I like my butter like I like my coffee. Brown.
What’s the big deal about brown butter? There’s certainly nothing wrong with good ol’ fashioned, unadulterated butter, but brown butter is better. Like, way better.
The best part is that even though the butter browning process is simple and takes only a few minutes from start to finish, but the boost of flavor from said browning is mind blowing.
Think caramel – minus the sugar, of course. It’s a little nutty, kind of complex and completely falls into the category of foods I’d bathe in. Maybe I should add a new bathe-worthy group to my recipe index?
Yeah, I went there. So wrong it’s right.
All you need to make this happen at home is some – you guessed it – butter. You can use salted or unsalted – whatever you have handy! The amount of butter you brown is entirely up to you, too. I was browning a couple sticks for a cookie recipe, but I sometimes brown it by the tablespoon if I just need a quick fix ;)
By the way, this whole browning thing works on frozen, refrigerated or even room temperature butter. Most recipes are so persnickety about the state the stick of butter is in, but not this one.
All things in life should be this easy.
Now, get that butter in a pan so fast it won’t even know what hit it. You’ll want to stick to medium heat at first to get everything good and melted and then, just use your best judgment based on your burner. If your butter seems to be bubbling and frothing like a rabid dog, back that thing up a bit and let the pot sit at low/medium-low. It’ll eventually get there anyway!
Once everything has melted completely, get a spoon handy and wait for the magic to happen. It’s always important to keep a watchful eye as butter goes from browned to burned faster than an Irishman on a Caribbean Island.
That one was for you, Eric – my favorite Irishman. Although, I should insert your argument that you’d never quite brown. Instead, your skin bypasses browning and just goes straight from white to red.
Okay, enough about my fair skinned husband. Let’s get back to our butter! So, why the spoon? Well, it will help you combat some of the bubbles so you can see the business going on at the bottom of the pan.
The business? That’s those brown bits. That’s the good stuff. They should start to show up 2-3 minutes after the butter has melted.
As soon as you see those bits o’ brown, turn the burner off – the residual heat will help round out the browning process without the threat of being burned.
There you have it. A big, beautiful batch of brown butter. Let’s recap though to make sure we have this process down pat.
How To: Brown Butter Like a Boss
as read about on How Sweet It Is
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Butter – 1 tablespoon, or 1 cup – the amount is entirely up to you
Place your butter in a saucepan appropriately sized for the amount you’ll be browning and melt over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, turn the burner down a bit and start slowly stirring the butter – all the while keeping an eye out for brown bits to form at the bottom. This should take 2-3 minutes, but could vary depending on the amount of butter in your pan.
Here are just a few recipes I’ve blogged about that brown butter as a secret weapon ingredient:
- Cheesy Baked Eggs with Garlic Brown Butter Bread Crumbs
- Brown Butter Oatmeal Chunk Cookies
- Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats
As you can see – brown butter can go the route of sweet or savory. So, not only is it extremely sinful, it also happens to be super versatile.
Sigh. I should have shown you how to do this a long time ago.