I love butter!
I love it in any shape or form----baked in cookies or cakes, melted with garlic, slathered on toast (sometimes with cinnamon sugar), mixed with olive oil to lightly stir-fry everything from chicken to snap peas.
I love what it does to food!
I don’t even mind if it dribbles down my chin!
A common question on the Buzz is whether to use salted or unsalted butter—if a recipe calls for unsalted but someone has
only salted, what do you do? Every time that question comes up, there is a mixed answer.
Some swear by salted, some by unsalted. I myself have used what I happen to have on hand.
I didn’t think I could tell that big of a difference as long as the quality of the butter is a good one.
I decided it was time to do a blind taste test!
To make the cookies as unfettered as I could in regards to ingredients, I chose to use King Arthur Flour’s Holiday Butter
Cookies. One batch was made with unsalted butter, and the other batch salted butter.
These cookies were made under the same conditions using Land O Lakes butter, King Arthur flour, C&H powdered sugar, Morton salt, King Arthur vanilla, and Safeway eggs.
These cookies always turn out perfectly, and the dough is so easy to work with!
Aren’t the cookie cutters cute? They are from King Arthur Flour!
(Are you seeing a common theme here?)
My daughter is a 2nd grade teacher, and I bring treats for the teachers and staff from time to time.
On this occasion they had to work for their treats! If they took a cookie from one plate, they had to take one from the second plate so they could compare the taste and then choose A, B, or Undecided.
None of them chose the latter. The results?
Thirteen of them preferred A, the unsalted, and eleven chose B, the salted.
One said the unsalted ones were sweeter and creamier, another said that the salted was too salty.
One other said he wanted more of either type----with icing (they’ve had Sugar Cookie Icing from allrecipes before)!
One said she was sure that A was the salted because she loves salt.
I have a theory on this. I think that when salt is added fresh to the mix that it stands out more—that the salt in the salted butter is so mixed in that it’s not as recognizable to the taste buds.
I also read online about taste buds. I had always learned that the tongue has distinct areas for tasting salt, sour, acid, and sweet.
One new theory is that this isn’t true, that they are spread all over the mouth. I'm not so sure about this because I think I can taste the salt in the front of my mouth.
My own family was divided.
My husband couldn’t tell the difference--he didn’t like either!
My son couldn’t tell but liked them both. My daughter, the 9-year-old granddaughter, and daughter-in-law liked B; the 4-year-old granddaughter just wanted more of whatever kind she could get!
So what did I learn from this blind taste test?
I learned that you should make cookies using whatever butter you like most.
Just make cookies using butter!