I plan to spend a little time today baking with the next item from my Christmas loot haul, the Baker's Edge Brownie Pan.
It's simple enough: a brownie baking pan with internal edges so that every brownie you cut is a side piece. Does anyone really prefer the soft-on-all-sides middle pieces? If so, I wonder why. The edge with its chewy crispness is always the best part of the brownie, and with this pan, that's all you have, edges.
This pan deserves to exist and be owned for no other reason than that it's so clever. It's one of those things that once you see it it's obvious, but coming up with it in the first place is ingenious. Of course, making brownies in it is even better, and I hope to do that today.
The pan is surprisingly hefty and sturdy. There's no doubt it'll take a lot of use.
Alton Brown would no doubt sneer at it as a unitasker. (Though I have my doubts: we've already wondered if it might not be good for Yorkshire pudding for the same reasons it's good for brownies, while being easier than using a bun pan.) But I'm not nearly as dogmatic as Alton about that. Sure, I can see where he's coming from. Your average kitchen gadget store is full of the most ridiculous unitaskers which serve only to separate you from your money; these items do not really save you any work and only try to save you from having to know the basics you should know anyway. But while caution about them is warranted, he oversteps to insist on nothing that can't have more than one use. It's a rule of thumb, not a law of the kitchen.
That said, if I can think of Yorkshire pudding as an example of something this might do, I bet Alton could come up with some other ideas too. Would love to see what he thought of this pan.
Postscript: It turns out that Baker's Edge has a collection of recipes that includes a number of other things where the edge is the best part, including lemon bars, cobbler, pineapple upside-down cake, lasagna, zucchini walnut bread, and cauliflower gratin. I'll have to take their word on the last two, but I'm eagerly anticipating trying lasagna cooked this way. In fact, since the one problem is that standard lasagna noodles are just a little too long, they're coming out with a lasagna-sized version of the pan. Now Alton can't grumble about single-taskers!