This post will show you how to brown butter in the microwave without all the watching and waiting that comes with doing it on the stove. It’s a no-fuss way to make browned-butter icing.
Remember these Flaky Cinnamon Biscuits I posted a few weeks ago? They are especially memorable drenched with Brown Butter Icing.
Other recipes good with this icing include Soft Cinnamon Cookies, Cinnamon Rolls, and Soft Pumpkin Cookies. The flavor of browned butter plays well with almost any cookies or sweets spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or cloves.
The traditional way to brown butter:
Up until now, I’ve always made this icing the traditional way. Perhaps it’s the way you do it, too.
Heat butter very slowly in a skillet or small pan. Watch and wait until the butter finally turns brown (and sometimes burns). Z-z-z-z-z-z.
Why brown butter in the microwave?
Then I tried making it in my microwave oven. I put 4 tablespoons butter in a 4-cup Pyrex glass measuring dish and covered it with a cheap paper plate so it would be easy to scrape off butter splatters.
Exactly 3 minutes and 50 seconds later, the butter was browned to perfection. No stirring or babysitting necessary.
Some people might turn up their nose at the idea of using a microwave, and that’s fine. In my kitchen, where I usually cook in small quantities, the microwave is a superhero.
A couple of notes about making Browned Butter Icing in the microwave:
The time required for your oven may vary from the times called for in my oven.
Like everything you make in the microwave, the time for your oven may vary from the times called for in my oven. Although similar, all ovens are not equal.
Also, the temperature and amount of food being cooked will also influence the time required.
Having said that, pay attention the first time or two you do this and make a note of how long it takes. If you have a newer oven, I predict it won’t take as long as I have specified
Keep this in mind if you decide to double the recipe.
Don’t forget to COVER THE BOWL.
You must cover the bowl containing the butter because it will pop and splatter violently as it begins to brown. But that’s OK. It will turn out fine unless you cook it too long.
How to make Browned Butter Icing in your microwave:
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- 4 tablespoons butter (no substitutes)
- 1 tablespoon milk + additional drops to reach the consistency you want
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Microwave butter on HIGH in a COVERED Pyrex glass container. 3 minutes and 50 seconds works perfectly for me, but your microwave may be different and your butter may be a different temperature. Watch it closely the first few times you make it to determine what is perfect for your situation. Butter should be turning golden brown when done. It will continue to turn slightly browner after the oven stops so make allowance. If it burns, you must throw it out and start over.
- Add milk and stir.
- Add sugar all at once and stir vigorously with a spatula until smooth. If you want a glaze, add milk a few drops at a time and continue to stir until pourable.
If you prefer less richness, make this frosting with only 2 tablespoons of butter for s slightly lighter taste and color. Add a little more milk to make up for the loss of liquid. Nice for cookies that are already rich on their own.
If you don't like the dark specks in your icing, let browned butter sit for awhile and most of the darker particles will stick to the bottom of the bowl. I personally love them, in the same way I adore vanilla bean specks.
Don't need icing? Brown butter is fantastic poured over roasted veggies i.e. asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, etc.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 24mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 0g