Brownie Baking Tips and Tricks for Less Mess and Fat
Tips for Baking Brownies
My sister is the brownie master in my family, but I've managed to learn a little about baking brownies over the years! I've learned that they can be difficult to remove from the pan, make me feel kind of guilty for eating several of them, and take way to long to cook. Luckily, you can combat these 'problems' by incorporating one or more of these tips into your next brownie baking venture. My tips can be used alone or in combination with your favorite brownie recipe or mix - they work for virtually every type of brownie imaginable.
For Easier to Remove Brownies...
...Line your pan with foil.
Do not simply place a layer on the bottom, but create a sling. First, cut a piece of foil that is at least 6 inches longer than your pan is wide and press it into the bottom of the pan, as shown below.
If necessary, use a second sheet of foil to finish covering the pan's bottom.
Lastly, cut a sheet of foil at least 6 inches longer than the pan and press it in place lengthwise. The goal is to have no creases or gaps in the foil where the brownie batter can seep through. As you can see, my foil is wide enough to completely cover the pan without the shorter, crossways pieces, but having the extra foil in place creates a more secure sling to lift the baked brownies from the pan.
Fill the foil-lined pan with batter and bake the brownies as your normally would. If the recipe calls for a greased pan, go ahead and grease the foil, too. When the brownies are finished, simply lift the baked brownies out using the foil sling and set them on a wire cooling rack.
Don't forget - brownies cut before they are completely cool will be mutilated by your knife. It's difficult to wait but, if you want them to be presentable, you must resist temptation.
For Lower Fat Brownies...
...Substitute applesauce for oil.
You can use a 1:1 substation, or use a little less applesauce than the called for amount of oil. Using a 1:1 substitution will result in 'cake-like' brownies rather than 'fudge-like' brownies, so reduce the quantity a little if you prefer your brownies dense. Make sure to choose unsweetened applesauce or your brownies may turn out unbearably sweet! Also, strangely enough, it is best not to use a really nice, high-quality applesauce. 'Good' applesauce tends to taste like, well, apples! This will make your brownies taste like apples, too. To keep the brownie flavor, go for the less fancy stuff you normally wouldn't eat by itself.
I love my Tovolo silicone spatula! It really scrapes the bowl clean so you can make sure none of your delicious brownie batter goes to waste.
For Faster Brownies...
...Cook them in the microwave.
I do not currently have a microwave and cannot demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique, but I've used it in the past and it really works! Brownies can cook in as little as 7 minutes or so in the microwave - way less than the 30 most mixes require in the oven.
If you decide to make microwave brownies, it is very important to use a round glass or plastic pan. The corners of a square or rectangular dish cook more quickly in the microwave and your brownie corners will be burned before the middle is thoroughly cooked! I've seen some people online recommend covering the corners with aluminum foil to deflect this extra energy. Do not do this!! You should never, ever put metal in your microwave. While it is unlikely to turn into a countertop fireball, your microwave's electronics can be fried if you use it with metal dishes or aluminum foil.
Because they can go from not yet ready to burned in a very short time, keep a close eye on your microwave brownies. When they are ready, the top will lose its slick, wet look. If you don't trust yourself to know when the top is no longer 'wet,' stop and check the brownies every minute or two. Insert a toothpick, knife, or fork into the center of the brownie pan and pull it out. If it removes uncooked-looking brownie batter, they aren't finished. If it comes out clean, or nearly clean, you're good to go.
Because applesauce has a lot of moisture, brownies made with applesauce instead of oil cook up really nicely in the microwave.
Going Gluten Free?
- Love Living Gluten Free With This Brownie Recipe
We can love living gluten free if we need to for a health issue, but we can also love it if we simply want to be careful about what we eat. This easy gluten free brownie recipe is proof!
Tips for Better Brownies
There you have it: my best brownie making tips to transform your next baking experience! It doesn't matter if you prefer to make brownies from scratch or use a mix, you can still incorporate one or more of these tips into your dessert making routine - just please make sure not to combine the foil and the microwave tips! Unless, of course, you would love to have lightening in a box on your counter...
I hope you enjoyed these my brownie baking advice and can put these suggestions to good use soon. Do you have any favorite tips for improving brownies or other baking projects?