Friday, April 30, 2010

Everything is Better when the Butter is Brown: Brown Butter Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Ever since learning to brown butter during my short experience as a stage in San Francisco, I have been pretty much obsessed with the warm nutty flavor it adds to desserts and baked goods. It really isn't too hard to brown butter. Basically you are just cooking the butter until the milk solids toast and turn brown. However, it isn't too hard to burn butter either. So as long as you can recognize the point at which the butter has reached a definitive brown before it turns into a definitive black, you are golden... literally. Heres a picture of the color you want your butter to look like...

And here is a picture of the color you don't want your brown butter to look like...

Using a pan that's not coated with a dark lining will really help if you are new at the technique. That way you can really see what's going on in the pan. Also, using your sense of smell will help as the butter will give a slight nutty smell when it begins to brown. But trust me, its not as hard as it may sound, you can do it! And besides if you want to make these delicious Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins, you are going to have to do it!

Brown Butter Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
*adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook


  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 C whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 C fresh blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 375 and spray or butter a 12 cup muffin pan, including the top of the pan.

2. Brown the butter in small to medium pan, moving the butter around frequently by moving the handle back and forth to prevent it from burning. (See the intro to this post for more hints on browning butter) Pour the browned butter into a small heatproof mixing bowl.

3. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a med mixing bowl.

4. Whisk the milk, egg, yolk and vanilla into the brown butter. Add the liquid mixture to the dry and stir till combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.

5. Fill the cups to the brim and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and enjoy! And trust me, you will enjoy!

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