When it comes to baked goods, there are countless different recipes that you can work with to make the perfect dessert. Some people prefer to eat cookies while other people might be more interested in cake bars. However, one of the most universally loved baked goods out there is brownies.
Especially if you live alone or you prefer to cook in bulk, you might find that you end up making more brownies than you know what to do with. Of course, you could always offer the freshly baked brownies to friends, family, and neighbors. On the other hand, if you prefer to keep the brownies for yourself, then you might wonder what the best ways to store brownies are.
One method that not a lot of people utilize is the freezer. You can actually freeze your brownies to get a good bit more life out of them before they expire. If you have more brownies than you know what to do with, then you can rely on one of several different freezing methods.
How Long Can Frozen Brownies Last?
On average, properly sealed brownies can last up to three months in the freezer. This will depend on what materials you use to wrap the brownies up with, how well they are sealed, and how fresh the ingredients that you used to cook the brownies were. For example, brownies made with cream cheese are going to have a slightly shorter life even if you put them in the freezer, simply because cream cheese has a tendency to perish quickly.
One thing that you should keep in mind when you are freezing brownies is that, due to the nature of freezing them, the texture is going to change slightly. If you are expecting the usual chocolatey, crumbly brownies that you get right out of the oven, then you will be in for some mild disappointment. More often than not, the texture is not a bad thing but it is different than what you might expect.
Most people agree that all of the different methods of freezing brownies will get about the same time out of them so the method you choose depends entirely on your preferences, storage space, and what materials you have to store the brownies with. Also, remember that if you have any toppings to add to the brownies, you should apply the topping when you are ready to thaw the brownies from the freezer.
With that being said, there are about three different ways that people choose to freeze their brownies.
What Is the Best Way to Freeze Brownies?
There is no “best” way to freeze brownies as it will all be up to preference. There are certainly some methods that are easier than others. The first method can be considered the “block” method as you are freezing your brownies into a massive block.
When your brownies have cooled down completely, you will not want to cut them quite yet. Instead, you will want to take the entire brownie block out of the cooking container and wrap it very tightly using plastic wrap. Once you have done this, you will want to take a sheet of foil and wrap the brownie block with this as well.
Some people feel more comfortable putting this into a sealable bag while other people are fine with putting the foil-wrapped block of brownies into the freezer. This is part of the area where preference comes into play. With this method, you can easily get three more months out of your brownies.
If you prefer to leave your brownies in bite-sized portions, then you can consider slicing them up before you freeze them all. This will take slightly more work and slightly more materials but it can also save a fair amount of space.
For this method, you will want to start out with a sheet of cooled-down, pre-sliced brownies. You will want to wrap each individual brownie square in plastic wrap. Once you have done this, you will want to do the same thing that you would do with a block of brownies: wrap it in foil. Each square should now be individually wrapped with both plastic wrap and foil.
Depending on whether or not you want to keep everything together, you can consider putting all of the pieces into a freezer bag. This will help keep all of the brownie pieces from getting lost and lodged in the back of the freezer. Otherwise, you can store these brownies wherever you want in the freezer and they should also last approximately three months.
And finally, you can simply double-wrap the brownies (or individual brownie squares). Instead of putting them into a sealable bag, some people prefer to keep their brownies in an airtight container. Depending on the layout of your freezer, this can actually make it much easier to stack and store the brownies, assuming that you have the room for an entire container in your freezer.
What About Defrosting the Brownies?
Once it is time to eat the brownies again, you might not know how you should go about heating the brownies back up again. Some people are fine with them as-is while other people might just wait until they reach room temperature. It is entirely up to you and your preference in taste.
Some people leave them to defrost on their own. If you are in a hurry for your brownie snacks and don’t have the time to wait for them to defrost and reach room temperature, you could consider heating up the brownie again but people have had mixed results with this.
When they are defrosting, some people find that adding a pinch of salt to the brownies improves the taste and texture and helps to negate some of the change that was made during the freezing process. Finding the right amount of salt for this will be a significant amount of trial and error but once you find the perfect proportion, you will be able to have a quick brownie treat without having to worry about wasting them.
Many, many people have found that frozen brownies are a delicacy of their own. The frozen texture can change the brownie into a different kind of treat that people enjoy on warm summer evenings. If you find that you actually prefer the brownie texture when it is frozen, then this is a quick and simple way of putting a twist on a classic baked good.
What Are Other Ways That You Can Store Brownies?
You can, of course, store brownies in a number of other ways. However, none of these methods will last nearly as long as freezing the brownies, which gives you an extra three months with them.
For example, you could just as easily put your brownies in the fridge. This will give them a better shelf life than they would have if they were sitting unprotected on the countertop. When storing brownies in the fridge, you will want to make sure that you put them in an airtight container first to prevent any odors or tastes getting into the brownie.
From here, it will depend on what ingredients will be in the brownie, namely cream cheese. The amount of time that your brownie will last in the fridge may be a day or two shorter if it has perishable goods in it. Otherwise, you can expect brownies in an airtight container in the fridge to stay good for about five days, maybe six days if you really want to push things.
This compares to storing them on the countertop (in an airtight container), which will only keep the brownies good for four days at most, more often with them ending up going bad after three days. Putting the brownies in a colder environment helps preserve the fresh and perishable ingredients that are used in this classic recipe.
If you are storing brownies in a container, there are a few steps you can follow to ensure that they stay good for as long as possible. For one, you will want to separate layers of brownies with wax paper. This will simply help you out with picking the brownies up again when it is time to eat them. Otherwise, you will want to follow the same methods you did when you were freezing the brownies.
To keep brownies good for as long as possible, you will want to first wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. This helps to prevent freezer burn but it also helps keep all of the brownie moisture and flavor packed into the brownie. Nobody wants a stale brownie.
After that, you will want to wrap that brownie in foil. This also helps keep the brownie from going stale, which may earn you an extra day or even two when you are storing the brownie in the fridge.
In the end, the number-one rule you will want to remember about storing brownies is that if you want them to keep, cutting them is the last thing that you should do. Cutting the slab of brownies should be saved for when you are ready to begin eating them.
Cutting the brownies exposes more of the brownie to open air and when you are trying to make your brownies last as long as possible, that open air is the last thing that you will want.