Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Frosting

OMG! I rarely post right after I make something, but I was SO excited about this recipe when I tried it yesterday that I had to post about this ASAP. I randomly stumbled on it while looking for a good vanilla cupcake recipe (I wasn't even looking for a frosting recipe!). If you like browned butter, YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS. It is so good and so easy to make.

Browning the butter
Note: You don't usually need to whisk anything while browning butter; just swirling it in the pan works, but I figured I should follow the recipe's instructions since this was my first time browning butter with vanilla bean specks in it!
My browned butter
You can see the browned butter bits AND vanilla bean specks!
Recipe here from Self Proclaimed Foodie (I made minor changes like using a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer)

* Note: Makes 2 cups or enough for 12 cupcakes (You can add more frosting on your cupcakes than I did; I was playing it safe and only adding the amount of frosting I usually prefer...although after finding this recipe I prefer more!!)
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise (I used 1.5 beans because that was what I had)
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk or half and half
  1. In a saucepan (medium heat), melt butter with vanilla beans (specks and throw in the leftover pods too). Whisk frequently. As the butter foams, continue whisking to release brown bits that may stick to the bottom. Once the butter has browned (once you start to see brown specks, the butter turns a brownish color, and it starts smelling more nutty), remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean pods from butter.
  2. Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or your hand mixer, beat cooled browned vanilla bean butter with the confectioner's sugar on medium speed.
  3. One tablespoon at a time, add milk (I used nonfat milk, but half and half or whole milk would work well, of course) & continue beating the frosting until you've reached the desired consistency.
In case you need a vanilla cupcake recipe too, I tried this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker and loved the flavor:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.
2. Beat together flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt w/ a mixer. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat w/ a mixer at medium speed until smooth and satiny (about 30 seconds). Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth.
3. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin & bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (20 to 24 minutes).
4. Remove cupcakes from tin & transfer to wire rack. Cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

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