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Cut cleanly through brownies

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sliced browniesBrownies and cheesecakes can be difficult to slice through and I often get asked how they can be sliced cleanly. The fact of the matter is that any sticky food can be a bit awkard when sliced, whether it is a fudgy cake or a rich custard-type pie, because the same qualities (gooey, sticky, creamy, etc) that make it so delicious also make it stick to the knife. This results in sloppy slices and a knife that has as much brownie stuck to it as the slice left in the pan. The way around it is to keep a moist paper towel or dish towel on hand and to wipe the knife clean after every slice you make. This keeps the knife from getting gummed up and, because the knife will be damp when it goes in, should keep most of the brownie/cheesecake/etc. in the pan and off the knife in the first place.

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  • Jen
    June 12, 2007

    I also find that a plastic knife is one of the easiest and cleanest way to cut brownies…haven’t tried it with cheesecake though! 🙂

  • Lynn
    June 12, 2007

    I find the real trick is waiting till the brownies are cooled. And since this is obviously impossible, all my brownies are jagged messes. But delicious!

  • lexriel
    June 12, 2007

    Personally, i find that running the knife under hot water and wiping it dry before (obviously!) cutting helps.

  • Claire
    June 12, 2007

    I agree with jen…a plastic knife works great! Even on hot out of the oven brownies. Another thing you can use if you have one is a lettuce knife. They both work great! No waiting for brownies to cool anymore.

  • Anita
    June 12, 2007

    Following instructions from Maida Heatter, I let the brownies cool, then cover and refrigerate them until cold. They cut neatly then.

  • Mark
    June 13, 2007

    Here’s how I do it:

    (1) Line the pan with no-stick silicone coated aluminum foil

    (2) Pull the brownies out of the pan by the foil and put on a cutting board, pealing back or completely pulling off the foil

    (3) Slice straight down with a long knife–don’t drag or pull the knife

    You can still clean the knife, but the straight-down technique makes it unnecessary, most of the time.

    This also works for cutting pizza from home-made dough: use silicone foil, cut with a knife rather than a pizza cutter.

  • D
    June 13, 2007

    hi! will adding some baking soda to brownies help prevent it from being too gluey?

    In here, I read that adding some baking soda adds “lift” to the brownies, preventing it from being way too fudgey. probably making it easier to cut.

    Will this work with your recipe for the perfect fudgey brownie?

  • Nicole
    June 13, 2007

    D – I have to say that if you don’t want a fudgy brownie, like the ones in my previous post, I would recommend using a different recipe, rather than tweaking the ingredients. There are lots of less-fudgy brownie recipes out there that will produce more cake-like results, which it sounds like you prefer.

  • e
    June 14, 2007

    The plastic knife trick works like a charm for brownies, not so much for cheesecake which requires a little heat from some hot water and a towel to wipe off the excess moisture.

  • Jayne
    July 20, 2008

    I bought a brownie knife some years ago at a little shop in New Hampshire. It was plastic and wide like a lettuce knife, except that it was hollow. It eventually broke and I haven’t been able to find one anywhere. It worked perfectly.

  • JDW
    January 16, 2009

    for cheese cake use fishing line. Wrap around one hand and then pull tort with the other. Press it down to the bottom of the cheese cake cutting it in half. let go of the line and pull it through with the other hand. Repeat as needed there for cutting it like a pizza (1/2, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8….)

    Cheese cake needs to be on a flat surface with no sides to ensure you get to the bottom.

    ?? will a cheese knife work for the brownies???

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