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When I bake brownies and cut them, it's always difficult to get the first brownie out of the pan without breaking it. The subsequent brownies are easier to get out because of the open space created after the first one is removed; the spatula can fit in the space and get completely underneath the 2nd brownie without bending it.

How can I get the first brownie out of the pan without it bending / crumbling / breaking?

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Start by placing a platter (or any flat object) on top of the whole pan of brownies. Then, flip the whole thing. Now, lift off the pan, and if the brownies were properly baked, it should come right off. Now, you have the brownies on the platter (upside down of course).

  • I do this all the time for other things, and I can't believe I didn't think of it for brownies!! Thanks. (It's tragic if the bottoms are stuck to the pan, though; the top falls on the platter while the bottom is still in the pan.) – BrettFromLA Feb 27 '17 at 18:12
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I always bake brownies over a "sling" of parchment, which is a strip of oven-safe parchment paper that is draped across both sides of the pan so I can lift the brownies out onto a platter or cutting board after it is done baking and has cooled a bit. It keeps the brownies from sticking to the bottom of the pan and allows you to place the entire slab of finished brownies onto a flat surface for cutting without having to "scoop" the brownies out of the pan to get out that first piece.

But let's say you either neglected to use parchment paper or don't care to use that technique.

The reason that second pieces comes out so cleanly is because you created a bit of room to lift out that second slice after you removed the first. So… one way to get a better "first slice" is to actually cut two slices before you try to lift out that first piece. The extra cuts gives you just a bit more space to lift out that first slice cleanly. By cutting two slices, you create a bit more room to lift out the first without having it crumble into pieces as you try to lift it out.

This also works well for pies. Cut two slices initially to create a bit of space between the slices so the first slice will lift out cleanly.

Try it. It works.

  • The recipe suggested parchment paper, and I had no idea why. Thanks! – BrettFromLA Feb 27 '17 at 18:13
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I line the pan with heavy aluminum foil, shiny side down. Then spray the foil with Pam or whatever. When brownies are done, sit the pan in cold water for a few minutes. Then lift the foil out with the whole slab of brownies. Place on a flat surface and cut with a wet knife, clean and wet the knife between cuts for perfect squares.

  • That's a lot of "hacks"! I love it! – BrettFromLA Jul 24 '17 at 16:31

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