We've been lining our baking pans with parchment for years. It totally eliminates the fear that bars will stick to the pan, plus we can lift bars out of the pan to easily cut them on a flat surface. Less fuss, no muss! If you've never done this before, here's what we do.Here's what we do to quickly line a pan with parchment before baking:
1. Cut a length of parchment paper long enough to line the bottom of the pan with extra hanging over the sides. If your parchment is longer than your pan, fold the extra under.
2. Press a crease in the parchment at the edges, so it fits snugly into the bottom.
3. Spray non-stick cooking spray directly onto the bottom and sides of the pan and set the parchment on top. This will help the parchment stick to the pan, keep it from moving as you pour in the batter, and prevent batter from oozing between the parchment and the pan. You can spray the topside of the parchment with nonstick spray as well, but we've found this isn't really necessary as bars and brownies don't really stick to the parchment.
For extra neat edges, add a second sheet of parchment going the other direction (as in our tutorial for aluminum foil lifters). You might get a little batter between the parchment and the side of the pan at the corners, but this is easily trimmed away once you lift the bars out.
For tips on lining a round pan with parchment, take a look at this post:
Do you have any other tricks for easy lifting and neat edges?
(Images: Emma Christensen)