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Brownie Baking Tips and Tricks for Less Mess and Fat

Updated on July 25, 2013
Brownie Baking Tips
Brownie Baking Tips | Source

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.

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If necessary, use a second sheet of foil to finish covering the pan's bottom.

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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.

Pan totally lined with foil.
Pan totally lined with foil. | Source

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.

Brownies in the foil sling removed from the pan.
Brownies in the foil sling removed from the pan. | Source
Ditch the oil for applesauce for healthier brownies.
Ditch the oil for applesauce for healthier brownies. | Source

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.

It's 'licked clean' without the licking!
It's 'licked clean' without the licking! | Source

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.

Brownies are served!
Brownies are served! | Source

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?

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh how I love brownies! Great tips here, Natasha! I'll be using them the next time I need a chocolate fix. :)

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Billybuc, my staunch supporter! I may have eaten about half that pan of brownies... One of my reasons for not having a microwave is that it makes cooking up brownies and cakes far too easy.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      I'm not sure I can give up butter for applesauce, but I sure do like the idea of using foil to reduce the mess & make brownies easier to take out of the pan. Pinned & voted up. Good one! --Jill

    • A. Bove profile image

      A. Bove 4 years ago from New York

      Sweeeeeet.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the votes and pin, Jill! Applesauce is...better for you, but I don't usually choose it!

      And, yes, literally, A Bove =)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Love the idea of the foil sling. I do that with fudge, just never with brownies. Better make a batch to try it out! :-) My daughter will love that.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      And I've never thought to do it with fudge! Funny. Hope you enjoy making some brownies soon.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks for outlining these helpful tips! So many people will benefit from this resource. I will have to try the foil trick sometime.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      It really helps, especially because if you wait for the brownies to cool, you can essentially peel the foil away and not have to worry about shoving a spatula down into the pan to maul them!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Awesome! I hope you have the chance to enjoy some soon.

    • DIYmommy profile image

      Julie 4 years ago

      Applesauce is just one of those ingredients that you would never think would make something like a brownie taste so good. I was a little skeptical before trying it once, but, I admit, it really made the brownies very moist and delectable. Thanks for the great hub and I look forward to reading more! :)

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      It's like the Depression cake that calls for mayonnaise. It seems weird, but it totally works! Thanks for stopping by and following =)

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Natasha: Like applesauce, pumpkin puree can be used to make brownies. It is a fun alternative. Also, foil in the microwave might turn into a fireball. When I was a kid and we had our first microwave, I put a stick of butter in to soften it. It didn't occur to me that the butter wrapper was actually that foil type. It caught on fire! Thankfully, I was watching it and stopped it immediately. I can't imagine what would happen if left too long. I love brownies! Great ideas.

    • Natashalh profile image
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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Yes, I was quite appalled when I saw people advising covering corners of pans with foil and putting them in the microwave!

      Prune puree, like the stuff you feed babies, also works well in brownies in lieu of oil. I've actually intentionally made chocolate pumpkin creations before, so I'm sure pumpkin brownies could be a tasty treat!

    • Skylanders profile image

      Suzanne Kirkhope 4 years ago from California

      Great hub

      I have heard about the applesauce, but never got around to trying it. Will definitely give it a try now.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      You can use applesauce with cakes, too, just make sure to reduce the quantity a little bit.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      Great tips! I particularly appreciate those for lower fat brownies. Thanks for sharing! Voted up & useful

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Awesome! Thanks for the votes.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Great tips for lower fat brownies, useful hub, thanks Natashalh.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love brownies, haven't had one in awhile, but I do love them. Your idea is one that I will use next time I bake up a batch. Having to deal with the messy pan afterwards was always a reason to "not" make them so often. Thanks for the time-saving suggestion.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I've started using foil with pretty much everything I cook in the oven. It saves so much time and mess!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I love brownies and these tips will certainly be useful and make it easier to clean up too. I love the idea of using applesauce instead of oil.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Voted up.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks, rajan jolly. The applesauces makes them fluffier and cakier, which can be a fun change of pace. And, of course, making them easier to clean up doesn't change anything about the flavor or texture.

    • Bake Like a Pro profile image

      Bake Like a Pro 4 years ago

      Great tips natashalh. Like everyone else I LOVE brownies. But I try to stay away from them as much as possible!!!!. I always like reading the comments people leave for a post. I find them useful and interesting sometimes. I like the idea of using pumpkin puree. It would probably add moisture to the brownie. I have to give these tips a try. Thanks for the post.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I pretty much love everything with pumpkin in it! I haven't personally tried pumpkin brownies, but I'm sure I will eventually. Pumpkin isn't as moist, so you may need to get a little extra moisture in there somehow. I don't know - I'm just guessing!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for sharing your brownie baking tips--I did enjoy reading them! Linking to my gluten free brownie hub.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks! I'll look for your hub to give a link back =)

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