Brownies are a firm favorite amongst dessert lovers everywhere, much loved for their gooey texture, great taste, and moreish, chocolate goodness.
What’s more, baking them couldn’t be simpler, making them all the more appealing to even the most fair weather bakers.
However, there are many simple yet important steps that need to be followed to make sure everything turns out perfectly – one example being the cooling times, which need to be observed to make sure they are perfect and good enough to eat.
But how long should you let brownies cool exactly, and what can go wrong if you don’t?
How Long Should You Wait?
There are many waiting periods that can feel like an eternity, and waiting for your brownies to cool might be the worst of them all.
However, there are specific reasons why you will want to wait, and this simple act can make all the difference when it comes to cooking and eating your delicious baked goods.
As a rule, most bakers recommend a minimum of 30 minutes before attempting to remove them from the tray, although this will depend on the temperature at which they were baked, and the temperature of the room they are kept in.
Generally speaking, bakers also recommend that, when brownies become completely cool to the touch, they are safe to cut, serve, and eat.
Why Do They Need To Be Cool?
The thought of a warm brownie out of the oven might seem like an inviting, dream-like idea, but there are several reasons why it is better to let them cool before diving in (see also ‘Can You Freeze Brownies‘).
To achieve the gooey centers most commonly associated with brownies, bakers will tend to slightly undercook them, so as to crisp the outside, and leave the inside soft.
For this reason alone, it is best to let them cool properly before handling, cutting them, or removing them from the tray, as they will be more firm and less likely to crumble.
To Avoid Burns
Likewise, with the gooey center being somewhat undercooked, and potentially runny, this means that you are more likely to burn yourself when they are still hot – particularly if you try to eat them.
You are far better to let them cool down, and you can always reheat them once you have cut the brownies later on.
To Cut Cleanly
When cutting brownies, you want them to be somewhat uniform, and the only real way to achieve this is by allowing them to cool.
This will mean that they remain in a somewhat tight formation as the knife slides through, and that they will not crumble or leak everywhere.
Letting your brownies cool down is especially important if it is your intention to put a topping on them after baking.
Most toppings, such as icing, require a cool temperature in order to properly set – otherwise they will melt, drip off of the brownies, and make a mess.
Buttercream, and other dairy based products could also separate if the brownies are too hot, creating a runny mess that isn’t fit to eat or serve.
For the best result, the brownies should be cool to the touch, and could even benefit from a slight refrigeration before applying icing.
How To Cool Brownies Quickly
However, there are certain methods you can use to speed up the cooling process, and allow you to spend as little time waiting around as possible.
While cooling too quickly isn’t advised for a number of reasons, you can still speed the process up a little.
The best way to do this is to wrap the baking tray in tin foil, before placing it on a larger tray and covering it with ice cubes.
It is important to make sure that the brownies are properly wrapped, and that no water can get through once the ice cubes begin to melt – after all, no one wants soggy brownies.
This won’t make them ice cold, but the ice cubes can help to drastically reduce the cooling time, while the tin foil will make sure they don’t cool too quickly.
Can I Refrigerate Them?
Brownies can indeed be refrigerated, but this must only be done once they have sufficiently cooled at a natural rate.
Cooling While Hot?
Brownies should not be refrigerated while still hot, as the rapid change in temperature can cause them to sink, or go bad.
Can Brownies Be Frozen?
Brownies can indeed be frozen, but as with refrigeration, it is important to make sure they are properly wrapped and sealed.
The best way to do this is with tin foil, ensuring the brownies are tightly wrapped, and sealing them in plastic bags to protect them properly.
This is to make sure no excess moisture gets into the foil, which could otherwise ruin the flavor or texture of the brownies when it comes to defrosting.
How Long Can They Last?
Once frozen, you should defrost and consume your brownies in roughly three months, depending on the coldness of your refrigerator.
Refrigerators tend to be colder when they are more full, and this can easily make your brownies last a little longer, although three months is the recommended amount of time for consuming.
How To Defrost
When it comes to defrosting the brownies, this should be done naturally, either in a refrigerator, or left out on the countertop while wrapped.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about brownies, and the amount of time they need to properly cool (see also ‘How to Know When Brownies Are Done‘).
Brownies are a great example of an easy, delicious dessert, and are perfect to enjoy with family and friends in any number of different ways.
So if you are looking for a great dessert for your function, party, or family get together, then why not give brownies a try? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!