1 stick unsalted butter, browned (see directions for instructions on browning butter)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon mixed together for topping (optional)
1. First, to brown your butter, get out a non-stick saucepan and set the heat on medium-low. Stick your stick (hah) of butter inside the pan and let melt completely. Butter should start foaming up on top, which will make it hard to see if it is "browning" or not. Don't worry, if this happens, determine if it's done or not by smell. As soon as the butter begins to starts to emit a nutty smell, give it a stir or two with your fork. It may start bubbling (thats ok). Keep the butter over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes after it starts to smell nutty. Stir again and let it bubble for a little longer, about 1 minute or so. You should see a bit of caramelization on the sides of the saucepan building up, and the smell should be getting stronger and more "caramel"-y. When this happens, take the saucepan off the heater and let cool. The foam will die down and you should be left with a glorious bronze color. If your butter does not foam (some dont) then just wait for the butter to get a bronze color before pulling it off the saucepan.
2. After browning your butter, LET IT COOL COMPLETELY. This is important because we do NOT want hot butter to go with the eggs as they will start cooking.
3. Preheat your oven to 375F degrees, spraying a paper-lined 12 cup muffin or 2 mini muffin tins with nonstick spray.
4. In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and cinnamon.
5. In your mixing bowl (the one that will hold your muffin batter), take a whisk and whisk together the sugar, eggs, COOLED brown butter, vanilla, milk, and sour cream. Do not over whisk. It's okay if there are a few lumps from the sour cream.
6. Add flour mixture and whisk in JUST UNTIL there are no signs of flour left. Once again, DO NOT OVERMIX. It's okay if the batter is lumpy -- it's suppose to be.
7. If using the sugar and cinnamon topping mix, GENEROUSLY cover the top of each muffin with the mix (about a heaping tablespoon for each).
8. Bake muffins at 375F for 15-20 minutes, sticking a toothpick in the middle of one of the muffins to check for doneness (in other words, the toothpick should come out with only a few moist crumbs). Take out and cool muffins on wire wrack.
9. Muffins can be frozen and then warmed in the oven or microwave if desired. These are best served warm and out of the oven with a strong cup of coffee.
Makes 12 normal sized muffins and 20ish mini muffins.