When Epicurious food editor Anna Stockwell was developing this brown butter breakfast blondie for our sister site Healthyish, she knew from the outset that the recipe would call for butter-toasted nuts. "If you need brown butter and toasted nuts for a recipe, you might as well make both in one pan," she reasons.
True. But that wasn't the only reason Anna went with butter-toasting. Years of throwing away batches of oven-toasted nuts had made her reticent of the method. Almost without fail, Anna would forget about the nuts in the oven, and they would burn.
But Anna's forgetfulness turned out to work in everbody's favor. Take those blondies: Anna found that because she toasted the nuts while she browned the butter, the butter tasted nuttier and the nuts tasted richer. And thus a very easy sauce/topping was born: brown butter-toasted nuts. Here's how Anna makes them:
First, she places 1/2 to 1 cup of whole or roughly chopped nuts (depending on their intended purpose) and 6 tablespoons of butter into a cold skillet. She she sets the skillet over medium heat and—standing by so the nuts and butter don't burn—she lets the nuts toast, swirling the pan occasionally until both the nuts and the butter solids have turned golden (5-6 minutes).
The resulting brown butter sauce is nuttier than typical brown butter, having been infused with the flavor of whatever kind of nuts you've chosen to use. And the resulting nuts are better than ones you might find toasted in a dry skillet—not just because of the buttery flavor, but also because as the butter melts, it coats the nuts, distributing the pan's heat more evenly so that the nuts don't scorch on one side while staying pale on the other. You can use the butter and nuts separately, but when used together they're a power couple. Here's how to deploy them.
1. On Top of Fish
A squeeze of fresh lemon at the end will stop the nuts from cooking and give the buttery-nutty combo a dose of acidity. Season with salt and pepper and then spoon the mixture over warm flaky fish fresh out of the frying pan.Anna Stockwell
2. In Brownies
No reason to relegate butter-toasted nuts to those breakfast blondies. While the above nut-toasting process isn't reflected in her recipe for double-decker brownies, Anna usually does it when she makes them now, separating the butter and nuts via strainer once both are toasted and adding them in when the recipe specifies. In fact, she says that any recipe requiring both melted butter and toasted nuts can probably benefit from toasted-nut-brown-butter sauce.Anna Stockwell
3. Over Ice Cream
4. As a Salad Topper
Use a slotted spoon to scoop the nuts out of the butter and let them cool slightly while you make a warm dressing using the browned butter in place of the walnut oil in this recipe. After you dress the bitter greens, bacon, and dates, sprinkle the buttery nuts over the top.Myra Goodman Sarah LaCasse
5. Swirled Into Oatmeal
Make that weekday breakfast staple enticing again by swirling a spoonful of brown sugar and a pinch of salt into the nut–brown butter sauce (go for pecans here) and swirling it into bowls of cooked oatmeal.
Brown sugar and cinnamon are great, but I challenged myself to do something different with my morning bowl of oats. A month later, there was almost nothing in my kitchen my oats didn't touch.
6. To Round Out Brunch
Brown butter is a common topping for Dutch babies. In this recipe, the baby is cooked in brown butter and topped with it. A scattering of butter-toasted nuts couldn't hurt.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious