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What is the best brand of Butter for baking cookies?

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what do you bakers like to use for cookies. I know good quality butter makes a difference on how your baked goods turn out.

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  1. Plugrá unsalted. It beats Land-O-Lakes but I wouldn't use anything fancier than that for cookies. Some French butters are great for eating but I think they might not make enough of a difference in a recipe, and they are pricey.

    I use Plugrá as my default baking butter and love it. There are a million threads about it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sir Gawain

      I bake A LOT and I only use Land O Lakes. Sorry - but I love the taste and I ALWAYS receive compliments on my baking, not to mention requests for the recipe.

      For your own satisfaction, why not do a bake off and post the results? We'd all love to see what you think@

      1. re: TC

        You know, L-O-L was my default cooking butter until they stopped using the metal foil. The parchment or whatever, paper probably - they wrap the sticks in now just doesn't protect the butter from oxidation as well. It's not a bad butter, even though it has a bit more water than Plugrá - and yes, you CAN tell when cooking/baking with it - but you never know just how fresh it's going to be, and it won't keep nearly as well as Plugrá.

        Besides, it tastes better when eaten. But I'm not saying L-O-L is bad...

        1. re: Sir Gawain

          I decided to start using Plugra (and Celles sur Belle - or something like that, can't remember the brand name exactly) after I tasted them on a bit of bread. The taste, in my op., is far superior to any American butter I've tasted - from Strauss Organic to Land O' Lakes to Clover. I figure if I feel the taste is way better, the whatever I'm making will be, too.

    2. I use Land O' Lakes sweet butter. I buy it on sale, usually half price, and keep in the freezer wrapped in Saran wrap and in ZipLock Freezer bags.

      I find it is the freshest. The imported butters don't have such a big turnover. The Plugra and other French butters sold here in the States is nothing like the fresh slab butter one gets in France.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Fleur

        Um, Plugrá is made here in the good ole USA and simply has a higher butterfat content. It is not an "imported" butter. And it does taste better than L-O-L.

        1. re: Fleur

          Not only does Land O' Lakes contain Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormones, it has less flavor because it has more water conten. Land O' Lakes contains about 19 percent water, compared with 15 percent in European and European-style brands. If you are going ust butter, eat the good stuff or refrain from eating it at all.

          Link: http://www.muckraked.com

          1. re: josh L

            Naturally, for table use and a lot of cooking, European-style butter is far superior. But, since we are talking about cookies here, the lower moisture content in these butters can also cause problems. Particularly in recipes where there is no other added moisture (other than eggs) such as chocolate chip cookies, brownies, etc. These recipes were developed with American-style butters in mind, and it may take some tweaking to adapt them.

        2. The gold standard in the US used to be LOL unsalted.

          Until they stopped wrapping it in foil. Now, its depends much more on how well the entire distribution chain keeps that butter away from odors (butter, being a fat, absorbs odors like a sponge; wax paper does not do nearly as good a job as foil) that can create off flavor notes. Some places are better than others; its a crapshoot. Why on earth LOL ruined its reputation with this cheapskate move is a question murmured by legions of bakers across America.

          10 Replies
            1. re: Karl S

              Now, I have a question. I was watching this week's America's Test Kitchen and they did a butter tasting. Plugra tested relatively low and then they voted Land-o-Lakes ultra creamy butter as first in flavor.

              When you guys are saying L-O-L has gone down in flavor, are you talking about the regular unsalted butter or the ultra creamy one?

              (I've never had the Plugra or the L-O-L ultra creamy, so wondering if you have an opinion

              Thanks!

              Link: http://virtualfrolic.blogspot.com/

              1. re: vf

                LOL Ultra Creamy (82% butterfat) is foil wrapped but (after an initial widespread marketing effort that has been retrenched, it seems) is not widely available. It is a relatively new product designed to compete with Plugra.

                I was talking about the standard LOL unsalted butter (80% butterfat), which stopped being foil-wrapped after LOL retrenched on the Ultra Creamy marketing. It was a nasty one-two by LOL.

                That said, I am not surprised that LOL Ultra-Creamy won out; Plugra has not impressed me with it's flavor. I prefer Kate's (though it's only 80% butterfat).

                1. re: Karl S

                  I guess it's a matter of personal preference... but to me Plugra tastes great, smells great. Just a pure buttery flavor.

                  1. re: Sir Gawain

                    I'll agree with you on Plugra salted - that I really like. Don't like the unsalted I've gotten at TJs. Doesn't taste like anything.

                    1. re: Linda W.

