The Secret Technique For Perfectly Shiny Brownies

People may have different views on what factors make a brownie perfect. To some, it may be the crisp, yet chewy corners. Others may dream of sticky, fudgy centers. Still, many say that a brownie needs special ingredients to push the batch to its maximum pristine. But for many of us, the first thing that comes to mind when we catch a glimpse of a brownie is its shiny, crackly, top crust.

It's not that cake-like brownies are inferior or taste any less brownie-like, but there is an irresistible allure that beams from a tray of brownies with shiny crusts. It's an allure that is further enhanced by the fact that achieving a thin crust is not as simple as we might believe.

In her book "Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts," pastry chef Stella Parks calls the shimmery, crinkly top of a brownie "the sign of a well-balanced recipe and a solid indicator of the goodness to come" (via The Kitchn). She doesn't explain how to achieve that special sheen in her brownie recipe, but redditors that have used Parks' recipe swear by her technique, which involves whipping sugar and eggs with a stand mixer for about eight to ten minutes until the mixture is thick and fluffy. 

Cooks swear by these techniques to make shiny brownies

It's a technique writer Patty Catalano has tried with some success, saying that the fudgy treat was "everything I could have hoped for and then some," as it had all the qualities of a good brownie — from its crinkly top to its fudgy, chocolatey base, per The Kitchn. And as it turns out, Parks doesn't have a monopoly on beating eggs and sugar for an extended period of time. The Kitchn reveals another best-kept-secret for baking shiny, crinkly-topped brownies. Writer Emma Christensen says that brownie crust is actually made of meringue — the glossy end-product of beating egg whites and sugar together. King Arthur Baking says that the meringue rises to the top of brownies during the baking process.

If the Stella Parks sugar-and-egg solution fails to deliver, King Arthur Baking offers a yummy backup: using melted and stirred chocolate chips. It may not create a super thick and crinkly crust but is meant to give you a modest, shiny one just the same.