Out Of The Box Brownies: Magical brownie recipes that start with a box

Archive for the ‘Candy Bar’

Playdate Brownie (aka “Cookies and Cream”)

July 08, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Candy Bar, Cream Cheese, Decadent, Fun For Kids, Nut-Free


I love me some cookies and cream, and I love me some brownies; this recipe brings them together for a playdate… and, thankfully, everyone gets along just swimmingly! This is a brownie recipe that kids and parents can absolutely agree on, whilst making happy faces and having a good time. Just as a playdate should be.


1 box brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker Ultimate Fudge)

Eggs, oil, and water as called for on the box directions

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1 jar (about 12 ounces) marshmallow flavored ice-cream topping

6 bars of Hershey’s brand “Cookies And Cream” candy bars (white chocolate with cookie pieces)



Make brownie batter according to directions on the box. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, use a mixer to blend the cream cheese with the marshmallow topping.

Whip it for about a minute on medium-high speed.


Pour half of the brownie batter into a greased pan; set aside the other half of the batter for later. Place 5 of the 6 Cookies And Cream candy bars on top of the batter, from edge to edge. (From what I hear, Paula Deen pioneered this technique, using Symphony candy bars.) Save 1 candy bar to use for a garnish after baking.


Spread the marshmallow/cream cheese filling on top of the candy bars. Yum.


Pour the remaining half of the chocolate brownie batter on top.



From the side, it’ll look like this. Are you yet using your imagination to guess how amazing this is going to taste? This is a killer brownie, for sure!


Bake for about 35-45 minutes at 350 F, depending on the size of your pan. Mine took about 42-43 minutes. As soon as you pull your fully baked brownies from the oven, use your one remaining candy bar to garnish the top. Break off small pieces and push the candy bar fragments down into the still-warm crust.


You will be astonished at how pretty this is when you cut and serve it. Right now, I’m finding it hard to imagine anything better than an afternoon with a good friend, a cold glass of milk, and a Playdate Brownie with cookies-and-cream goodness built right in!


Father’s Day Brownie: Salty Caramel and Snickers

June 07, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Candy Bar, Creative, Decadent, Fun For Kids, Holiday, Products, Salty-Sweet, Super-Simple


I believe there might be something BETTER than a Snickers candy bar, and that’s ALMOND SNICKERS inside of a salty-caramel brownie. Hold onto your fedoras, gentlemen; this Father’s Day brownie packs a sweet, addictive wallop.



  • 1 box Pillsbury Caramel Swirl brownie mix
  • Eggs, oil, and water, as directed on the box
  • 5-7 “pinches” of flaked margarita salt
  • 4-6 Almond Snickers Bars (the “regular” Snickers has peanuts, not almonds)



This recipe is so easy, you’re going to flip! Before you know it, you’ll have a rich, sweet, power-dessert treat for Father’s Day. From the Pillsbury brownie box, set aside the caramel pouch. Make the brownie batter as directed on the box, and pour the batter into a greased brownie pan. Then snip off the corner from the pouch and squeeze the caramel out onto the surface of the batter.


Using a knife, swirl the caramel a bit so that each brownie will have a tasty vein of buttery caramel running through it. Isn’t this easy?


I just love flaked margarita salt. Don’t you? Take several nice, healthy-sized pinches of flaked salt and sprinkle it evenly over the surface of your unbaked caramel brownies. I used 5 pinches to cover the surface and it was just about right. You could use a pinch or two more if you really like salt. I was also sure to cover the edges and corners, not wanting to cheat those brownies out of their salty reward.


Bake your salty caramel brownies as directed on the Pillsbury box. While they’re baking, use a sharp knife to cut the Almond Snickers into bite-sized pieces. Set aside until baking is done.


As soon as your brownies are done baking, pull the pan out of the oven and begin pushing the Almond Snickers down into the hot crust. Space out the Snickers bites as evenly as you can.


Dads everywhere are on their best behavior, hoping to receive this salty caramel and Snickers brownie treat made especially for them on Father’s Day.

Peanut Butter Brownie Pizza

May 19, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Candy Bar, Creative, Fun For Kids, Off the Beaten Path, Peanut Butter, Salty-Sweet


It’s a pizza; it’s a brownie; it’s a delicious conundrum. This recipe is fun for kids, great for a party, and surprisingly quick to make.



