The holiday season might look a little different this year, but there’s one thing we can always count on to help us feel holly and jolly: Fresh baked goodies! Luckily for us, Joy Wilson (or Joy the Baker as she’s known to fans) spilled her favorite baking trick for extra-yummy treats.
“To really deepen the flavor of just about any baked good, add browned butter,” she tells us. “It has this uncanny way of making absolutely everything taste more incredible.”
It’s also totally easy to make — all you need is butter and a pan! Joy says to melt the butter your recipe calls for over medium heat and swirl it in the pan occasionally. “It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop,” she explains. “Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan often.”
At this point, you should start to smell a nutty aroma and notice brown bits forming at the bottom of your pan. When those bits turn amber brown (about 2 to 3 minutes, or after the sizzling stops), Joy says to remove the pan from the burner and immediately pour the butter into a small bowl — bits and all.
It might take some practice to get just right (and avoid burning rather than browning), but it will pay off in scrumptious baked goods. Joy also recommends that new bakers keep things simple at first. “Learn the ins and outs of your perfect biscuit or chocolate chip cookie,” she tells us. “This might involve several batches of biscuits and cookies, but it’s a delicious journey!”
Joy admits she’s no stranger to her own baking mishaps, too. “I made three wedding cakes before I realized I had no business making wedding cakes – and that’s all I’ll say about that,” she jokes.
Of course, she’s certainly gotten a knack for plenty other baked goods over the years after learning the ropes from her dad growing up. “He was just a really enthusiastic home cook,” Joy says. Her pops is also responsible for her favorite holiday dessert: her dad’s sweet potato pie. “It’s spiced with coriander and is so comforting and flavorful.”
Unsurprisingly, Joy says her fondest holiday memories usually involve cooking. “The sounds, laughter, and dance of my entire family in the kitchen together finishing the holiday meal, eating appetizers, and bickering over who gets dibs on the biggest slice of pie.”
You can find the recipe for her dad’s pie and more in our new Joy the Baker magazine (Buy on Amazon, $12.99). It’s packed full of 100 tasty dishes, including plenty of sweet treats to test out her browned butter trick!
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