What comes in a tub and is a miracle of convenience and flavor?

There are certain cooking and baking tasks I find deeply meditative. Kneading dough, picking herbs, stirring risotto. Some prep is wonderfully satisfying, even if it takes focus to get it right.

But there are some tasks that for whatever reason, try my patience. I woefully under caramelize onions more than half the time, not being willing to wait the excruciating 30 to 40 minutes to do it properly. And making brown butter will, nine times out of ten, make me reconsider a recipe.

I don't know why, but browning butter properly, with watchful attention to avoid burning, while little flecks of butter spatter the entirety of my range top and backsplash, is a job that irks me no end. But I love the flavor it imparts to everything from cookies to savory sauces. So, when I spied a tub of Trader Joe's Brown Butter at my local TJ's? It took all my willpower not to just do a little happy dance in the aisle as I loaded up my cart. And now I'm here to spread the gospel.

All the ways I use Trader Joe's Brown Butter

This brown butter is delicious and more versatile than you may think. For example, I use it right out of the tub for appetizers: I put it out with radishes and a little bowl of sea salt or smear it on dark rye and top with smoked salmon, ham, or roast beef for tartines.

And as you might expect, it is amazing for baking: Use it softened in loaf cakes, cookies, scones, and muffins to add extra flavor. I melt it into blondies. I am a huge fan of financiers, those little nutty French teacakes that rely on browned butter for much of their oomph, and now I can make up the batter in minutes by just melting this pre-browned butter and off I go.

At breakfast, I melt a tablespoon and add it to pancake batter and revolutionize the morning (it's also fantastic in crepe or popover batters).

I even have toasted bread cubes in it to make croutons.

And it goes without saying that it will take your popcorn next level.

Need I say more?

Trader Joe's
Credit: Getty / NicolasMcComber

Why the cost is worth it

Pre-browned butter is obviously one of those luxury items that you pay an upcharge for, no different than those chopped onions or tubs of cubed melon in the produce aisle. At $5.99 for a five-ounce jar, this does not need to be a daily ingredient in your household, but for special projects in small amounts, it's well worth the price. 

Should you buy Trader Joe's Brown Butter?

In anticipation of upcoming holiday baking and cooking, now's the time to stock up. Me, I am loading up for the season and beyond, because we all know the heartbreak of that one TJ item we love that suddenly disappears forever. The tubs are shelf-stable until opened, but if you buy a goodly number, you can stash in the freezer for even longer life. And you know that's what I'm going to be doing!