Apparently, I have a knack for cutting desserts in an attractive way that others find difficult. After many requests, I decided to dedicate a post on how to cut perfect cookie bars and brownies.
Below are ALL my tricks for cutting perfect squares and bars. From brownies to chocolate chip bars to fruit bars, you can perfect your dessert cutting skills with a few tips.
How to Cut Perfect Cookie Bars
With a few tips and lots of practice, you can have perfect dessert squares for your family and company. I don’t usually utilize a ruler, but it will help keep your bars consistent as you learn the ropes. Here is my method:
- Line your baking pan with Non-Stick Foil. This will aid in easily removing the bars from the pan. It is much easier to place the uncut bars on a cutting board and not have to deal with circumventing the sides of the pan.
- Parchment paper can be used in place of non-stick foil. Or spray your regular foil with with non-stick cooking spray to make your own non-stick foil.
Tips for Before You Cut the Bars
- Use a Small Offset Spatula to spread your cookie dough evenly in the pan. The bars will look more professional if both the tops and bottoms are level.
- Before removing the bars or brownies from the pan, fully cool them on a cooling rack. Then cover and place them in the refrigerator to chill. Cold bars cut more cleanly than room temperature bars.
Tips for Slicing the Bars
- Once chilled, remove the bars from the pan to a cutting board, using the foil as a lift.
- When I bake bars in an 8 x 8-inch pan, I like to cut the batch into 16 bars. They will each be slightly smaller than 2×2 inches.. This way you can start by making your first cut down the middle, rotate the pan and make a second, perpendicular cut down the middle. From there, each of the four squares can be subdivided into 4 more squares. As you get comfortable making straight cuts, you can cut into 25 or 36 bars, but that will take a little more finesse!
- Use a ruler at first to make the straightest cuts possible.
- You may want to trim the edges of the bars if you prefer 4 clean looking sides on all your bars.
- I like using a large sharp knife like my Wusthof Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife. But first I run the blade through hot water (I have a hot water dispenser on my kitchen sink that is around 190 degrees), then dry it off. This helps cut through chocolate topping very slickly and will also assist in cutting through chilled bars.
- Remember to use a ruler as a guide if needed.
- When using a heated knife, you’ll need to wipe off the blade and reheat at frequent intervals. I use paper toweling to clean the knife.
- If the bars have a crust on top, like those pictured above, I like to use the tip of a knife to poke a few holes along the line where I plan to cut. If you start cutting without doing this, you may see lots of cracking across the surface. Sometimes a serrated knife works best. You’ll need to experiment with your knives to see which works best with each variety of cookie bar.
I hope this simple tutorial on how to cut the perfect cookie bars will help make your squares picture perfect! Please let me know if you have other tips to add or if you have any questions. Scroll down to find some of my favorite bar cookies to try!
Bar Cookies and Brownie Recipes:
- Ricotta Cheesecake Brownies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Ganache Topped Caramel Bars from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Candy Bar Blondies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- One Bowl Fudgy Browines from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Simple Fudgy Brownies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Apricot Bars from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
More “How-To” Posts You’ll Love:
- How to Make Chocolate Ganache from Fifteen Spatulas
- How to Make Chocolate Shards from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- How to Eat Salad Every Day and Like It from Barefeet in the Kitchen
- How to Make Simple Meringue Cookies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- How to Organize the Pantry in 5 Easy Steps from Comfortably Domestic