"I saw a staple ingredient in our kitchen transform itself into what I would call liquid gold."
One day in culinary fundamentals, the first class we take at the Culinary Institute of America, we prepared fresh ravioli that we finished in a sage-brown butter sauce. As we watched our instructor whisk butter on the stove until it browned, I saw a staple ingredient in our kitchen transform itself into what I would call “liquid gold.” With its nutty sweetness, brown butter is perfect for a variety of sweet and savory applications.
To make brown butter, cut unsalted butter into cubes. Doing this speeds up the melting process. Place the cubes in a heavy-bottomed pot and melt over medium-low heat. The butter will start foaming; this means the water content in the butter is being cooked out, which will concentrate the butter flavor. As this is happening, the milk solids in the butter will sink to the bottom and caramelize, giving this brown butter its signature nutty flavor.
Once you see this caramelization happening, start whisking. This will ensure that the butter won’t burn and the caramelized milk solids are being evenly dispersed. Once the butter has achieved an even brown color and a nutty aroma, pour it into a bowl. Make sure to have a bowl for cooling nearby when you start-- the butter can go from perfectly cooked to burnt in just a matter of seconds!
Brown butter elevates the flavor of sugar cookies with just one extra step! Its nutty flavor pairs perfectly with ripe, summer peaches that I incorporated into vanilla ice cream. Combine peach ice cream and brown butter sugar cookies and you have the perfect ice cream sandwich. I like to roll the sandwiches in chopped pecans for added texture and flavor. Try it out and see what you think!
Peach-Brown Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Chef Jordan Weber
Brown butter elevates the flavor of sugar cookies with just one extra step! The nuttiness from the brown butter pairs perfectly with ripe, summer peaches that I incorporated into vanilla ice cream. Combine peach ice cream and brown butter sugar cookies and you have the perfect ice cream sandwich. I like to roll the sandwiches in chopped pecans for added texture and flavor.
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 48 oz container vanilla ice cream (homemade or store bought), slightly softened
3 peaches, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
⅓ cup brown sugar
Brown Butter Cookies
Peach Ice Cream
For the brown butter cookies
Place the butter in a small saucepot over medium low heat. When the butter is melting and starts to foam, whisk constantly until the butter is browned and has a nutty aroma (about 5-8 minutes). Remove from the heat and pour into a medium heatproof bowl and cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
Whisk together the cooled brown butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and the egg.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine into a dough. (Alternatively, you can combine the wet and dry ingredients in an electric stand or handheld mixer)
Roll the dough into balls (about 1 ½ tablespoons each) and place on a sheet tray, lined with The Smart Baker Perfect Parchment, about two inches apart.
Refrigerate the dough balls for 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, until browned on all sides. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet.
For the Peach Ice Cream
In a medium sauce pot, combine the peaches, vanilla extract, water, ground cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and the peaches are tender.
Remove peach compote from heat and allow it to fully cool.
Remove vanilla ice cream from the freezer and allow to soften (about 5 minutes). The softening process will allow the peaches to easily be mixed into the ice cream.
Transfer the ice cream to a mixing bowl and fold in the peach compote.
Place the ice cream in a freezer friendly container and freeze until firm.
To assemble ice cream sandwiches
For each ice cream sandwich, place 1 scoop of ice cream between 2 cookies. Press cookies together to make a sandwich.
If you like, roll sides of ice cream sandwich in chopped pecans.
Enjoy immediately or place in freezer and enjoy later.