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Brownie Sugar Stencils

Jun 23

It was only a matter of time before my sweet tooth collided with my love of paper and patterns.

Using handmade paper stencils, powdered sugar, and a fine mesh sieve, you can transform the humble brownie into a delicious canvas with graphic flair.  Try it yourself with your favorite shapes or letters for holidays or birthdays.

* 13" x 9" pan of brownies (I recommend a metal pan for sharper corners)
* cardstock (80# or scrapbooking paper weight)
* pencil
* ruler
* wooden skewers or toothpicks
* clear tape
* contact paper (optional)

1. Bake a pan of brownies and cool completely.  Lucky for me, our photographer, Roxanne Davis, is a Baking Fiend and brought one over.  Check out her food blog, Roxannosaurus Wrecks for the recipe.

Sketch shapes you like onto cardstock and cut them out with an X-acto knife. Use smooth, flat sheets so that they lie as flush as possible to the brownies. Consider two stencil methods:

GRID (more stencil cutting, easier sugar shaking):
Determine the final size of your brownie square. Using pencil and ruler, measure out a grid of 2 rows of these squares, leaving a 1" border around the grid.

INDIVIDUAL (less stencil cutting, more sugar shaking):
Cut a cardstock square to the measurements of your brownie, leaving a 1" border around.

Tape toothpicks or bamboo skewers to the 1" border around the grid or individual stencil.  This will help you lift the stencil steadily after you've shaken the powdered sugar to avoid unwanted sugar shifting.

Flip pan of brownies (or individual brownies) onto cutting board, bottom side up. (Bottom side is flatter and will hold the design better.) Position stencil over brownies.  I added pie weights to prevent the stencil from buckling.

Pour about 1/4 cup powdered sugar into sieve and give a practice shake.  Lightly dust brownies, taking care not to overdo it.  (Otherwise, as I discovered, the sugar can pile up and slide off, blurring the shapes' edges.)

5.  Cut and Serve.

With care, paper stencil should keep for at least 3 uses.  If you are very comfortable with craft knives, consider preserving the stencil by covering it with clear contact paper BEFORE you cut.  Then cut through the double layer of contact paper and cardstock.

PHOTO CREDIT: Roxanne Davis


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