Be a bake sale hero with the most delectable, delightful brownies. Wow your pals at brunch with scrumptious snack squares. Making brownies and bars from scratch is easier than you think, so grab your spatulas and let’s get started with these quick baking tips.
Experienced a brownie bummer? We’ve all been there: standing in the kitchen wondering how our dessert can be dry and underdone at the same time! While we can’t cover all the kitchen pitfalls, here are a few of the most common mistakes and easily confused brownie ingredients — plus a few tips on how to handle them:
Butter vs. Oil for Brownies
If you love cakey brownies, butter is better for your batter. Want a fudgier texture? Vegetable oil helps the chocolate flavor shine without creating too much rise.
Melted Chocolate or Cocoa Powder?
Either ... or both! Cocoa powder gives you a mellow, chewier brownie, while melted chocolate is a one-way ticket to fudgy, gooey goodness. Many bakers use both for the richest flavor, either stirring melted chocolate into the batter or adding chocolate chips and letting the oven do the melting.
Brownie Bakeware: Metal vs. Glass Pans
For brownies, shiny metal pans are best for developing those classic crisp edges you know and love. But brownies cooked in glass are better than none at all! If glass is all you have, just lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees to avoid burning.
Stop the Stick: Greased vs. Lined Pan
A swipe of butter or spritz of cooking spray prevents sticking, but parchment paper or foil with some overhang goes the extra mile for brownies and bars. Once they’re cooled, you can quickly lift your batch onto a cutting board to slice perfectly even squares. Bonus: easy-breezy cleanup and no scratching the pan as you cut.
When your baking experiments come out perfectly, it can feel like magic. Try these handy brownie tips to whip up that magical feeling every time you turn on the oven.
Beat Your Eggs, Not Your Batter
Pre-beating your eggs helps to incorporate air into your batter and create the unique crackly top that makes brownie lovers swoon. But once your wet ingredients meet the dry ones, take it easy and avoid overbeating! An overworked batter can make fudgy brownies too cakey or turn cakey brownies tough.
Overbaked Brownies? Prevent It with Foil
If one of your baking prep steps is changing the batteries in the smoke alarm, we’ve got a solution to help you avoid overbaking those brownies. If you think your brownies are baking too quickly, cover them with a layer of foil to help reflect some heat away.
Store Brownies Like a Star
Keep your leftover brownies fresh (and ready for snacking!) in an airtight container or the pan covered tightly with aluminum foil.
Feed Your Creativity with Fun Toppings
Take your brownies to a whole new level of yum with toppings and mix-ins. Our Creamy Brownie Frosting is a classic, or add a different flavor dimension with Vanilla Frosting (with or without the chocolate chips!). Ready to discover some delicious combinations? Stir in REESE’S PIECES Candy, add bits of your favorite candy bar or top each brownie with HERSHEY’S KISSES Chocolates.
Not every sweet snack is the same, but they’re all delicious. Create your perfect brownie treat with these tricks and ideas you’re sure to love.
How Do I Keep My Chocolate Chips from Sinking?
Tossing your chocolate chips (or other mix-ins, like REESE’S PIECES Candy) in a sprinkle of flour before adding to the batter can help keep them from sinking. Keep this tip in your apron pocket for cakes, too!
What’s the Difference Between Fudgy, Cakey and Chewy Brownies?
It all comes down to ingredients and proportions. For the fudgiest brownies in town, use less flour, fewer eggs (or even just yolks) and melted chocolate rather than cocoa powder. Cakey brownies are all about the rise, so mix in extra eggs, more flour and even some leavener like baking powder to give you the soft, airy texture you’re after. Love a chewy brownie? Try swapping half the white sugar for brown.
How Do I Make Gluten-Free Brownies?
Good news: You can skip the gluten without skipping the brownies. Try our Gluten-Free Ultimate HERSHEY’S Chocolate Brownies for a treat just as tasty as the traditional version.
Is a Blondie a Brownie?
Not exactly! Both blondies and brownies are dessert bars, so their texture can be similar. But while blondies can include chocolate chips like their brownie cousins, they have much stronger flavors of vanilla, brown sugar, white chocolate, caramel or even butterscotch.
Why Did My Brownies Burn?
Oops! Baking mistakes aren’t fun, but don’t let them stop you. Every oven is different, so try lowering the temperature or baking on a different rack. You can also adjust your cook time. Unlike some other confections, your toothpick test doesn’t have to come out completely clean — a few crumbs are fine. Another tip: Line your pan with parchment paper to insulate your brownies from too much heat.
With the right ingredients and a spoonful of creativity, the rich, chocolatey world of brownies is at your fingertips. Go ahead and dig in!