Remember these Flaky Cinnamon Biscuits I posted a few weeks ago? They are especially memorable drenched with Brown Butter Icing. Until now, I made this icing the old-fashioned way. Perhaps it’s the way you so 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.
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, but I don’t care. In my kitchen, where I usually cook in small quantities, the microwave is a superhero.
A couple of notes about the process:
- 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. The temperature and amount of food being cooked will also influence the time required. Keep this in mind if you decide to double the recipe.
- Don’t forget to 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.
- 4 tablespoons butter (no substitutes)
- 1 tablespoon nonfat milk + additional drops to reach consistency you need
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ 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.
I also use this icing on my 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.