Make an ordinary lunch special with the addition of a thick, chewy brownie. Duplicate at home the individually wrapped brownies available at restaurants and delis. You'll save money, and the brownies will probably be fresher, as well. The secret to successfully cutting and packing brownies is to cook the brownies until just done, and allow them to cool thoroughly. Otherwise, you'll end up with a gooey mess.
Follow the recipe or package carefully and bake the brownies until a knife or toothpick inserted in the batter comes out clean. Underbaked brownies are gooey and fall apart, while overbaked brownies are dry. Check the brownies five minutes before the recipe directs so you don't overbake them.
Set the brownies on a cooling rack and allow them to cool for several hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Brownies are gooey immediately after baking and don't cut well. Refrigerating them will ensure even, clean cuts.
Cut 5-inch-wide strips of plastic wrap from the plastic wrap box and lay them flat on the counter. Newer self-seal types of plastic wrap have a slightly stick surface that works well.
Cut the brownies into generous 4-by-4-inch pieces with a sharp knife. Lift them out carefully one at a time with a spatula or cake server.
Place individual brownies face down on each square of plastic wrap. Wrap the short edges in first and then fold the long edges up tightly over the back of the brownie. Store the brownies in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for one month. Bring them to room temperature before serving.
Dress up brownies by adding nuts, chocolate chips or even raspberry jam to the batter.
Place heavy items, such as apples, juice or sandwiches at the bottom of the lunch bag with the brownie on top so it doesn't get crushed.
Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."