Joy the Baker

On Brown Butter

September 19, 2013

On Brown Butter

Thank you for indulging me while I wax on about butter this week.  It’s like that time I wouldn’t shut up about toast.

While we’re here with butter on the brain, can we brown it and stir it into flour and sugar?  I mean… might as well.

Now… Brown Butter (which I indiscriminately call Browned Butter sometimes) is this:  butter that is melted in a small pan over low heat until the butterfat and milk solids separate and the milk solids sink to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown to a nutty color, flavor, and fragrance, at which point the butter (brown bits and all) are transferred to a small bow, honored, appreciated, and then stirred into batter.

Try to say that sentence three times fast.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m not just adding more dish and extra stress to your baking process.  Brown butter really is the secret sparkle to so many baked goods.  Brown butter adds a depth, richness, and irresistible nutty flavor to cookies, cakes, and breads.  It’s a simple pleasure that feels like a luxury.  I love when that happens.

Let’s start with a classic:  Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Bring these cookies to a party and I swear you’ll leave with three new friends, like it or not.

Brown Butter Banana Bread with Rum and Coconut

Brown butter and light rum happen to be the same color. Coincidence?  I think not.  

Brown Butter Banana Bread with Rum and Coconut 

Brown Butter Strawberry Banana Bread

Put strawberries in the mix before they go out of season.  I love the sweetness of this bread.  Slice it too thick, and then go back for seconds:  Brown Butter Strawberry Banana Bread.  

Brown Butter Baked Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze

You already know what’s up with Brown Butter Baked Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze.  

This recipe is like making cartoon doughnuts in your own kitchen.  It’s like Homer Simpson is in the next room waiting for a plate piled high.

Brown Butter Rosemary Orange Cornbread

Savory, sweet, buttery and delicious.  Some things are just right. Brown Butter Rosemary Orange Cornbread.  Please note aggressive use of honey.  Cool, thanks.

Brownies Two Ways

Butter in a brownie incarnation.  Not browned, but still delicious: Ginger Walnut Chocolate Chip Blondies + Triple Chocolate Black Bean

Put some butter in your weekend.  Also consider sleeping in, holding someone’s hand, two cups of coffee, and one of those 3:30 to 4:45 ugly naps.


67 Comments Add A Comment

  • We’ve been browning butter since before it was cool or we knew what to call it. I know you are Joy the Baker, but one of the oldest recipes in our marriage (38 years) comes from my husband’s maternal grandmother and is still lovingly called Grandma Haak Meat (and jokingly referred to as heart attack on a plate): place one pound of butter in a large cast iron skillet. Allow to foam and brown. Place cubed sirloin pieces in pan. Sear first side turn, sear second side, place in warm bowl. When all meat is seared, using a very sharp knife, cut meat crossways forming generous bite sized pieces. Pour hot butter over meat and serve with mashed potatoes (ladling generous amounts of the butter over meat and potatoes). If you feel too guilty eating just this, add a veggie to ease your conscience.

  • I just love brown butter and your work especially.

  • All of these recipes look so good! I’ve only used brown butter once before, so I could definitely use some practice — thanks for the ideas!

  • go a head and keep up the butter talk for another week. I am loving it!

  • Love the butter love. Brown butter is also great on mash potatoes and meats. The uses are endless!

  • Thank you for all of the brown butter joy, Joy! When I worked at Boulette’s Larder in San Francisco, we made huge batches; the scent drove me wild it was so good! I make a mean brown butter choc chip cookie and iced pound cake on my site, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms.

  • I have never tried brown butter, I feel like I am failing at life.

    Excuse me while I head to my kitchen to rectify this.

  • Just had one of those ugly naps- now I need some browned butter!

  • I love brown butter – in fact I think I’m a little obsessed with it! The smell when it’s cooking is one of the most glorious aromas on the planet.

  • Nothing’s better than brown butter!

  • You’re the queen of browned buttery things and I love that! I love brown butter. I never know whether to say browned butter or brown butter. I tend to go with the former. But anyway – love it and try to use it as often as possible. I brown a couple sticks at a time so I always have some on hand :)

  • I love the smell of browned butter…

  • yum yum yum!
    I made the brown butter chocolate chip cookies….so good…..
    mmmmmmm
    you are awesome joy! :)

  • Do you think it matters if the pan you brown your butter in is non-stick? I’ve used a non-stick one before, but it makes me nervous that the teflon is somehow getting into the butter (moreso than when I’m cooking other things in the same pan) and it’s going to taste like plastic. But would a regular pan burnt the butter more easily? Maybe I’m over-thinking this one…

  • Charlie Brown Butter #comicstripbaking

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