Cooking Tips

The Key to Bakery-Quality Brownies: The Foil Sling

Take it from this professional baker: Foil slings are the key to evenly cut, gorgeous brownies. Plus they make cleaning way easier.

Published Mar. 3, 2022.

No matter how well greased your pan is, brownies, blondies, and other bar desserts can stick to the pan in which they’re baked. Picture it: You’re eager to eat the treats you just baked. They smell like heaven. But—uh-oh—you realize the brownies are stuck to the pan.

You cut the brownies directly in the pan (your pan will likely get scratched). Then you jockey your spatula back and forth looking for the right angle to slide under the brownies. Worst case scenario: A brownie falls apart as you lift it. You don't have gorgeous brownies; you have brownie crumbles.

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There’s a way to avoid this tragic scene—use an aluminum foil sling. As a former professional baker who works at ATK, I can attest to its effectiveness. Lining the pan with two layers of foil prevents any brownie casualties, protects the pan from knife scratches, and makes cleanup a cinch. Once cooled, the brownies or bar cookies can be lifted easily from the pan and transferred to a cutting board. Then you can cut your brownies into tidy, even squares, just like your favorite bakery.

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How to Make a Foil Sling for Perfect Brownies

1. Fold two long sheets of aluminum foil so that they are as wide as the baking pan (if the dish is rectangular, the two sheets will be different sizes). Lay the sheets of foil in the pan, perpendicular to one another, with the extra foil hanging over the edges of the pan. 

2. Push the foil into the corners and up the sides of the pan. Try to iron out any wrinkles, smoothing the foil flush to the pan. Spray the sides and bottom of the pan with baking spray before adding the batter.

For a visual guide to foil slings, visit our friends at ATK Kids for their helpful article.

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