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The Secret Ingredient That Makes Cupcakes, Cookies and Popcorn Taste Outrageous
It's brown butter, which is simply butter that you've cooked slightly past its melting point, so the milk solids turn brown and produce an amazing nutty taste (and smell). It adds a richness beyond what you get from the plain stuff, and is a breeze to make. Just whisk slices of butter in a skillet over medium heat; after it melts, foams, stops foaming and starts forming tiny brown specks on the bottom of the pan, you've got browned butter. (Don't let it go too far, though, or you'll have burnt butter.)
Now, the fun part: where to use this savory creation. Cupcake Project blogger Stefani Pollack makes Brown Butter Cupcakes; Paula Deen incorporates it into the frosting for her Loaded Oatmeal Cookies; Cristina Ferrare stirs lemon zest into it and uses it as a popcorn topping; and this gorgeous O magazine recipe turns it into the basis for Sugar-Crusted Pecan Shortcakes (which go perfectly with peaches, raspberries and whipped cream). Let's see bacon do that.
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