The Best Brownie Recipe for a Shiny, Crackly Crust

Brownies with shiny, crackly crust

These brownies are not too cakey, not too fudgy. If you bake them just right, they will have both qualities and feature a desirable, shiny and crackly crust. Brownies are one of those desserts where we think you can never have enough variations. You need truffle-like ones, dense ones, cakey ones – we love them all. This will be the best brownie recipe for the picture-perfect crust that can seem so elusive at time to bakers. The trick is using the chocolates recommended and also whipping the eggs and sugar long enough so that they are truly light, fluffy and have greatly increased in volume.

The Best Brownie Recipe for a Shiny, Crackly Crust
Makes: Makes 24 to 32 brownies
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, 55% to 60%, such as Callebaut semisweet or Valrhona Equitoriale, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups lightly toasted walnut halves, chopped (optional)
  1. Position your oven rack in the center. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Coat a 13-inch by 9-inch pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler or the microwave. Whisk together until smooth and set aside until lukewarm.
  4. Beat the sugar and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add melted chocolate mixture to the eggs and beat until no streaks of the egg mixture remain. Fold flour mixture into batter by hand just until combined. Fold in about three-quarters of the nuts, if using.
  6. Scrape batter into the pan. Scatter remaining nuts on top, if using. Bake for approximately 25 to 35 minutes. The top will look dull, a bit puffed and the edges will barely come away from the pan's sides. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with many moist crumbs clinging. The longer you bake them, the drier they'll be, so don't over-bake.
  7. Cool completely in the pan set on a rack. Cut into 24 (6x4) or 32 (8x4) brownies. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days in an airtight container in single layers separated by parchment paper.

Bakepedia Tips

  • By folding in the majority of the nuts, but reserving some for sprinkling on top, your brownies will look like they are bursting with walnuts. This is a food stylist trick that you can use in other recipes as well.

3 Responses to The Best Brownie Recipe for a Shiny, Crackly Crust

  1. Aurelia Lambrechts August 26, 2015 at 4:48 am #

    BIG brownie crust discovery posted on our blog! You can actually achieve a Shiny brownie crust on ANY recipe. I do not like whipping the eggs and sugar because very often there is a crust, but it is dull! Also, the brownies aren’t chewy enough if you whip the eggs and sugar. King Arthur Flour kind of figured it out, but with so many experiments and science I’ve figured it out completely. I’ve made 13000 brownies, trust me. Here is everything you need to know!

    • Dede Wilson August 26, 2015 at 7:09 am #

      Thank you Aurelia, this is a good technique to employ!

  2. Baker321 February 8, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

    I made this recipe last night. This is a cake recipe, and it will turn out as such. Whipping the eggs as described will result in too much air in the batter, and defeats the purpose of folding in the flour later. Which brings me to the next issuet: there is way too much flower in this recipe, which causes a dry finished product. Last, adding baking powder to the recipe causes the batter to rise. Baking powder doesn’t belong in a brownie recipe. I will say, however, the crust was almost shiny. If that is all you care about, this is a mediocre recipe.

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