Brownie Doctor: Brown Butter Frosted Brownies

One of Audrey and my favorite shows is Parks and Recreation. (Fitting since we're from Indiana, where the show takes place!) Two of the characters in the show spend one day every year treating themselves. They treat themselves to mimosas, massages, shopping, cupcakes... If you spend much time on the Internet, you've probably encountered their catchphrase: "Treat yo'self."

Sure sounds like a fun tradition to me, but I say...why does it have to be annual? Why not 'treat yo'self' every day? 

Like they say, happiness comes down to the little things. Treating yourself to something simple each day - maybe it's a glass of wine, maybe it's just one episode (we've all been there) of that awesome new show you've been watching, maybe it's skipping the gym today because it was a long day and you just don't feel like it, dang it! - well, that could add up, don't you think?

Brown butter is one of those simple things. It tastes sophisticated, but it's actually really down to earth. Inhaling the aroma of brown butter is like getting a big hug from your mom after a bad day. While she's wearing her coziest sweater. It's that comforting. We're kinda obsessed around here. You might have noticed.

These brownies are packed with brown butter deliciousness x 2. Based on the Momofuku crumb (another obsession), I created a brown butter crumb using graham crackers (for their golden, cinnamon-y crunch) that gets mixed into the batter to disperse the magical brown butter mojo throughout the brownie. And then of course I've slathered the top in a brown butter frosting that is pretty much a socially acceptable form of eating brown butter by the spoonful (don't say you haven't been tempted).

You know what I'm about to say, right?

It's Wednesday and you deserve it.

- Molly

Browned Butter Frosted Brownies

Brown Butter Crumb

1 sleeve graham crackers, broken into small crumbles (but not crumbs!)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup milk powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons butter, browned

Brown Butter Frosting

1 stick butter, browned and refrigerated until solid

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Brownies

1 box Ghirardelli double chocolate brownie mix

3/4 cup brown butter crumb

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumble, brown sugar, milk powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix well with a hand mixer. Pour in brown butter and mix until small clusters begin to form. Spread mixture on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Crumb should be lightly browned when removed from oven. Allow them to cool completely.

While the brown butter crumbs are cooling, first brown the butter for the frosting on the stove, then transfer to a small bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool until it becomes solid again. Next, mix brownie batter according to box instructions (or prepare your favorite from-scratch recipe). When crumbs are completely cooled, mix 3/4 cup into brownie batter. Set the rest of the crumbs aside. Bake brownies.

To prepare the brown butter frosting, blend re-solidified brown butter with vanilla and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add in heavy cream and beat until combined. Add extra heavy cream as desired to adjust thickness of frosting. When brownies have completely cooled, frost them and enjoy!