Brown Butter Hack #brownbutterconcentrate

Did you forget to brown the butter for that recipe you have made often enough that you only looked at the ingredients and totally forgot about that step of the method?  And now you have a whole bowl of creamed butter and sugars that is lacking that delicious brown butter flavor?  It CAN be fixed without starting over or finding a different recipe to use your mixture.

Did I figure this out the hard way?  Um... Don't ask.

But hey, this means you can add fantastic brown butter flavor to other established recipes without changing the basic creaming method too!  Or even add delicious brown butter flavor to any recipe without having to alter the recipe ingredients.

So what is it that makes brown butter?  What is it that makes it so deliciously aromatic?  It is the milk protein solids that get toasted and caramelized up to a nutty brown when cooking the butter long enough over low-medium heat.  Actually I had read somewhere that you can amp up regular brown butter by simply adding more milk solids to the butter during the process.  Well, that's adding dry milk.  So I thought it stands to reason that the same principle could fix my, uh, forgotten browning step.  And indeed it did!  (Now granted, there is a slight possible texture variation in cookies made with creamed butter vs browned or melted butter, but flavor is our concern here.)

Actually, this is pretty awesome, there are so many ways you could use what is basically a concentrated brown butter sprinkle!  I totally need to think of more.  Eat your heart out Emeril Lagasse, BAM!  Flavor!

Brown Butter Concentrate
makes equivalent flavor from one stick (½ cup) butter

~1 rounded tbsp nonfat dry milk
~½ tsp butter, enough to make a crumbly paste with the dry milk

With a spoon or soft spatula, combine the dry milk and just enough butter in a pan to make a crumbly mixture.  This simply makes the browning easier to manage and assess.  Cook and stir over low-medium heat until the milk turns a golden brown.  

 Lower the heat when the milk starts to turn golden and watch closely to finish.  Remove from pan to a dish when the desired color is achieved to stop the browning process.  The milk solids should be a deeply golden brown, but not too dark and the smell will be the familiar, nutty, browned butter smell.

Browned butter concentrate can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for up to two weeks, and should last for up to three months in the freezer. 

Now go forth and mix and sprinkle it on everything!  Oatmeal, toast, salads, muffins, streusels, breading, ooooo, the possibilities!


  1. This is amazingly brilliant! I just recently learned about making a brown butter cream cheese icing for carrot cake. Alas, it was not in time for me to make it myself; I had already made too much ordinary butter cream cheese icing for a carrot cake. But. Next time! Because this short cut would work, wouldn't it? If I creamed the browned dry milk solids into the butter and cream cheese along with the icing sugar?


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