Patience Is Key For Glossy Brownies

It's hard to beat a freshly baked brownie when you're looking for something chocolatey, comforting, and downright satisfying. While the debate on whether gooey, fudgy brownies are superior to light, cakey ones will likely go on forever, all brownie aficionados will agree that brownies are in a dessert (or snack, or breakfast) class all their own. Basic brownie recipes contain the same ingredients: chocolate, butter, eggs, flour, and sugar. The consistency you desire is completely dependent on the ratio of these five ingredients, the oven temperature, and the bake time.

Another thing all brownie lovers can unite on is that looks matter. There is something about a pan of baked brownies that has a glossy sheen on top that seems to make your mouth water. You know that there will be a layer of crisp as thin as a sheet of rice paper that will give way to soft, toothsome goodness. The sheen makes brownies actually look like brownies. Take it away and it would just be a chocolate cake. There are several ways to achieve the desired shine including dissolving the sugar in hot butter or beating the egg whites with sugar until they're thick. Of course, there's also an easier way, but it will take time and, therefore, willpower.

Chill out for a while

Good things come to those who wait, right? It's a mantra everyone has heard hundreds of times in their lives. There certainly is truth behind the phrase in certain situations, including baking a batch of brownies. The Oregonian relays cookbook author Alice Medrich's advice on her tried and true method of achieving a wonderful, shiny brownie top: chill your brownie batter. Medrich's trick is to refrigerate the prepared brownie batter overnight and up to three days before you bake it. Medrich believes this will also let the flavors settle into each other better, creating a richer result.

She notes that it's important to pour the batter into the pan and not to leave it in the bowl when it goes into the fridge, as the batter will become stiff and difficult to scoop once it's chilled. When you're ready to bake, just preheat your oven and pop the pan inside until the brownies are done to your liking. As you can see, instant gratification isn't possible with this method so you'll have to find the will to wait. Maybe keep some chocolate around the day you prepare the batter to satisfy the craving you get just by looking at that glorious, deep-brown batter. But the next day, your brownies should be beautiful with a crisp top, and a result that is totally worth your self-restraint. Dig in! You totally deserve to eat two.