I’m just like a lot of Epicurious readers. I rarely follow a recipe—even my own—without tinkering with it. One of my current favorites to play with is my Best Friends Forever Brownies, which I developed in 2011 for the re-imagined frozen dinner of my dreams. Those brownies were thick for food photography reasons. Since then I’ve been making slimmer, sleeker brownies by doubling the batter, skipping the nuts, sprinkling it with a little flaky Maldon sea salt, and baking it in a large (18- by 13-inch) rimmed baking sheet—known in the trade as a half-sheet pan— much to the delight of friends and colleagues.
Recently I was baking a batch and took it out a bit early to test for doneness; I wanted to be sure I didn’t over-bake the batter. The brownies weren’t anywhere near done, but instead of sliding the pan back in the oven, I absentmindedly left the pan out and raced from the room to deal with something else. When I discovered my mistake about 15 minutes later, I simply