Browned butter. Just the very words are enough to send shivers of delight down my spine. I love butter as it is, but there is something about heating it to the point where it becomes nutty and fragrant that is pure heaven. Typically I’ve used browned butter in savoury dishes, as sauce for fish or vegetables. Combined with some lemon and capers, or some crispy sage leaves, and that browned butter sauce will have you running your fingers across your plate, trying to get every last drop into your mouth. I’ve only tried browned butter once in a sweet recipe, and although the cookies were good, the flavour of the butter didn’t really come through. I suppose I just didn’t use it in a high enough concentration. Lesson learned…when it comes to br0wned butter, there is never too much of a good thing.
I recently saw donuts with a browned butter glaze on Foodgawker, and although I didn’t even glance at the recipe, knowing it would be carb and sugar-laden, the idea struck a chord. I knew I had to come up with my own version and see if it would be as good as I imagined. I let the idea take shape in my mind, knowing that the donut itself had to have some flavour to stand up to the intensity of the glaze. Cinnamon seemed like the very thing to complement the glaze and have enough flavour on its own.
Now, this is going to be one of those recipes where you should do as I say, not as I do. These donuts were amazing, and the glaze tasted like caramel. The execution, however, left a little something to be desired. As I often do, I was trying to save time and water by combining my glaze ingredients into the same pot where I’d browned the butter. But the heat of the pot had the effect of cooking the glaze further and it began to thicken and clump. I realized mid-stream that I should have had my Swerve ready to go in another bowl, and whisked my browned butter into it, instead of the other way around. I quickly transferred everything to a new bowl, whisked in more Swerve and then my vanilla and cream. I couldn’t quite beat out some of the clumps, but the glaze was still delicious and actually spread quite nicely on the cooled donuts.