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The Palette Knife Explained for Non-Art-History Majors

I have come across a recipe for Currant Squares that says to mix grated butter into sifted flour and salt with a palette knife. What is a palette knife?

We are familiar with the term palette knife having more to do with the art world than the cooking world.

In art, it is an offset knife with wooden or plastic handle and a thin but dull blade that is used on an artist's palette for mixing paints to create desired colors. The artist scoops up a little of this color with the knife and a little of that color, then uses the knife to blend them. He or she may mix any number of colors.

In the world of cooking, palette knife is a reference to what we call an offset or dogleg spatula. There are apparently a number of companies that call their spatulas palette knives, and they may or may not have an offset blade.

Palette knives are most often used for spreading frosting or icing on a cake, but, of course, spatulas can be put to any number of uses.

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