Baking with Brown Butter
I love butter. Always have. Always will. To me, there is nothing better than a warm dinner roll slathered with creamy butter. Butter is a staple in baking, the go-to fat component in many cookies, cakes, crusts, you name it. Is there anything better than butter? IMHO, no.
Unless you consider brown butter. Brown butter is simply butter which has been heated just past the melting point to separate out the milk solids. During the browning process, the milk solids are toasted resulting in a rich, nutty aroma and flavor. Browning butter is easy to do but be careful - butter can go from rich, nutty brown to burned in a flash.
The process is simple and only takes about 5 minutes or so. Put some unsalted butter in a small sauce pan and set it over medium heat. Be sure to use a light colored pan so that you can easily see the amount of browning going on with the milk solids. As the butter melts, it will foam up in the pan. This is normal. Keep going; the foam will subside.
Gently swirl the pan while the butter bubbles away. This keeps the milk solids moving. Keep an eye on those milk solids. They will start to brown nicely. You will also get a nice, nutty aroma. When the milk solids reach a golden brown color, remove the pan from the heat and pour the melted butter into a heat proof bowl to cool. Be sure to have the bowl ready because the butter will continue to cook in the pan even after you remove it from the heat. See all those brown specks? There's lots of flavor there so don't leave them behind in the pan.
That's it! You've made brown butter. Now, use the brown butter according to the instruction in your recipe. For example, I made this brown butter for an M&M cookie recipe. That's the completed dough on the right. The recipe said to let the brown butter cool and resolidify before making the dough, which I did.
Here's the finished cookie:
These Brown Butter M&M cookies were gobbled up in no time flat! I love bringing home and empty cookie box! Have a great week and happy baking!