How Do I Make Brownies With Shiny, Crackly Tops?

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Q: I make brownies at home frequently, and and have noticed that some brownies bake up with a matte top that almost looks granular. Other times, I get lucky and the brownie crust looks shiny with minor cracks — much more attractive and alluring! How can I get that shiny chocolate-y top every time?

I often use brownie recipes where the butter and chocolate are melted together. Egg content can vary from 2 to 4, depending on which recipe I use. So is it the eggs, the method, or the recipe?

Sent by Maureen

Editor: Maureen, according to Shirley Corriher, the author of BakeWise, that shiny, crackly crust is actually a very thin layer of meringue that arises when eggs are beaten into creamed butter and sugar. You can encourage its formation by beating the batter for longer than usual after adding the eggs and before adding any other ingredients. Here’s a little more info:

Readers, do you have any other advice for getting shiny, crackly-topped brownies?

(Image: Dana Velden)