Brownie Bites and Silicone

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Brownie bites and silicon: these two words shouldn't make sense together. But tonight I tried to make brownie bites by cooking them in my new silicone bakeware. It is a pretty color blue with 12 tiny round muffin-sized molds. I was given to understand that all I would have to do is dump in the mix, bake, and "pop" the delicious mounds out of the mold. While I'm sure this must be an easier process than using a conventional baking pan for mini-cupcakes, it was far from trouble-free.

First, a more general complaint about brownie bites vs. brownies. Particularly when using a pre-made brownie mix, such as the terribly delicious Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate one, making brownies is labor-free. Just mix it up and dump it into the baking pan. Bam! I could practically make this asleep. But with the bites, I faced a nightmare that stretched out for hours. (This is partly thanks to my particular circumstances; in my tiny oven, only one tiny tray fits at a time. But in your oven, dear reader, be sure to have as many trays as required to do the entire batch in one go. It will save you much heartache!) I did not relish the careful scooping of mix into each little round, when I knew an easier alternative existed. And to what end? A brownie is a brownie is a brownie.

Removing the bites from the silicone pan also posed a bit of a challenge, as pushing on the back of the pan to "pop" them out is considerably more difficult when the pan is piping hot. Therefore, I would recommend leaving the brownies to cool for a spell before making an attempt at extracting them. It's good for them anyway. They like to become slightly more cooked while they sit there.

Provided you have properly doused the pan with a healthy coat of cooking spray and you have the advantage of a cooled pan, popping the bites out is relatively painless. Yay!

As for the mechanics, I filled each mold about 2/3 high with brownie mix. The mix rose as the brownies cooked and by so doing very becomingly indicated to me that they were done. I found that in my oven, cooking the brownies at 325 degrees (which would probably be 350 in most ovens) for 15 minutes was all that was required. A clean toothpick confirmed my suspicions.

The bites are cute, but I think next time I'll be using a regular old square pan. God bless it.

Just one last caution: the tray is floppy! It will always require two hands, or your little friends will find themselves on the kitchen floor.


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