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Best butter for buttercream frosting...and how do I use a piping bag?

nooodles | Apr 2, 200506:08 PM

I made my first batch of buttercream frosting this weekend. The texture is fine, but it tastes too much like eating a stick of butter.

I used generic Safeway Lucerne unsalted butter, not wanting to dish out too much cash on my first try. I also used Safeway confectioners' sugar.

What are people's suggestions for the best butter and sugar for frosting? I assume that quality ingredients counts for a lot in frosting, since it's really just two ingredients.

Alternatively, could I just substitute some of the butter with shortening and/or cream cheese to cut down on that butter taste? I love cream cheese frosting, but it doesn't set up hard enough for me to use on cakes and cupcakes.

PS. Are there websites out there with outstanding advice about how to use a piping bag? At this point, I'm pretty good at writing letters with the little round tip, but awful at piping fluffy edges or a swirly cupcake top with the star tip. I haven't even attempted roses or leaves.

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