So I am in Chapel Hill, NC, staying at the house of my good friend Jean Anderson while I am on book tour in her neck of the woods, and in the process of making brownies for my book signing tonight at Quail Ridge Books, I learned several new things. They are the kind of dorky little tips that make me happy. I thought that I would share them in case you are the same kind of dorky cook that I am.
First of all, when you are lining a 9-inch pan with foil, in order to get the foil to fit flush in the corners of the pan, turn the pan over first, drape the foil over the outside of the pan and press the foil around all the sides to form sharp edges. Then press the shaped foil onto the inside of the pan. Second, when you want to spray a pan with cooking spray, hold the pan inside of the dish washing machine (which should be either empty or filled with dirty dishes) and that way you leave residual oil where it will be cleaned up. These tips are courtesy of Jean. You can find her many cookbooks at your local bookstore or on line.
Here is one I shared with her: Instead of just buttering a 9-inch pan when baking brownies, line it with foil first, leaving an overhand, so that when the brownies are done you can lift the foil out with the square of uncut brownies inside, lay it on a cutting board and cut the brownies into squares very easily with a knife. There will not be the usual brownie bits left in the corners and sides. Of course some people like those bits, that is why they like to cut up the brownies when they are alone in the kitchen. In which case, just butter the pan and forget the foil.