Okay. This is serious business. We need to have a chat about brown butter. If you’ve never tried it, you haven’t lived. You haven’t breathed. You haven’t run naked into the Pacific Ocean in February (not that I’ve done that…*whistles*).
Brown butter (or is it “browned butter”? The verdict is out. Weigh in in the comments section if you’ve got an idea.) is butter’s richer, nuttier cousin. It takes only minutes to create brown butter from regular old butter, but the results are worlds away. The flavor is richer and more pungent, and brown butter can be used in any recipe where melted butter is called for. Hence: brown butter baked goods. Use it in cookies, bars and brownies and you’ve just taken your treats to the next level.
These mini brown butter blondies (does that make them brunettes?) require only very simple ingredients: butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, flour and salt.
*Apologies in advance for the following 3 photos. This is why I do not often take photos under the florescent lights of my stove.
To brown the butter, cut into slices and melt over medium heat in a hefty pan.
Once the butter has melted, it will foam, bubble, and then brown. Stir constantly to ensure that it doesn’t burn.
After about 5 minutes (give or take—use your best judgment), it will be a rich brown color and have a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Stir in the sugar, egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Carefully pour into the flour/salt mixture. Stir to combine.
Add whatever fixings you like. I used dried cranberries and coconut in this batch, but chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch chips would all taste great.
Stir. Smell that heavenly aroma? That’s brown butter, folks.
Dollop generous 1/2 tablespoons into a greased mini muffin pan.
Pop in the oven and you’ve got mini blondie bites.
Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
If you want to skip a step, you could also spread the batter into a greased 9×9″ pan and slice into squares after baking. I make them mini because they’re cute and I like the ratio of crispy edges to soft middles.
Gooey brown butter centers dotted with tart cranberries and flaky coconut. Warms my belly on a cool winter evening. And since they’re so small, eating three of them is practically calorie-free, right?
It was worth a shot.
Mini Brown Butter Blondies adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 24 mini blondies.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 12-14 minutes
Special Equipment: mini muffin pan
- 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
- 1 c flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 c packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c your favorite add-in (chocolate chips, dried berries, nuts, etc.)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Slice the butter and melt in a heavy pan over medium heat. Once the butter begins to bubble, stir constantly for about 5 minutes until butter is brown in color and smells nutty. Remove from heat.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, stir the sugar, egg and vanilla into the browned butter until smooth. Combine with the flour/salt mixture. Mix in your add-ins.
3. Grease a mini muffin pan. Spoon heaping 1/2 tablespoons of dough into each cup. Bake for 12-14 minutes until edges are lightly crisp. Do not overbake. Let cool a few minutes before serving. Top with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon if desired.