What Is the Key to Moist Brownies?

The key to perfectly moist brownies is making sure they cook for exactly the right amount of time, says recipe creator Rochelle Palermo in "Bon Appetit" magazine. Overcook your brownies -- even by just a couple of minutes -- and they'll lose that rich, fudge-like moistness. Though this sounds as simple as setting the timer, if you want perfectly moist brownies every time you bake, there are a few different steps you should take.

Check Your Equipment

The right-size pan is essential to perfectly cooked brownies, so don't try to substitute a larger or smaller pan for the one called for in your brownie recipe. If you use a pan that's too big, your mix will cook too quickly; in a small pan, it cooks slower, increasing the risk that your brownies will be gummy rather than moist. In addition to the right size, be sure to use the right kind of pan: Light metal or glass pans are best, as dark metal pans may make your brownies cook faster, explains "Taste of Home" magazine.

Check Your Technique

Like most baking, brownies require careful measurement and mixing. Be sure to measure your ingredients precisely, and resist the urge to overmix, which can make brownies tough. A dense batter usually means moister brownies, but you only need to beat it -- preferably with a wooden spoon -- until the dry and wet ingredients are just combined, explains Cindy Mitchell in "Fine Cooking" magazine. When you transfer brownie batter to your baking pan, make sure to spread it evenly so that the brownies cook evenly.

Check Your Temperature

Just because your oven dial says 350 F doesn't mean the temperature inside your oven is 350 F. And if your oven is off by 5 or 10 degrees, it can make a significant difference in the outcome of precision baking -- the kind you need for perfect brownies. Invest in an oven thermometer to determine the exact temperature of your oven, so that you can bake your brownies at the intended temperature.

Check for Doneness

If you're hoping for perfectly moist results, don't just set the timer and leave your brownies to bake. Start checking your brownies after the first 20 minutes of baking time by gently pressing the center of the brownies with your finger to test for firmness and then inserting a toothpick or cake tester. Your brownies probably won't be done at this point, but the squishy feeling of the batter and the wet batter on the toothpick will give you a good comparison for later testings. Continue to test for doneness every 8 to 10 minutes, and remove the brownies when the wet batter on the toothpick is replaced by moist crumbs. If you're not sure, go ahead and take out the pan; slight undercooking is better than overcooking.

the nest