The Easiest Way To Jazz Up Boxed Brownies Is All In The Eggs

If you want to whip up a quick dessert, boxed brownies are always a reliable option. Water, oil, and eggs are the only ingredients required to make them, and the most time-consuming part of the process is waiting for them to finish baking. Compared to the homemade kind, boxed brownies are the clear winner in terms of convenience. However, when it comes to flavor, there's no denying that they fall short. Though brownies made from scratch take longer to make and their ingredients end up being pricier, once you taste them, you quickly remember why they're well worth the effort.

Luckily, if you can't part with the convenience of boxed brownies but still want them to have a more homemade taste, all you have to do is ignore everything the instructions say about eggs. Specifically, instead of cracking in the usual one or two eggs, add four and only include the yolks. This may seem like a minor adjustment, but it will ultimately improve the overall taste and texture of your brownies.

How egg yolks can improve boxed brownies

When you add eggs to brownies, whether homemade or from the box, they don't just bind the flour, sugar, and chocolate together. They also contribute fat and protein. Egg whites, the main source of protein, are largely responsible for helping the batter rise. The egg yolks, meanwhile, make the brownies fudgy and decadent due to their high fat content.

The more eggs you add, the cakier your brownies will become, but that occurs when you add whole eggs. If you just add the yolks and leave out the whites, you're only adjusting the fat content and therefore the richness of the brownie, while the leavening effect of the egg whites remains unchanged. Though you might think you could achieve the same result by increasing the amount of butter, we wouldn't recommend it. Butter is a much greasier source of fat and does not solidify when cooked as egg yolks do. As a result, more butter can cause brownies to sink. For a super rich, dense brownie, adding in four egg yolks is the way to go. 

Another egg upgrade option

Using only the yolks is a surefire way to get fudgier brownies, but there's another technique you can try that doesn't involve separating a ton of eggs or increasing the amount you use in order to upgrade the classic dessert. As it turns out, simply beating the eggs before you add them to the batter can also improve brownies by giving them extra crinkly tops.

The reason this works is that whisking introduces air into eggs, thus trapping more air bubbles in the batter. When making brownies from scratch, you're able to accomplish this by whisking together the eggs and sugar to the ribbon stage, but it's a lot harder to achieve with a boxed mix because the sugar is already pre-mixed into the rest of the dry ingredients. Beating the eggs separately however can produce a similar effect in boxed brownies.

At the same time, it also prevents overmixing. Overmixing causes brownies to become tough, and it can easily happen when you crack the eggs right into the batter. With the eggs pre-beaten, you don't have to do much mixing in order to get rid of all the lumps, reducing the risk of overmixing. But whether you decide to stick to using the whole egg or separate out the yolks, either way, you'll be left with a delicious upgrade.