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Kitchen Secrets: How to Brown Butter + 5 Recipes to Use It

There are some kitchen secrets that must be learned as opposed to taught. Browning butter is one of those skills. How to brown butter is a secret dependent on the temperature of your stove, how evenly the saucepan you choose retains heat, and the temperature of your butter prior to browning. This is one kitchen skill that just requires practice, plain and simple, but in time, you'll be the butter champion.

However, here are the steps to start practicing on your own. Preheat a saucepan to medium heat, medium-low heat, or low heat, if it's your first time or two learning the browning process.

Choose a pot or saucepan that conducts heat evenly- copper is having a comeback for this very reason. Alternatively, a light-colored pot is best for browning butter because it allows you to see the golden-brown flakes that are so important for knowing when your butter is perfect.

How to Brown Butter

You can use unsalted butter or salted butter if you prefer - we aren't partial to either, though if we're using it in something that requires no further cooking or baking (like adding it to oatmeal), we prefer salted butter. For adding to baked goods, we prefer unsalted butter so the final product isn't affected by the salt content in one ingredient.

Watch your butter carefully - stir and swirl as it bubbles so you can keep a close eye on the bottom of the pan. When brown flakes appear at the bottom, you'll only have a few more moments before the butter will burn (and nobody likes burnt butter or black butter). Remove from heat as soon as you spot the brown flakes and you'll have the perfect brown butter. Pour in a heat-proof bowl and get ready to enjoy one of life's little luxuries.

Brown butter is an incredibly versatile ingredient and adds a nutty aroma and flavor to everything from baked goods to fish dishes. You can store brown butter in the refrigerator for 1-3 days and reheat on a stovetop to melt again.

Let cool and use in these five recipes below.

1. Garlic-Parmesan Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes

Brown butter adds such depth to mashed potatoes, you'll never make them with regular butter ever again. The nutty aroma pairs perfectly with the garlic in this recipe and are the perfect side dish for everything from pot roast to sage chicken breasts.

Find the recipe here.

2. Oatmeal Baked Apples with Maple Brown Butter and Toasted Hazelnuts

This recipe combines your everyday brown butter with maple syrup for an incredibly rich and sweet taste of autumn that will seriously have you bottling the stuff all year round.

Find the recipe here.

3. Brown Butter Parmesan Spaghetti

This 4-ingredient recipe is a filling and quick dinner for busy weeknights when all you really want to do is just sit down. Adding spinach or another green to the recipe is totally do-able to get that added vegetable boost.

Find the recipe here.

4. Browned Butter Honey Garlic Salmon

The best brown butter makes everything taste richer, and salmon is no exception. Garlic, as you probably guessed, pairs well with the nuttiness it introduces so this recipe is an easy slam dunk.

Find the recipe here.

5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Crunch Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

The mouthful title of this recipe can only mean one thing: you won't be able to stop putting it in your mouth. When added to cream cheese to make a frosting, nutty brown butter brings out the sweetness of the brown sugar in the cake.

Once you learn how to brown butter, you'll find every excuse to make this cake just about every weekend. Find the recipe here.

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