brown butter is better

These little ghoulish treats were a last minute design on a recipe I knew I had to make. I have recently discovered the amazing, magical thing that happens to butter when you over cook it (not over over cook). It makes a pleasantly caramel colored, rich and nutty flavored syrup that is just right in a fall meal or dessert. I have not so recently discovered my love of brown sugar in all its molasses-y glory. So to combine these two flavors into a Halloween treat was a no brainer. Don’t let the exterior fool you, these are not just a Halloween treat. Try them out for anytime of year, with a nice big swirl of what can only be described as my favorite flavor of icing (so much left over….I kept sampling and sampling until I was convinced I had to throw the rest away…>tear<). The pairing is definitely one of my favorites.

brown sugar cupcakes
from kitchen trial and error

cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup + 2 tbs dark or light brown sugar (go dark if you have it…..yum!)
2 eggs, room temp
6 tbs buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF.  Line a cupcake pan with liners.
  • Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
  • Mix in baking powder and salte. Alternate adding the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in pecans.
  • Pour the batter into a large ziplock bag and snip the corner to easily fill your cupcake liners.
  • Fill each liner 3/4 full and bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes. Remove and place onto a cooling rack.
brown butter cream cheese icing
my own twist on my favorite classic cream cheese icing
1 package cream cheese, softened
½ stick (4 tbs) unsalted butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Combine 3 cups powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.
  • To brown butter: Place the butter in a small pan over medium/medium-high heat. Butter will melt and then just after it starts to bubble it will turn a light amber color. Remove immediately after you notice a color change, as the butter will be in the hot pan and continue to cook while you move it to pour it into a bowl. It is very easy to burn the butter, it should take around 6-10 minutes to brown.
  • Pour the browned butter over the other ingredients in the large mixing bowl and beat on high until combined. Add more powdered sugar as needed until you get the consistency you like.

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