My new favorite way to make muffins is with browned butter. Browning butter first (really just melting it, then keeping it over the heat for awhile longer, until it turns golden) caramelizes its natural sugars, intensifying flavour and adding a nuttiness that’s irresistible in a muffin. Muffins are best made with liquid fats – typically I choose a neutral, heart-healthy oil like canola, but once in awhile I indulge. There’s only 1/3 of a cup of butter in the entire batch, so these muffins aren’t particularly high in fat – but when it comes to browned butter, a little goes a long way. Their rich, buttery flavor goes particularly well with fresh strawberries. (Chopped ripe peaches are pretty fab, too.)
Strawberry Browned Butter Muffins
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
Preheat the oven to 375F and line muffin pan with paper liners.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep cooking until it melts, foams, then starts turning a nutty brown. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl and set aside to cool. Whisk in the milk, eggs and vanilla.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the liquid and fold gently until almost combined; add the berries and stir just until blended.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. Makes 10-12 muffins.