Need help with baking brownies

@coffeebreak (17827)
United States
September 4, 2008 8:59pm CST
Whether box mix or from scratch, when I make brownies - the edge of the "cake" that sticks to the pan - it is ALWAYS hard and basically impossible to cut away from the edge of hte pan. I can cut the edge away from the pan and it remains on the brownie square, but so hard you can't eat it. I have tried to cut it off, but it just messes up the square. I use glass pan 9x9x2, and lower the temp by 25* as glass retains heat more than metal and makes the cake cook longer, even tho it is sitting on a cooling rack cooling. So my question is;;; What do I need to change to make the brownies so they don't bake to the edge of the pan so dang hard! I koow I can't grease the sides or the batter won't rise. But other than that...what do I do?
1 person likes this
8 responses
@lilybug (21184)
• United States
5 Sep 08
I always grease the bottom and sides of my pans when baking brownies. My edge peices always get harder than the rest of the brownies too. They are the favorite part of a few of my family members. Growing up they used to practically fight over the edge pieces.
2 people like this
@coffeebreak (17827)
• United States
5 Sep 08
MAybe I should grease the sides. I just always never do on anything as if they are greased hte batter can't stick to it to rise. Maybe these don't need to rise.... hum... as if I needed a reason to bake another batch!
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@lilybug (21184)
• United States
5 Sep 08
It is funny that I read this because I was waiting for the kids to go to bed to pop a batch of brownies in the oven. I just read online that you should not check the very center of the brownies with a toothpick rather check about 1/3 of the way in. If you wait till the center is completely done then you risk over cooking them and I think that may be part of the hard edges problem since they continue to cook once they are taken out.
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@coffeebreak (17827)
• United States
6 Sep 08
1/3 way in over middle - interesting theory - I'll give it a try! Sounds like it might help! Thanks!
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@lilybug (21184)
• United States
5 Sep 08
I have a batch of brownies getting ready to go in the oven as soon as dinner is out. I sprayed the bottom and sides of a light colored metal pan. I also put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom, so they will turn out easily. I normally use glass, so I will see in a little while if the type of pan makes a difference for me.
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@coffeebreak (17827)
• United States
6 Sep 08
Hope they turn out well! I always use glass since I learned about the dark colored pans (and cookie sheets ) retain heat to the point of burning the bottoms. For years I spent fighting that problem! Until I finally learned about the color makes the difference and I use the lightest colored pans. THe air-flow cookie sheets are the absolute best!
@lilybug (21184)
• United States
6 Sep 08
Yea! No hard edges. I used a light colored 9x9x2 pan, sprayed the bottom and the sides of the pan plus put some parchment paper in the bottom. I baked them on 350 for 37 minutes. They turned out great. The edges were still nice and soft.
• United States
6 Sep 08
Easiest way is to add extra oil. Only a little more, when measuring add a little over 1/4 cup which is what you should be adding. With the extra oil it won't stick as much and it makes more of a fudgy brownie. Also take out one of the eggs. Eggs make brownies more cake like. So if you add 3 eggs normally use only 2. Hope this helps!
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@coffeebreak (17827)
• United States
6 Sep 08
The package mix calls for 2 eggs and I prefer cake like as they are rich and chewier seem more rich to me! But adding a bit more oil - that sounds like a good idea. Might be the fix I need! Thanks for suggesting it!
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@Amberina (1542)
• United States
6 Sep 08
I always grease the bottom and sides of my brownie pan your actually supposed to use a pan that is like a cookie sheet only with slightly higher sides, if you grease the sides the brownie will still rise as it bakes. What I do is pull them out of the oven about the last ten minutes of them being done and just sit them on top of the stove, they continue baking an the sides don't get too hard. Plus they are chewy just the way I like them
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@coffeebreak (17827)
• United States
6 Sep 08
I do take them out a bit early as glass retains heat and they will cook more even after taking out of the oven. I am thankful for this discussion to all responses as I think my problem is I know not to grease sides of a cake pan or the cake won't rise, but brownies don't rise much, so I think that is my problem. But also, you made me think that when I take them out, use a knife and loosen the sides right then, while it cools
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@walijo2008 (4661)
• United States
5 Sep 08
Have you tried foil? You line your pan with foil all the way up the sides, its alright if it hangs over a little, pour your batter in, and bake it like you always do, the brownies come off the foil real easy they don't stick or anything, plus its easy cleanup afterward. I saw a lady do that on tv one time and I tried it because my brownies always stuck to the pan too, it works. I also grease my pan, the bottom and the sides, if I don't use foil. Have a good day
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@coffeebreak (17827)
• United States
6 Sep 08
I'll give the foil a try. I dont' grease the sides as with cakes, it causes them not to rise as there is nothing for the cake edges to hold on to to rise...but then again, brownies don't rise to much. But I'll try the foil and greaseing the sides! Just bought 2 more boxes at $1 each again to day!
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@camomom (7537)
• United States
5 Sep 08
i use the same type of pan, 9x9x2 glass, and use the temp it says on the box. i use cooking spray and lightly spray the entire pan. i get slightly harder edges then the center but they are still edible. i also use the cake-like recipe, usually that just means adding an extra egg. i never have the problem of them sticking to the pan.
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@drannhh (14680)
• United States
5 Sep 08
I am completely mystified as this has never happened to me. But then, I don't use a regular oven, but rather an infrared/convection combo. It seems to me that in convection baking the edges pull away cleaner, but maybe that is my overactive imagination. I have never heard that "greasing" the sides prevents brownies from rising. But I agree with HiLia :-) although I used silicon bakeware in addition to the metal nonstick. I used to make brownies from scratch, but now I just use the Pillsbury mix with the chocolate chunks. We just think it is so good that why bother with anything else. I hope you solve this mystery.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17827)
• United States
6 Sep 08
I use my toaster oven - works great. If you grease the sides of a pan when baking a cake, it doesn't allow the sides of the cake to rise as there is nothing for the batter to "stick" and hold on to. But I wasn't thinking that brownies don't need to rise - at least I dont' think so! I used to make them from scratch too, but like you said - Betty Crocker's (especially at $1 a box) are really good so why bother with scratch! I am not a huge brownie fan as athey are so rich, I can't handle really rich chocolate, but I love these! - I do add marshmallows in a layer in the middle, tho!
2 people like this
@Hatley (114972)
• Garden Grove, California
6 Sep 08
hi nowhere have i ever read that greasing the pans sides will not let it rise, that is just not true. I am 82 and have b aked zillions of cakes etc and never did I have one not rise, and the whole pan was always greased and floured according to the directions on the package. If that was true then our bread would not rise in greased pans, and it does rise and we must grease the whole pan in order to ge t the loaves out. whoever told you that told you an untruth.
@Hatley (114972)
• Garden Grove, California
6 Sep 08
hi coffeebreak who said you canot grease the sides, you have to or you get those hard sided messof brownies. go ahead and grease and flour the sides just like the bottom and your brownies will be moist all the way through. whoever told you that is wrong,wrong,wrong. Every recipe I ever used for brownies you greased and floured the entire pan.
@coffeebreak (17827)
• United States
6 Sep 08
Actually I heard the "don't grease the sides" From Martha Stewart and Melinda Lee a radio cooking show host in Los Angeles. If you grease the sides of a cake pan, it doesn't allow the cake batter to be able to stick to the sides to allow it to rise. And it is true. But I think my problem is ... brownies don't rise like a cake does, so why was I preparing it like a cake? Greasing the sides won't effect t he brownies as I thought it would. Learned that from this discussion! Thanks for your suggestions!