Treat yourself to the extraordinary flavor of browned butter.
A Cooking Trick to Intensify Flavor
Treat yourself to the extraordinary flavor of browned butter.
| Credit: Ralph Anderson / Styling Lisa Powell Bailey

Cupcakes With Browned Butter Frosting
It's impossible to resist the rich and nutty taste of browned butter. It pairs well with everything from savory pan-fried cutlets to sweet frosted cupcakes. Toss it with green beans, garlic, and grated lemon rind, or add it to your favorite dessert recipe. Almost anytime you use butter, you can use browned butter instead.


Panning for Gold

Browning butter is a simple technique. It's so easy, you'll make it often. Just cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until the butter begins to turn golden brown.

After a few minutes, the butter will begin to foam, which is caused by heating the milk solids (the white liquid that appears when butter is melted). It's the milk solids in butter that actually brown as the foam drops to the bottom of the pan. (You'll always need to use real butter rather than margarine because margarine doesn't contain milk solids.)

Once the butter begins to brown, it will go from golden to black very quickly, so remove the pan from the heat immediately. And be sure to use a light-colored saucepan so you can accurately judge the color of the butter as it browns.

"The Start of Something Good" is from the April 2006 issue of Southern Living.