Gets a Much Better Butter Update
By Tina Wolfe | Photos by David Dranitzke
The original inspiration for my business came from a childhood memory.
When I was a young girl, I traveled to visit my grandmother in Bavaria. I loved sitting in her tiny kitchen with the table covered in oilcloth while devouring chunks of crusty bread smeared with chocolate hazelnut spread. I wanted to share this childhood joy with my son and daughter, but when I picked up a jar of this popular spread and read the label, I was shocked at the amount of sugar, palm oil, and preservatives it contained. This was not the same treat I had as a kid—I knew “I can do better!”
And I believe I did with Much Better Butter. I created not only a healthy chocolate spread, but a sugar-free version and a lightly honey-sweetened spread as well. With preschool-age kids, it was important to me to use only non-GMO, organic sunflower seeds and to avoid allergenic peanuts.
To give back, I have partnered with two Oakland nonprofits: GirlVentures, an organization whose programs explore identity, social justice, leadership, health, and the environment for young girls; and the Mosaic Project, whose mission is to promote a more peaceful future by uniting children of diverse backgrounds and providing them with essential community-building skills. We donate products and a portion of proceeds to both organizations.
As a mom-entrepreneur with a new business and two at-home-distance-learning-chromebook-savvy kids, life has been extremely full. I’m happy to say that the business is steadily growing, and witnessing the positive change that it has already created in less than a year is really motivating.
This recipe for einfache ausstecher (simple cut-out butter cookies) from my childhood comes from my Bavarian grandmother. For the winter holidays, we’ve updated the recipe, transforming the cookies into sandwiches filled with Chocolate Treat Much Better Butter.
This recipe for einfache ausstecher (simple cut-out butter cookies) makes approximately 18 large sandwich cookies or 36 individual cookies.
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ cup sugar
2 small eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces Chocolate Treat Much Better Butter
You’ll also need:
Drinking straws or other tools for cutting decorative openings
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and form a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Place the sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the well, and with a hand mixer or electric mixer on low, beat just the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until they’re the consistency of a porridge. (Don’t worry if a bit of flour gets into the mixture.)
Add chunks of softened butter into the “porridge,” and mix until combined well, gradually mixing in the dry ingredients from around the edge until all ingredients are combined and smooth.
Divide the dough in half. Place each half between two pieces of parchment paper the size of a cookie sheet. Roll out each half evenly (approximately ⅛-inch thick) until it fills nearly the entire area of the parchment paper while smoothing out any creases. Keeping paper in place, layer rolled dough on a cookie sheet, and refrigerate until cold, 20–30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Working with the first portion of dough, peel away parchment paper, cut out cookies using your favorite holiday shapes, and transfer to the cookie sheet.
With the second portion of dough, cut out cookies for the tops of the sandwiches. Use a drinking straw or other tool to cut out eyes, noses, mouths, tree ornaments, or other small shapes in these topper cookies.
Roll the dough scraps and continue cutting cookies until all the dough is used. As you work, you may need to refrigerate the dough if it becomes too soft to handle.
Bake in the preheated oven for 6–9 minutes or until cookie edges start to turn golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Spread a thin layer of Chocolate Treat Much Better Butter on one cookie. Top with a second and enjoy!
If you click on the pumpkin image above, you’ll find this recipe as an Edible East Bay how-to e-book, in which Tina Wolfe demonstrates each step for making these fun cookies in a variety of shapes for holiday cooking and eating enjoyment.