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How to Make Great Bars

Created January 10, 2017
Learn how to make brownies with our 3 easy steps. Make the best brownies and bar recipes by choosing the best pan, plus learn how to lift and cut brownies.

3 Easy Steps for Great Bars

Baking brownies and bars is an easy way to delight the sweet tooth in everyone. With just three easy steps, you can create pan after pan of the best brownies.

Step 1:  Pick the Perfect Pan

Pan Size for Baking Brownies 
Use the exact pan size called for in the bar recipe.
  • Bars baked in pans that are too big can become hard and overcooked.
  • Bars baked in pans that are too small can be doughy in the center and hard around the edges.
Metal, Nonstick or Glass Baking Pans
  • Shiny metal pans are the top choice for baking brownies because they reflect heat away from the bars. This prevents the crust from getting too brown and hard. 
  • Dark nonstick or glass baking pans absorb heat easily. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for baking. You may need to reduce the oven temperature by 25º F. Check for doneness 3 to 5 minutes before the minimum bake time.
Step 2:  Lift Them Out

When making brownies, line pans with aluminum foil for super quick cleanup and evenly-cut bars. 

To line your baking pan:
  1. Turn the pan upside down. 
  2. Tear off a piece of foil longer than the pan.
  3. Shape the foil around the outside of the pan.
  4. Carefully remove foil and set aside. 
  5. Flip pan over and gently fit shaped foil into the pan. 

When bars are completely cool, just lift them out of the pan by the foil “handles.”  

Step 3:  Cut Them Up

Be careful when cutting bars baked in nonstick pans, or you may scratch the surface.  Try using a plastic knife to avoid this problem. 

In fact, a plastic knife works best for cutting brownies and soft, sticky bars such as lemon squares.