                      I agree. Plugra unsalted doesn't taste of sweet dairy like other unsalted butters, and thus reminds me of the admonition of "Aunt T" in the movie "A Family Thing", instructing Robert Duvall's character to be sure to get her salted, not unsalted, butter:

                      "Don't know why anybody'd eat unsalted butter. Might as well eat Vaseline. Got about as much flavor."

                      1. re: Karl S

                        When we lived in nothern New York state my mother used to get unsalted whipped butter in Canada. It was wonderful and a revelation to me in butter. I don't remember brand or anything and it is something I have sorely missed for years. We could also get tubs of cultured butter from Cabot. It had a tangy cheesiness that I loved. I don't seem to be able to find that anywhere not even at Jungle Jims in Cincinnati and boy do they have butter. The selection is amazing. It is worth a trip over there just to buy butter.

                        1. re: Candy

                          Re. the absence of "buttery flavor" in unsalted butter, it might really be a matter of exposure. No, I am *not* saying that my palate is more refined than yours - though that is probably also true ;D - but I just don't eat salted butter EVER, period, so I can only compare how butter tastes within the unsalted category, and Plugrá most certainly does have a taste. Compared with LOL unsalted, which was a very pure, creamy-tasting butter, Plugrá actually seems to have a lot of flavor.

                          The Czech butter I grew up with, and against which I jusge other butters, had a very pure, creamy neutral taste; it was just a mouthful of creaminess. It was sold in the US for a while under the Jana Valley label (now the label sells New Zealand butter which tastes differently.)

                          Anyway, I just want to stick up for Plugrá's taste. Not saying it's the best butter there is, but it's good and dammit, it DOES have a taste. But it's a subtle one. Salted butters are another category entirely.

                          Anal enough for you?

                  2. re: Karl S

                    Gotcha. Thanks for clairifying. I am on a hunt to find the ultra creamy butter - am curious to try it out.

                    Link: http://virtualfrolic.blogspot.com/

                  3. re: vf

                    And I should reiterate what I was referring to in the decline of LOL. The butter itself has not declined as produced, but because it is no longer foiled, it can decline as handled and stored. It's not the gold standard anymore, but if the distribution chain that supplies your supply is good, you may not notice. Or you may. It's more variable. Which is why it cannot be a gold standard. What a waste.

                2. Cabot makes some mighty fine butter. I stock up when I can get it.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Candy

                    I don't know if it's available outside of New England, but my daily butter is Kate's (Maine). Shaw's also carries Kerrygold (Ireland) for much more reasonable prices than at Whole Wallet.

                    1. re: Karl S

                      A link to Kate's in case anyone needs to identify the product:

                      Link: http://www.kateshomemadebutter.com/Ka...

                      1. re: Karl S

                        I like Kate's too. So good just on some bread. How do you think it compares with Plugra?

                        1. re: Dax

                          I think it has more flavor than Plugra.

                    2. re: Candy

                      I use Kate's. Lately I have noticed that Whole Foods is carrying Lurpak danish butter. I have had this in Europe and it is really good but I am not sure if it will be as good here. Has anyone tried it???

                    3. a little late on the debate but i prefer LURPAK danish butter to plugra all the way. its not that widely available to you like plugra is thanks to trader joe's....but i find it superior. you can get it at whole foods and some ralphs (on the west coast). its also available at a lot of middle eastern markets...or it was, before the protest against denmark happened.

                      i believe it has 82% butterfat.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: junglekitte

                        I recommend a side-by-side taste test. Lurpak is good butter but it is slightly cultured, hence tangy. Great of you like that kind of thing (I happen not to); Plugrá is more neutral-tasting.

                        1. re: Sir Gawain

                          we're all biased in some way. i admit i'm biased toward lurpak, being danish and having grown up on it!

                          :)

                          there are definitely better butters out there....but as far as the somewhat widely available kinds....i choose lurpak.

                      2. In my opinion Keller's es by far the best butter.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: warrior

                          On small-scale butter runs:

                          Would anyone take the time to read:
                          http://m.theatlantic.com/past/docs/is...

                          Which is an old article on the tastes of some of the artisanal creameries out there, and the variety of butters. If I have extra change burning a hole in my pocket, should I venture forth? (NB: the business mentioned there are moribund in the US, but judging by the growth of the popular movement, many places seem to be getting in the game.

                          Rob

                        2. I love Kerrygold! Well, I primarily love the taste with a good grilled cheese or steak but it's also great for baking.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Love Kerrygold too. I just use the cheap stuff on sale for baking and use the expensive European butters on bread. I sup pose everything would taste better with the expensive stuff. Or perhaps it would just be wasted. I ill have to do a taste test!

                            1. re: lilmomma

                              The only reminder with Kerrygold is that it melts quickly at room temperature so if you have a recipe that calls for just softened butter you might want to take it out of the fridge later than you would otherwise.