Instructions by Mary Moughon
Stamping butter is best done with older, well-seasoned stamps.
1. Place cookie stamps in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. At the same time, divide butter into 1-Tbsp. portions and allow it to soften.
2. Wet your hands with cold water, and roll each 1-Tbsp-portion of softened butter into a smooth ball. Place the ball on a piece of waxed paper and proceed with Step 3. Note: If using a glass butter dish (shown below): 1) first put a small amount of softened butter in the bottom of the dish and rechill until firm; 2) then place the softened ball of butter on top of butter in the dish and proceed with Step 3.
3. Remove the stamp from the freezer, and press it firmly on the ball of butter. Be careful to press down evenly so that the decorated pat of butter will be of uniform thickness. If desired, while the stamp is still in place, run a knife around the edge to cut away the extra butter. Hold the waxed paper (or dish) down with one hand, and lift the stamp from the butter with the other hand. You should be able to imprint at least 4 balls of butter without rechilling the stamp.
4. Refrigerate butter until hard before removing the waxed paper. Place molded pat of butter on a serving plate, surrounded by a few sprigs of herbs (shown above) or edible flowers.
5. Keep butter in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Note: To season stamps, wash first in warm soapy water, rinse and dry, then brush terra cotta face of stamp with vegetable oil, rinse off and pat dry. "Well-seasoned" refers to stamps that have been used many times, and oiled over and over again.