Here's how to slice tidy, even brownie squares every time.

By Real Simple
Updated June 14, 2018
Melinda Josie

Have you ever baked a beautiful pan of brownies, only to mangle them on the way from pan to platter? Cutting the bars in the pan makes for uneven pieces, and knives can scratch up non-stick coating. Not to mention, one corner piece always gets sacrificed for the bunch. Instead, opt for lining the pan with two sheets of parchment paper, which will sit perpendicular to each other. This allows you to lift the cooked brownies or bars out of the pan onto a cutting board for easy slicing.

The bottom line is, if you want neat squares or rectangles, a spatula won’t cut it. Do this instead. For *extra-fancy*, even bars, trim the edges of the entire batch before portioning into individual bars. For extra fudgy brownies, run your knife under hot water, then wipe it clean between slices.

Step 1: Before baking, coat the bottom and sides of the baking pan with softened butter.

Step 2: Line the pan with a strip of parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides; press down so it sticks. Brush with more butter and line with a second strip of parchment, perpendicular to the first (also with an overhang).

Step 3: Add the batter to the pan. Bake and let cool as directed. Then, gripping the paper overhangs, lift the brownies or bars out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board.

Step 4: Using a large serrated knife, cut into squares or rectangles, as desired, then lift off the parchment.