No matter where your gastronomic affinities may lie, we can all agree in one thing – there are very few things on this good Earth that taste as heavenly as fresh brownies you just pulled out of the oven.
Yes, ever since it first appeared on the tables of the American socialites at the end of the XIX century, this delicacy looked poised to take over the world. And with a good reason too. Although they are incredibly delicious and tasty, brownies are more than simple to prepare, and most recipes don’t require any expensive ingredients whatsoever.
So, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that, more than one hundred years later, humanity is still obsessing over this sweet dainty in one form or another.
However, there is one layer of mystery surrounding these chocolate-infused treats we still, it seems, haven’t been able to crack.
We know brownies are great when they are right out of the oven. Some people prefer them when they cool off. But, can you freeze brownies and thaw them out whenever you have surprise guests?
Well, let us try to find out.
The Different Types Of Brownies
But, before we proceed to give an answer to this million-dollar question, we first need to take a look at another big elephant in the room.
As you probably already saw, if you ever checked the internet to find a brownie recipe, this popular treat is prepared with a lot of different ingredients that make the cakes you get at the end drastically different from each other.
So, when we start talking about the freezing of the brownies further down below, we will talk about the traditional baseline recipe that includes flour, eggs, chocolate, cocoa, and powder.
Keeping that in mind, we have to point out that adding the ingredients like cream cheese swirl or jam filling won’t make your brownies any easier or harder to freeze. So, whatever we write later on will work with your recipe as well.
The only difference here comes when you move on to thawing. Well, at least in the appearance department. You see, the added extra moisture that comes with the fillings like the ones we mentioned above, won’t change the taste or the smell of your brownies, but they may affect their texture.
In other words, these types tend to sweat a bit more while defrosting at room temperature. That can make them somewhat mushy. But that’s pretty much it.
Do You Even Need To Freeze Your Brownies?
Now, the second thing we want to discuss before we finally move on to freezing is – do you even need to freeze your brownies at all. Every one of us who had the pleasure of preparing this treat in excessive amounts knows this is one incredibly resilient piece of food if there ever was one.
For instance, if properly stored, brownies can easily survive 3 to 4 days on average room temperature (lower-temperature rooms will bump these numbers for at least one day more). This is pretty good stamina if you ask us – especially for this type of cookies.
The real problem here is that the brownies’ lifespan doesn’t extend too much when you put them in the fridge. Once inside, your favorite treats will barely last up to seven days. And that does not even apply for the types of brownies that contain frosting or filling made from dairy products will no longer be edible past day four.
So, with all things said, freezing the brownies does seem like the best way to preserve them long-term.
That brings us to square one and the thing we are going to cover in the rest of the article – can you freeze brownies, and if you can, what is the best way to do that?
How Freezing Preserves Your Brownies
Well, it is finally the time to give you the answer to the big question – Yes, the brownies can be successfully frozen. You see, all the ingredients you can find in this chocolate treat are very freezer-friendly – flour, cocoa, chocolate… All of them can last for ages when putting into the deep freeze.
What do you get when you put them all together?
We’ll tell you – you get a sheer chocolate indulgence that, if stored properly, can last anywhere between 3 to 6 months in the best possible quality. If you don’t mind losing a bit of flavor and ending up with the cakes that are probably a bit drier, you can keep them frozen even past this point.
Now, that’s awesome.
However (and there is always “however”), you might have noticed that we have by now put a very strong emphasis on “if properly stored” part. We did that with purpose. You see, doing a poor job at putting the brownies to freeze will take a considerable bite of their quality when you finally thaw them out. Take this with extra caution if you are going to use dairy-based fillings.
Let us see what you can use to keep your favorite chocolate cookies edible as long as possible.
How To Freeze Individual Brownies
When it comes to freezing the brownies, you will be prompted to do that in a couple of different scenarios. This one is, by far, the most likely to happen.
So, what do you do when the party’s over, and you see a lot of sweet, sweet brownies sitting at your table?
The first step would be to get yourself a decent supply of plastic foil.
Why wouldn’t you simply use the aluminum foil you already have in your drawer, you might ask? Well, although the aluminum foil definitely packs a couple of useful perks (for instance, it provides more reliable physical protection to food wrapped inside) in this case, you need to go as air-tight as possible. And that is the area where plastic foil has a distinct advantage.
Now it is the time to gently wrap in the brownies into the prepared plastic foil pieces. Keep in mind one thing – if you have just removed the brownies from the oven, you will probably need to flash-freeze them before wrapping in. Put the cake into the fridge for an hour before it cools off, take it out, cut into pieces, and continue with the wrapping.
Try to be as neat as possible; the less air you let inside, the better. So, additional layers of protection are highly advised. If you still have that aluminum foil in your drawer, feel free to wrap the brownies in it as well. In the end, we would suggest that you get a couple of self-sealing plastic bags and containers. Fill them with brownies for the extra protection and make sure they are not squeezed inside.
And now is the time to finally put your brownies into the freezer. If you followed the previous steps correctly, this should be an easy job for you. All you need to make sure is that your small chocolate obsessions are not squeezed or pressed.
In terms of temperature, there are no special requirements – you can keep the brownies together with the rest of the supplies in the freezer.
How To Freeze The Brownie Blocks
This is the popular scenario number two. For instance, you know you are soon going to throw a party or have guests. You also know you won’t have enough time to prepare the refreshments just before the party. So, why wouldn’t you freeze a couple of brownie slabs and thaw them before the guests arrive?
The procedure here is very similar to the one we described before. So, start by giving the brownie blocks at least an hour to cool down in your refrigerator. When you make sure they are cool enough (they won’t create condensation), wrap them up into the plastic foil (remember, you need to be air-tight) and then give them another run with the aluminum foil as well.
This time though, you are going to skip plastic containers. Investing in the units of this size simply wouldn’t make any sense. Instead, clear away one shelf of the freezer for the brownies and store the blocks there. You can put a couple of slabs on top of each other.
Defrosting And Reheating
And now that we’ve finally answered the questions like can you freeze brownies and how to do that properly, it would only be fair to tell you what is the proper way to thaw the cookies and heat them up for the guests. Fortunately, the process is very simple.
The first step is to gently remove the layers of foil from the cakes. If you have frozen the entire blocks, this is an excellent time to cut them into pieces. Don’t worry – even after months in the freezer, they will still be soft enough to make this an easy work (we recommend serrated knife). If you have any leftovers, wrap them back into the foil and put them into the freezer. All you have to do now is to leave the brownies at normal room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
As for reheating, you can do that with the microwave or the toaster, but the oven will definitely fill the entire room with that recognizable smell of chocolate. Put the brownies on the aluminum foil and give them 8-10 minutes of heating at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius).
And your brownies will finally be ready for serving.
We hope you have enjoyed this short guide. Brownies are truly extraordinary delicacies that make every party better. Knowing how to freeze them properly will only help you enjoy them longer.