While melting butter on the stove one day, I got busy and accidentally made brown butter. I love chai tea and thought the brown butter would complement it. So, of course, cupcakes came to mind. I put them in a bakery box and when I opened it, the smell of these cupcakes was heavenly. If anyone could put that smell in a lotion or room fragrance, it would be great!!
To make brown butter on purpose: for 4 oz., put one stick of butter (salted) in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Stir constantly until butter melts and starts to turn a brown color. Remove it from the heat and let cool to room temperature. The butter will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, so don't overdo it.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Microwave the 1 1/4 cups of water until boiling hot. Steep the two tea bags for at least 5 minutes. Throw away tea bags. In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, oil and tea. Mix according to package directions.
Line cupcake pans with liners of your choice. For the standard sized cupcakes, measure a scant 1/4 cup of batter per cupcake liner. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until done and when pressed in the center with index finger springs back instead of leaving an indentation.
While cupcakes cool completely, mix frosting. Beat the brown butter and 3 cups of powdered sugar on low to combine. Add 2 tablespoons of milk or cream and beat well for 2 minutes. If the frosting is too runny and won't stand up to piping, add the more powdered sugar. If frosting is too stiff, add milk, 1 tablespoon at the time, beating well after each addition, until you reach the consistency you desire. The key to having a really good frosting is beating it at medium to high speed for at least 5 minutes and adding powdered sugar or milk, little by little, until you reach the desired consistency.
Piping didn't really work for this frosting. The best bet is to do it the old-fashioned way. I used a small Wilton offset spatula and spread a thin layer of frosting to cover the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon to make them look pretty.