how to taste butter in a butter cookie

The type of butter you use in baking can have a real difference in the outcome. Some butters will produce cookies that are more buttery in taste and more golden in appearance.

This exercise takes a bit more time since you need to bake two batches of cookies. To do this test properly you need someone who is a competent baker who will be conscientious about making the two batches of cookies exactly the same, baked to exactly the same number of minutes. You may want to do this yourself and not taste “blind” so you can control the test.

1. Purchase 1/2 pound of salted basic supermarket-type butter and 1/2 pound salted Kerrygold Irish butter.
2. Purchase other ingredients needed to make two recipes of Slice and Bake Butter Cookies, a simple recipe developed by former pastry chef and cookie expert Elinor Klivans to showcase butter.
3. Designate which brand will be Butter A and which will be B.
4. For one batch, use basic supermarket-type butter and for the other batch use Kerrygold Butter. Be sure to use salted butter for both batches. Be sure to follow the recipe exactly, baking the cookies to the same number of minutes in the oven. Cookies should be baked on the same day, in the same oven, cooled thoroughly and stored airtight in the same type of container (if storing before tasting). Mark the underside of the container (A or B).
5. Photocopy the Butter Tasting Sheet (Cookie), providing two sheets per taster.
6. Present the two cookies on two plain small white plates. Plates should be solid white (no design) to better evaluate color difference of the cookies. Use slips of paper to identify cookie “A” and “B.” Provide glasses of water for cleansing the palate.

1. Taste the cookies.
2. Cookies are more complex than evaluating plain butter since the butter has interacted with other ingredients and has been transformed by heat. How is the butter revealed in the aroma, appearance, taste, texture and mouthfeel of the cookie?
3. Make comments and evaluate on the tasting sheet. Do not verbalize your opinions until the tasting is complete.
4. Tally scores and discuss results.

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