You won't miss boxed brownies with these delicious, fudgy brownies... with the crinkle top!
When I started cooking solely from scratch, one thing kept me very frustrated, for a long time. Homemade brownies never tasted as good as the boxed brownies. They were missing a certain taste, and that shiny, tissue thin flaky top. Until now 🙂
Dutched cocoa powder
The missing something flavor-wise is in the cocoa. Cocoa powders can be processed several different ways, and the result yields widely varying tastes. In the homemade brownies (or chocolate cakes for that matter) we can get that taste using Dutch processed cocoa.
Dutch processed, or double Dutch processed, or even Dutched black cocoa, (the latter being the kind used in things like Oreos) is a completely different tasting cocoa powder.
The difference has to do with the processing of the cocoa, and the resulting alkalinity. It’s actually kind of interesting. Basically, these Dutch cocoas lack the acidity of your basic Hershey's cocoas and other regular cocoas. This results in a smoother, more mellow taste like in boxed brownies.
How to get a flaky top on brownies
Another major woe of switching from boxed to homemade brownies is the frequently lacking shiny, crinkly tops. This is not something we have to live with! Whisking the eggs and sugar together in the beginning until it lightens up, before adding the rest of the ingredients will guarantee that tissue paper top.
- You must beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture lightens up in color.
- I do not recommend using a mixer for this, as you can over do it and ruin the brownie's fudgy texture and flaky top. Opt for the old fashioned bowl and spoon way.
Then you can begin folding the rest of the ingredients in. This is a thick, spreadable batter. You'll need to scrape it out of the bowl and spread it out evenly. It won't just pour out and settle like a cake batter.
Because of this, these are very dense, chewy, fudgy brownies. The way every brownie should be 🙂
Crinkle Top Brownies
- 1 egg
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup cocoa powder dutch process
- 1 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 cup optional semi sweet chocolate chips or coarse chopped chocolate of choice (optional )
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 inch square baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
- Mix or whisk sugar, eggs and vanilla for up to 10 minutes until lightened in color.
- Gently fold in remaining ingredients, just until mixed.
- Spread into a 9x9 inch baking pan.
- Bake for 20-28 minutes until edges are set. Center should feel soft but will set as they cool.
- Cool for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before cutting.
- Pull the brownies out of the oven when the edges are set, and the middle is still gooey-they'll set as they cool. It's better that they're under done than over cooked.
- Avoid using an electric or stand mixer for crinkle top brownies, as they can hinder the result of a shiny, flaky top and make the brownies cakey.
- Fold the ingredients together only until things are just combined and no further.
- If using a 9x9 inch square pan, you'll likely need to reduce cooking time by 4-6 minutes.
- If using a 13x9 inch rectangular pan, reduce cooking time by 5-7 minutes.