.....when you BUY some bargain/off brand......and you CANNOT measure homemade butter the same as store bought.
 
Recommended Recipe:
Photo of: Honey Butter

Honey Butter

Submitted by: Lovesmurfs 
Easy to make, yummy to eat! Add 1 teaspoon of grated orange peel for breakfast or brunch. 
Recommended by: Volleyballmom
Jun. 19, 2013 10:52 am
Love honey butter on a nice ancient grain roll. Had no idea butter was "graded" . Good info Linda.
Comments:
Blender Woman
Jun. 19, 2013 11:35 am
I had no idea about this. I did notice a big difference in flavor with the thicker wrapped butter they have now that keeps odors out. The butter taste much more fresh. I believe it is Land O Lakes that does that now in some of their packs.
 
Blender Woman
Jun. 19, 2013 11:40 am
One more somewhat interesting fact. I went to Lancaster,PA recently and was told by the Amish that most all of the cows on the lands are milked for Land O Lakes now. I guess, that is a way to keep farming and make tons of money in the process.
 
Commented by: Semigourmet
Jun. 19, 2013 12:36 pm
No I didn't know that. I will be checking from now on. wow! who knew?
Comments:
Jun. 19, 2013 2:07 pm
What's baking w/out stocking up on butter when it's on sale?! I've probably made it worse when I thaw butter, then stick it back in freezer if I don't use it.
 
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