Saturday, June 13, 2015

Brownies with a Shiny Crust

Brownie with a Shiny Crust--and Walnuts

I've never been too concerned with my brownies having a shiny crust on them because I'm in the frosted brownie loving group.
 From time to time, I've heard people discuss how to get the shiny crust--something to do with dissolving the sugar in the butter or eggs--but it wasn't until I read the King Arthur Flour article "How to Make Brownies with Shiny Crust: the Surprising Secret Ingredient," that I really got curious about it. So today, since I "accidentally" purchased a 3-pound can of Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate, I decided to try out KAF's claim that chocolate chips are the secret to a shiny crust. What?! That's right: chocolate chips. I was skeptical even while I was prepping my ingredients, but then I went to my Gooey Brownies with Dove Chocolate Chunks recipe, which has Dove chocolate chunks baked into the top of the brownies, and what do you know? I noticed in my pics in that post that those brownies also have a shiny crust. Hmmm...very interesting.

You'll notice that I like to sprinkle the nuts on top of the brownie batter rather than mixing them in. This way, it's not only completely obvious to brownie eaters that they are getting a brownie with nuts, but the nuts also get a little toasty and crunchy up on top there. It just add a couple of other pleasnt dimensions to the brownie, in my opinion. It also allows me to make some brownies with and some brownies without nuts in the same batch. So many good reasons to do it this way.

Brownies with a Shiny Crust

  • 2 eggs @ room temp. 
  • ½ cup sugar 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • ½ cup butter, melted & cooled 
  • 1 cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate
  • 2/3 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 18 Dove Dark Chocolate Promises, chopped into big chunks (or 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional) 
Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Prepare am 8x8" brownie pan by spraying lighlty with non-stick cooking spray and then lining with parchment paper. (This helps with removing brownies.)
Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl, in the microwave, on 50% power for about 50-70 seconds. (I like to cover my bowl with the butter wrapper to prevent butter spatter.) If it's not melted after that amount of time on 50% power then put it back in on high for 12-20 seconds. Add the half cup of sugar and stir to incorporate.
In a small bowl, whisk together the ground chocolate, flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a medium or large bowl, whisk the eggs until they just start to froth. Add the butter/sugar mixture and the vanilla and with a spoon, mix to incorporate. Add the dry ingredients and stir with a silicone/rubber spatula until dry ingredients are just incorporated. Mix in the Dove chocolate chunks. 
Spread batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with nuts, if desired. Gently press the nuts into the batter with the palm of your hand.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-29 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out relatively clean. (I might even let them go to about 32 minutes.) Allow to cool. Cut into squares. Makes 16-20 brownies.

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