Make Grown-Up Cinnamon Toast With Apple Brandy Butter
When I first read the words “vodka butter,” I was distraught. I could not think of a single reason to combine those two things into one thing, until I went to the source. The creator of vodka butter is...
Photo: Claire Lower
When I first read the words “vodka butter,” I was distraught. I could not think of a single reason to combine those two things into one thing, until I went to the source. The creator of vodka butter is a charming individual (@carolinagelen) who makes appealing looking food on TikTok. After watching her vodka butter video (and many others), I found her ideas intriguing, and wished to subscribe to her newsletter.
Though vodka butter might not make sense at first blush, the moment I saw her pair it with tinned fish, beets, and capers, I got it. I like drinking vodka with those things, so why not eat vodka with those things? Salt, fat, umami, and pure, astringent vodka vapors fight for dominance on the palate, creating a complex, but fun, party snack.
I went to make vodka butter, only to discover I was out of vodka. I was also out of gin (juniper-flavored vodka), and did not feel like running to the liquor store to make a compound butter (a compound butter that had already been done and reported on at length, at that). I surveyed my bar cart: Campari butter? No. Overproof rum butter? Closer. Applejack butter? There it was, and there it is.
I tried the prescribed ratio of one stick of butter and 1 1/2 ounces of booze, but found it to be a little bit too wet. I adjusted my measurements and tried again, settling on a ratio of 1 ounce of Applejack and one stick of butter. I blended the two ingredients together in my food processor. It was gorgeous, smooth and lush, just as promise.
I gave it a lick. It tasted like Applejack—sweet and fruity, with subtle hints of vanilla and baking spices. All that gave way to the burn, which made an acute impact before being quelled by the fat from the butter. I decided to make cinnamon toast with it. That was a good decision.
I toasted a thick piece of white bread, let it cool slightly, then spread on a thick layer of Applejack butter, followed by a generous dusting of cinnamon-sugar. It tasted like boozy pie. Sugar, cinnamon, butter, and ethanol all competed for dominance on my tongue, but in the end, the winner was me (the inventor and eater of apple brandy butter).
Besides adjusting the ratios as suggested above, the only thing I want to stress is that you must make sure your butter is completely and utterly at room temperature, unless you like clumpy boozy butter. I don’t, and I doubt you do either, so let it set out on the counter until you can push your finger through with no resistance. Once you’ve made your first batch of boozy butter, I bet you’ll feel emboldened to vary the theme. (Please, someone make gin butter and eat it on bread with pickles and olives.)