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May 12, 2010 10:11 PM

Brownies: the crust.

what gives brownies that crust top layer that cakes dont get? is it an specific ingredient or more of an ingredient? would it be possible to double that top layer?

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  1. it's primarily egg white and sugar - ever notice how it's shiny & dry like a meringue? the more you beat the batter after adding the eggs, the more of a crust you get because you basically whip the sugar & whites into a meringue that rises to the top.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Ditto what ghg said up above.

      Dunno about trying to "double" the top crust, but if you like the crust and want to enhance it (i.e. make it crustier) try sticking it under the broiler for a minute or two right before you judge the brownies to be done.

    2. I don't think you could really double the top layer, but if you like the crusty parts, you could try one of those "edge" brownie pans. I need to get one, because the crunchy corners are my favorite part.

      22 Replies
      1. re: gmm

        My mom got me a pan with a separate grid that you lay over the brownie batter once it's in the pan (the principle is similar to that in an ice cube tray). Each brownie comes out as a separate piece, with all sides crusty. Works great!

        1. re: nomadchowwoman

          Where on earth did she get it? Gotta have one, just gotta.

          1. re: buttertart

            I'll ask her and report back to you. Knowing my mom, I'd guess she got it for a lot less than the one pictured upthread, which i've seen in Chef's catalog and others.

            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              So she just got it recently? Terrific. Can't wait to hear.

                1. re: buttertart

                  Yes, that's it exactly. She bought it at Christmas time, says she thinks she got it at Macy's, but she's also always in Bed, Bath, and Beyond so that's possible. She said she's sure she had a coupon (and I'm sure she did!) and that she paid under $10.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Yeehaw! Thanks, friends. Must get on next trip to the hundred-dollar store as we call it. Only ever once escaped from there under $100 with the one thing we went to get (electric toothbrush).

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Look for their coupon. They take Linens N Things coupons, and expired coupons. I download them online.

                    1. re: chowser

                      Really? Hadn't realized. Thanks for the tip!

                      1. re: buttertart

                        They'll also take more than one coupon per transaction if your transaction meets all of the qualifications. So, for example, if you have a 20 percent off coupon and a $5 off a $15 purchase coupon, you can use both as long as you have undiscounted items that total at least $15. I think someone said they'll take up to four coupons per transaction.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            i don't think there's a limit - i've used 7 or 8 at a time!

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I assume their position is that they might as well take them all at once, instead of having people make multiple transactions to use their coupons. I have a whole envelope full of BBB coupons!

                        1. re: chowser

                          they don't accept Linens n Things coupons anymore - there shouldn't even be any of those left floating around at this point - the company went out of business a while ago. but they will accept their own (BBB) expired coupons.

                2. re: gmm

                  You can also make brownies in mini muffin tins and have almost all edge.

                  1. re: chowser

                    I second that - I use the minis for brownies, blondies, tassies, meatballs, mini-popovers....they are readily available in supermarkets and cost a fraction of the edge pan's price. An added benefit is that the baking time is much shorter than when using a larger pan. You'll need two12-well mini-muffin pans to accommodate the amount of batter in a typical boxed brownie mix.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Yup. I made brownies in my mini-muffin tin and they came out crusty and chewy -- perfect!

                      1. re: chowser

                        i was actually asking because i wanted to make them into cookies, cause of the convenience and the extra "crustiness". i guess mini muffins would work well too. thanks=]

                        1. re: Mina000

                          then you could try making a denser version of chocolate meringue cookies - extra cocoa powder will add some additional weight to flatten can also deflate the whites a bit, and *spread* them out on a sheet of parchment as opposed to the traditional method of heaping/piping out mounds.