These “tuxedo stripes” (as I call them) give any baked item a sophisticated touch. It looks complicated but is really easy to do. Here is a step by step tutorial that can be used for decorating (shown below) or can be done before baking brownies or bar desserts. For the latter, pipe cream cheese, peanut butter, or other filling directly into the brownie batter after you have spread it into the pan. Use a thick piping tube and pipe it on the same plane as the batter. If it is sticking up above, it will likely burn during the cooking process.
Step 1: Use a small piping tube (for decorating) or a large piping tube (for baking) to lay horizontal stripes across the item. You want them evenly spaced with about a half inch in between. I like to have at least 6 stripes on a 3 inch x 3 inch brownie.
Step 2: Use a toothpick (for decorating) or a sharp pairing knife (for baking) to drag vertical lines perpendicular to the horizontal stripes. Start at the top of the brownie every time and drag down for each line. You want them spaced evenly and about 1/2 inch apart. You will be putting other lines in between these vertical lines, so make sure you leave yourself enough room!
Step 3: Rotate the piece 180 degrees so that the vertical stripes that you dragged down are now facing up. Take the toothpick or knife again and drag from top to bottom in between each of the lines that you did in Step 2. Again, always go from top to bottom, wiping off the toothpick between lines if it becomes messy.
Use this decorating idea vertically and horizontally for square and rectangular items. You can repeat the same process in concentric circles for cupcakes and cakes. It creates a “spider web” affect which is fun for Halloween!