  • 1 box brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate)
  • 1 egg
  • 5 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 2-7 Tablespoons water (to achieve desired thickness)
  • 1 bag miniature Reese’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • 1 bag (11 ounces) Peanut Butter M&Ms



If you have a pizza pan, by all means, use it. I don’t have one. But I do have a pizza stone. I decided to line my pizza stone with aluminum foil for easy clean up. I also made a cute little lip around the edge in case the batter decided to spill over…(but it didn’t).


Start by mixing together the brownie mix, egg, melted butter, and some of the water. Don’t add all the water at once. Just add a little at a time until you get a batter that is spreadable but still stiff enough to stay where you put it on the pan, rather than spreading out on its own.


Spread the deliciousness into your pan or foil. Make it thin and even in depth.


Pre-baking photograph is below. Mmmm, mmmm. It’s gonna be so good. You’ll add the candy AFTER baking, but you can start by removing the wrappers while the brownie crust is baking.


Your brownie’s baking time will be shorter than on the box instructions. Mine took about 20-22 minutes at 350 degrees F. When done, remove the pan from the oven and begin pushing the miniature peanut butter cups into the hot crust. They will melt a little and look like candy pepperoni slices. So cute!


After you put in the peanut butter cups, it’s time to add the peanut butter M&Ms. Sprinkle them evenly over the crust and then push them into the crust slightly (to keep them from falling out when you cut and serve). A-dor-a-ble!


This peanut butter brownie pizza is a cute and fun dessert for kids — however, I’m an adult with a pretty sweet “sweet tooth” and a small slice of this really hit the spot!




Girl Scout Cookie Series: The Samoas Brownie

March 21, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Candy Bar, Decadent, Fun For Kids, Holiday, Nutty, Off the Beaten Path, Products


I’m stating the obvious here: A 7.5-ounce box of Samoas Girl Scout Cookies just is not enough. They’re too delicious to stop eating after only 1 or 2 cookies. Seriously, I can pound down half of that box in one sitting. So I made a brownie recipe that stretches out the coconutty delight of the Samoas, making enough for an entire party!

Oh, the coconutty deliciousness of the Samoas Girl Scout Brownie.


  • 1 box brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli Chocolate Supreme)
  • Eggs, oil, and water as directed on box
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (I used Eagle Brand)
  • 1 ounce (1 square) unsweetened chocolate (I used Nestle Pre-Melted Choco-Bake)
  • 1 cup chopped or halved pecans, toasted on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes at 350F
  • 1 box Samoas Girl Scout cookies (7.5 ounces)

Here are the ingredients for those who LIKE Samoas. (If you LOVE them, you may want to use the ingredients listed below.)


  • 1 box brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli Chocolate Supreme)
  • Eggs, oil, and water as directed on box
  • One 16-ounce tub caramel dip (I used T. Marzetti Brand)
  • 1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut, toasted on a cookie sheet for 4-5 minutes at 350F
  • 1 box Samoas Girl Scout cookies (7.5 ounces)


Mix together brownie mix, eggs, oil, and water as directed on box. Pour batter into greased pan.

If you like Samoas: Pour condensed milk into a bowl. Melt square of unsweetened chocolate and mix it in.

If you love Samoas, open your tub of caramel and stir it until it’s smooth.

Set aside half of the chocolate-milk mixture (or caramel). Pour the other half on top of the brownie batter.

Pour HALF of your gooey mixture of choice onto the unbaked batter. Save the other half for later.

Swirl it in with a knife.


This is ALMOST the funnest part.

Lick the knife. You know you gotta do it.


THIS is the funnest part.

Bake as directed on box. While baking, chop up the Samoa cookies into pieces.


Seems like a tragedy. But soon, you'll be happy again.

After brownies come out of the oven, let them cool if you have time. If you’re pressed for time, you can move on, but you may have a pretty gooey dessert on your hands. Drizzle the other half of your goo (either caramel or the milk-chocolate mixture) over the top.

Most important to remember at this stage: Do not drool on your own brownies.

Now, if you want toasted pecans in your recipe, add them on top of the sticky goo. If you want toasted coconut in your recipe, add that instead.

Mmm, pecans/coconut flakes are so much better when they are toasted vs when they are raw.

Top it all off with the chopped Samoas Girl Scout Cookies.

Cookie becomes garnish.

If you want a more “set-up” brownie, you can chill the pan in the refrigerator before cutting and serving.

Ridiculously delicious. Sticky. Nutty. Caramelly. And, using this brownie recipe, you’ll turn a 7.5-ounce box of Samoas Girl Scout cookies into more than 3 pounds of giddy, gooey delight. Dive in!

Every spring, the Easter Bunny ushers in both Girl Scout Cookies and the Samoas Brownie. Enjoy.