March 28, 2009

Meet the Buttertons

I generally try to avoid commercial recipes older than a decade. There's just something about cookbooks produced in the 70s, 80s, and 90s that turns me off. Perhaps it's the poor lighting and disastrous color schemes. Whatever it is, I'm perpetually afraid that anything I make from an older cookbook will turn out like the Ham and Egg Salad from one of the many 70s Jello books.

So, it took a lot of courage for me to break out some recipes from the DAK bread machine cookbook my mother gave me. I don't think DAK even makes bread machines anymore; either way, the 1992 Guide to Automatic Bread Making is an ugly beast of a cookbook. I've tried some of the bread recipes (both machine and hand-made), and I was none too impressed. Tucked in the back of the book, though, is a recipe for "The Kaplan's Better Than Butter." I was enticed by the highly original name, as well as the vivid description:

"It's frustrating. Bread is filled with fiber and good-for-you wholesome ingredients. But, if you're always dieting as I am, butter and margarine are killers. Well, no more. Forget 100 calorie per tablespoon butter loaded with cholesterol. Forget 100 calorie per tablespoon margarine. Now, just 7 calories gives you a really rich tasting spread that will enhance the flavor of all your bread. Forget thin diet spread. Forget the taste of cottage cheese (which I hate). With this spread, which you can make it minutes, you can enjoy your favorite breads smothered in better-than-butter spread any time."
My bread-loving spouse is on a diet, so I figured I would try the recipe. It's quite a simple thing. You just blend (I used a food processor) a pint of lowfat cottage cheese, ¼ cup water, 4 tablespoons nonfat dry milk, a couple of envelopes of Sweet 'n Low (if you're classy like me, stolen from the local Chinese buffet), and a butt-ton of artificial butter flavoring. The recipe calls for 2 envelopes of ButterBuds, but I used almost half a container of Molly McButter sprinkles. Add more butter flavoring to taste.

At first, I was underwhelmed by the spread. It certainly doesn't look like much. It's rather thin, but the butter taste does mask the cottage cheese taste (and it fits beautifully back into the cottage cheese container). I left it in the fridge for a couple of days and came back to it. I put it on a toasted bagel (I know, I'm weird), and it was delicious! I suppose I should always wait to judge spreads until I put them on things, but I was very pleasantly surprised that the texture worked well with the bread.

So, go out and make yourself some 7 calorie butter. It won't work miracles like DAK would like you to believe, but it is quite tasty.

Besides, I'd hate for you to end up like my spouse's family. We always joke that the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" commercial with the Buttertons is about her family. Every "family recipe" I receive from them involves at least one stick of butter and most likely some heavy cream. Of course, fat makes everything delicious. As Mike Rowe would say, "Fat is money."

1 comment:

  1. Oh my. I LOLed all the way through this post.

    I don't think I'll be making any non-butter spreads anytime soon, but you make a good argument. 7 calories, ay?