Baker's Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan review:
Quality Construction and a Simple Design
- Price:$30.99 - $35.95
The nonstick coating works well and makes cleanup easy. The extra-large handles are easy to grab with bulky oven mitts.
Greasing and filling the pan is a little time-consuming. And if you're someone who relies on precise baking times, you'll probably be a little disappointed.
Out of the box, this pan confused us: Did we need to adjust our recipes and baking times to compensate for the extra surface area? But if you don't mind a little trial and error (and probably an initial batch or two that end up overbaked), this is a well-made pan that does what it says.
Chewy-edge brownie technology has been around long enough to prove it’s not a flash in the pan. The website for Baker’s Edge says company president and CEO Matt Griffin invented the Edge Brownie Pan in 1998, years before launching the company in 2006. Griffin is an inventor-entrepreneur, and his Edge Brownie Pan claims to do one thing: bake brownies and bar cookies with two chewy edges per slice. The company also makes the Simple Lasagna Pan, which is a larger version of the Edge Brownie Pan, designed for baking chewy-edged lasagna.
The Edge Brownie Pan has a continuous channel where you spread the batter so that each brownie or bar cookie it produces bakes against two side walls—Baker’s Edge says the pan has 70 percent more wall surface than a rectangular or square pan does. (Baker’s Edge also touts ease of slicing as a benefit here—no carving squares from the interior of a rectangular baking pan, only one cut per piece!) The heavy-gauge cast-aluminum pan weighs in at a hefty 2.5 pounds, measures 9 inches by 12 inches, and is 2 inches deep. It holds 11 cups of batter or dough (the same yield as a standard box brownie mix, or recipes designed for standard 9-by-9 or 9-by-13 baking pans). The interior has a nonstick coating said to be safe at temps up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (you can also use it under the broiler), and it’s made in the USA. The corners are rounded so they’re easier to clean. It comes with a flexible nylon mini-spatula for spreading batter in the channel, as well as a recipe booklet.
We tested three things in the Edge Brownie Pan: brownies from a box mix; bar cookies from the Baker’s Edge recipe booklet that comes with the pan; and a savory frittata.
Brownies: For these, we used one box of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. We followed the instructions on the box, including lightly buttering the pan. This took some time since—naturally, with all those side walls—there are a lot of corners to pay attention to. And since brownie mixes tend to be pretty thick, it took extra time to spread the batter evenly throughout the Edge Brownie Pan’s snaking channel; we found we had to pour and spread, then keep spreading till the batter was evenly distributed (on its website, Baker's Edge says it's possible to add the batter and give the pan a "few firm shakes" and it'll smooth out in the oven). When it comes to baking, the Edge Brownie Pan’s instructions say because of all that extra surface area, baking could take slightly less time, especially for a recipe that takes longer than 25 minutes, but the instructions don't specify how much less time. (It's sort of on you to figure that out—Baker's Edge says if your recipe does take a few minutes less, to "make a note of your adjustments" for future reference.) We checked the brownies a few minutes earlier than the mix instructions called for, though the final baking time ended up being just about what the mix called for. But when the brownies cooled and we sliced them out of the pan, they were a little dry from overbaking—we trusted our initial doneness test, but with all that extra side-wall surface, we assume there was more residual heat than usual. Our conclusion: We needed to underbake our brownies to compensate. Score: B.
Bar cookies: We made a recipe from the pan’s instruction booklet, Chef Emily’s Signature Cookie Bars, also available on the Baker’s Edge website. (One note of warning: The website recipe varies a little from the one in the booklet, mostly in the order of the ingredients.) They’re chocolate chip bar cookies, flavored with vanilla and coffee. The dough was just as labor- and time-intensive to spread in the pan as the brownie batter. And when we baked the bar cookies to the precise time the recipe calls for, they were overbaked, just like our brownies. Again, we concluded that increased residual heat from the extra surface area makes it necessary to underbake to compensate. Score: B.
Frittata: We wanted to see how a savory recipe would fare, so we chose a frittata. Since we were adapting the pan to one of our own recipes, we had to calculate the baking time rather than relying on someone else’s instructions. Perhaps for that reason, the frittata was the most successful of our three tests: It wasn’t overbaked, each slice had slightly chewy ends on two sides, and the nonstick surface of the pan made it easy to remove the slices. Score: B+.
Photos by Chris Rochelle