This Unexpected Office Supply Will Make Baking Perfect Brownies Easier

Who doesn't love brownies? A classic baked treat that many of us have enjoyed since childhood, rich and chocolatey brownies never seem to lose their appeal. Whether enjoyed straight, topped with a generous scoop of ice cream, or layered into a parfait, these baked bars are hard to pass up — in any form.

One of the great things about brownies is that as tasty as bakery versions can be, they're actually very simple to make at home; typically just a basic mix of butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, eggs, and other flavorings poured into a pan and then baked. If you've ever looked up a brownie recipe, you probably know that there are a million and one versions out there: from chewy to fudgy styles to those anointed with all manner of nuts, chocolates, and even cheesecake batter. But no matter what type of brownie you plan to bake up at home, there's one hack you'll want to know about that will streamline the baking process — and it involves a ubiquitous and inexpensive office supply.

Binder clips make baking easier

In this internet age, office materials such as notebooks and folders have become less commonplace on desks, but it's likely that most of us remember (or still use) binder clips. These handy, spring-loaded clips are great not only for clipping paper together but also for sundry uses around the house, from hanging up dish gloves to sealing bags of cereal and cookies, as The Kitchn supplies. And if you've never used binder clips in your baking, you're missing out.

As food writer and former "Great British Bake Off" winner Edd Kimber told Epicurious, binder clips are a great way to hold parchment paper in place when you're whipping up a batch of brownies or other bar-type cookies. Many brownie recipes call for lining the tin with a sheet of parchment that hangs over the edges a bit, to keep the brownies from sticking and make them easy to lift out all in one go after baking and cooling. But those of us who have tried this know that sometimes when pouring in brownie batter, the paper shifts out of place once some weight is on it, or, during baking, the oven's fan blows the paper right into the brownie batter. As Kimber said, "Parchment doesn't like to sit neatly."

Binder clips to the baking rescue! As per Epicurious, using all-metal clips (the plastic ones would melt in the oven, obviously) to secure the parchment paper to the side of the baking tin before pouring in the brownie batter makes baking these bars a cinch, holding the useful paper in place until the brownies have properly cooled.