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‘Butters’ a mouth-watering gem

Quick look: If the thought of butter melting on a hot biscuit or in a dish next to Dungeness crab is enough to get your mouth watering, the new “Flavored Butters” cookbook is sure to spark your imagination. Author Lucy Vaserfirer of Vancouver, Wash., is the author of “Seared to Perfection” and the popular Hungry Cravings blog, at Her new book will have you making, shaping and using flavored butters with abandon.

What’s inside: Put a new spin on your favorite breads, baked goods, vegetables, burgers and seafood with these spreads, which are sometimes called compound butter. Spread apricot-almond butter or mint butter on a breakfast scone. Try goat cheese and sun-dried tomato butter on a piece of multigrain toast. Or, top a steak or burger with gorgonzola-chive butter.

Vaserfirer explains which butters are best served as logs or pats and those that are better whipped and presented in a small bowl. She offers ideas for making some into decorative shapes. The book includes some variations for many recipes and plenty of serving suggestions. In addition to both savory and sweet compound butters, she includes drawn butter and browned butter. The recipes and resulting flavors are surprisingly quick and easy, but will give guests the impression you fussed.

What’s not: If you don’t eat butter because of health or personal concerns, this book isn’t for you. There are no variations for margarine or other buttery spreads. Vaserfirer writes in the book that the flavor and texture of real butter are incomparable.

Featured recipe: Look inside today’s Food section on Page C3 for the recipe for Bed & Breakfast Butter.