Not-So-Perfect Brownie Pan

I guess you can say that this post is more of a review, but it's also a chance for me to share how much I {♥} Ghirardelli brownies. I love all things chocolate to begin with, but there's nothing quite like the richness of a chewy-gooey, double chocolate Ghirardelli brownie. First off, they make some of the best tasting chocolate ever, and to have it in brownie form?!...{drool!}...

AHEM! Sorry, I'll wipe the drool off my face now. Any-hoo, I recently procured one of those PERFECT BROWNIE PANS after seeing a commercial for it on the tube. I was so excited! Someone actually had the genius idea of creating something that would allow for the cutting of brownies that didn't result in a gooey mess. If you've ever made ooey-gooey brownies, you know what I'm talking about: like when you run your knife through the baked brownies and instead of nice clean slices, you get something that looks like a toddler hacked into it. Now don't get me wrong, we would still eat it, especially my guys who couldn't care less what dessert look like, as long as it was delicious. But me being me, I did want something more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. After all, we eat first with our eyes, right? So, I got one of these babies and took it for a test drive:

Brownie batter is in the pan, ready for baking in the oven.

Now the directions are pretty straight-forward, but there are some things that they don't reveal in their TV commercials. They aren't exactly bad, but in my humble opinion, these things sort of take away from the PERFECT part of the fun. I'll just list them here, and you can decide for yourself:

[1] The pan does leak, although not a lot. If I had to guess, about 2 or 3 tablespoons leaked out. The enclosed instructions do give you tips on how to deal with this feature, so it was obviously a known glitch. To be fair, it is easy enough to get around it. For example, I actually took a baking sheet, lined with foil, then placed the pan on top, and baked it this way.

[2] They advertise that the pan set is made of a super non-stick metal that will make your brownies 'slide' right off. It is made of a non-stick metal, but the directions do say that you have to grease the pan and insert liberally. So make sure you have some non-stick cooking spray on hand.

[3] The directions say that it's best to use a brownie mix or recipe that calls for a 13x9 pan. Since most store-bought brownie mixes are meant for square 8x8 or 9x9 pans, you have use 2 boxes of mix. No biggie, because this just means more brownies for you to stuff your face with enjoy and share.

[4] Referring back to number 3, using a batter meant for a 13x9 pan did present an obstacle, because the PERFECT BROWNIE PAN is not 13x9; it's in fact smaller. Why is this a problem? Well, when you have that much batter in a pan that's not exactly big enough to hold it, your brownies or cake (whichever you choose to bake) will rise up higher than the pan insert, and it creates a type of seal over the inserts, thus making it MUCH harder to remove:

See how you can't see the tops of the inserts? The pieces are still divided into sections, but it was still very difficult to get them all separated, and removing the insert took some maneuvering and the help of a butter knife. Eventually, I did get it out.

[5] Again, the pan is non-stick, and the directions do call for liberal use of non-stick cooking spray. But here's another tip if you don't want them falling apart: let the brownies cool COMPLETELY cool before taking them apart. It just makes it easier to pull them apart, and you won't be left with ooey-gooey sections left on the pan bottom.


For the most part I'm pretty happy with it. It definitely yielded better results than using a regular square or rectangular pan. Would I call it perfect? Um, probably not, although with some practice, patience, and calculations of batter amount versus pan size, I do think I can eventually yield some near-perfect results. The great part is, those who enjoy my brownies love them, which is all that really matters...

Because they're made with LOVE....and really good chocolate!
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15 blissful whispers...:

Scrappy Girl said...

I absolutely love your signature...so cute! Those brownies look fantastic! Yum! I might pick up a box to make!

~Bobbi~ said...

Thank you so much for this post!!! I have been wanting one and we actually saw these at Walmart now. Hubby said he would get me one. I'll have him read this post first. I was so excited. It looked incredibly easy, and everyone was smiling and that cheesy music and the M&M brownies- Wow! They really got me with that commercial!

Aunt of 14 said...

I am going to use mine for the first time this weekend!! I am so excited. I am glad I read your post first, so now I can get an extra brownie mix. Thank you for sharing!! :)

Andrea said...

Oh my gosh, I'd grab a fork and go at those brownies at the kitchen counter, standing up! They look great! Forget that crazy pan!

roadrunner201 said...

Mmmmm! Ghiridelli! My favorite:-)

Lisa said...

I didn't even manage to read your post all the way. Honestly my attention span diminished in a big bad way. And quick, with all those pictures of those big, delicious looking brownies. I am DYING over here in Norway. Brownie mixes exist, but some things are just better in the USA. ;)

Unknown Mami said...

Very well written review of a near-perfect brownie pan. Now it seems to me that you should send me some so that I can see if the pan affects the taste of the brownies.

JP32 said...

Thx for the post. It seems like if the pan is smaller than 9x13 than maybe only one 9x13 box mix is required. Just a thought...

Tammy said...

I didn't find this blogg until after my brownies were in the oven...
I borrowed the pan from my neighbor. My daughter went and got it, well any way I had no directions, so i just thought logically. I used one mix, sprayed the pan well with non stick spray making sure to get all sides of the divider. baked it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let it cool for about 15 minutes before I could wait no longer and I did like they did on the comercial, the serving tray rack and then removed the divider. Perfect!!!(Really, no joke)It was great!!! Only Thing I would have done differently would be is too reduce baking time to about 16 or 18 minutes to make them a little more fudgie!!!

Anonymous said...

My sister gave me one of these pans for Christmas this year. I was skeptical, but tonight when we made brownies (recipe: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/quick-and-easy-brownies/Detail.aspx) it was easy. We didn't really read the directions (oops) and therefore didn't grease it (non-stick!) or worry about leakage.

Luckily it didn't leak OR get stuck. In all fairness, the brownies are a cake-y type. But they came out perfect with that pan as opposed to having spongy crumbles everywhere.

Danielle said...

I am making my brownies now in the pan and seriously ran over to put a baking pan under it as I read your post. Thanks for the tip. I only used one box of mix so hopefully it works. Love your blog. Super cute! Following you now..hop on over and check out mine...http://mylifeinjenga.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I just bought one of these pans called "The Amazing Brownie Pan" at Roses for $5.00. It is great! The care and baking problems are the same as posted here, but can be overcome with all the suggestions here. Love it!

Jimi Hahn said...

It should work great for my Medicinal Marijuana brownies, easier to get equal doses.

Anonymous said...

Almost bought this. Thank you.

Kimberly said...

I bought my pan in a second hand store for $3. I ha d looked a t them in stores but wasn't going to pay $20. Didn't have instructions so I Googled it. Followed them to a T even warmed the pan for 5 minutes as suggested. Mine had no leakage and came out perfectly. I also used 1 box of Ghiradeli mix. Probably beginners luck but very pleased with the results.