When I was a teenager, I was invited to attend the Indian-American wedding of an acquaintance’s daughter. It was a lovely affair, but I didn’t know the bride or the groom. For me, the most memorable part was the parting gift.
Inside a small box decorated with brightly-colored flourishes sat a little unfamiliar square of food with a note attached. It was a dessert common in India called ‘barfi.’
The name is a derivative of the Persian word barf, which means snow. While barf might not exactly sound appetizing to some, you’ve gotta trust me on this one: it was the most buttery, milky, fudgy splendor-morsel to ever touch my tastebuds. All those years passed and I have never stopped yearning for barfi.
Well, now it’s mine, all mine! It turns out you can actually make food. Revolutionary, right? Wanting to mix it up and add an updated touch, I decided to make them with salted brown butter. ERMAHGERD. They are so good I made several batches of them and sent them away to loved ones in lieu of Christmas cookies.
- 2 cup milk powder
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 tsp himalayan salt
- Optional garnishes: saffron, pistachios, dried fruit, toasted flaked almonds, or coconut flakes
- Butter a small pan and set aside.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a pan with a light-colored bottom (to observe the color), swirling occasionally. The butter will begin to foam.
- When the butter reaches a soft caramel color and nutty smell (be careful not to burn the butter!), turn the heat down to low. Whisk in milk powder, salt, and liquid milk and mix thoroughly.
- Add powdered sugar, whisking continuously.
- Stir continuously until mixture becomes a thick lump in the middle.
- Pour mix into buttered pan and smooth out the top with a spatula or spoon.
- Let cool and set, cut into shapes, and garnish if desired. Serve at room temperature.
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