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

Archive for the ‘Nutty’

Apple Walnut Blondie

November 09, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Blonde Brownie, Cream Cheese, Fruit, Nutty


Utterly autumnal and ready for hungry leaf-rakers…it’s the Apple Walnut Blondie, a recipe for those who want to keep their kitchen full of happy fall-time snackers.20121109-133905.jpg


  • 1 17-ounce package sugar cookie mix (I used Betty Crocker brand)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese (I used Philadelphia brand)


  • 1 21-ounce can apple pie filling (I used Comstock brand)
  • 1.5 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (I used Diamond walnuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of ground cloves, optional
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, optional
  • Vanilla glaze, optional (a little butter, confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla)



To the cookie mix, mix in the eggs, melted butter, and cream cheese (it makes mixing easier if you slice the cream cheese as you add it to the bowl).


The batter will be thick. Spread it into a greased 9″ by 13″ pan.20121109-134001.jpg

Open the can of apple pie filling. Using a sharp knife, cut down and around in the can so any large pieces become more bite-sized.


Spread apple pie filling evenly across the batter.


Put your chopped walnuts into a medium bowl. Add the cinnamon. If you love ground cloves, add a sprinkle (about 1/8 teaspoon), but that’s optional.


Add melted butter.


Add lemon juice. You can add less than 2 tablespoons if you want your blondie to be sweeter. The lemon juice is an inspiration from my great-grandma Katherine’s recipe for Hungarian Christmas-time cookies.


Pour this tart, nutty mix on top of the batter and apples. Using a knife, gently swirl these delicious layers. Don’t mix too much. I find that swirling side-to-side is good, but you’ll also want to do some up-and-down swirls to get some of the fruit and nuts down into the batter.


To counter the slight pucker of the lemon juice, you may want to add some brown sugar by hand, just sprinkling it over the top evenly. It gives sort of an “apple crumble” look to your crust. If you like your sweets to be not too sweet, I suppose you could skip this step.


Bake for about 35-45 minutes at 350 F, using a toothpick to check for doneness. The toothpick should be nearly dry and almost clean.

After I baked my blondie, I whipped up a little optional ultra-vanilla glaze to drizzle on top. (Mix 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine with 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a dribble of milk. Voila!) Drizzle to your heart’s content.

The Apple Walnut Blondie is pretty enough to use as a centerpiece at your big holiday party, so try this easy recipe now… before you have to give them all away to your drooling guests!


Blueberry Champagne Blondie

October 27, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Alcohol, Blonde Brownie, Cream Cheese, Creative, Decadent, Fruit, Nut-Free, Nutty


Need I say any more than these three words: Blueberry Champagne Blondie? This tender delight is decadent when heated and served with ice cream; it’s charming when served at tea; it’s homey when served with a picnic. Heck, I’d even serve this for breakfast as a special treat.


This weekend marks Global Champagne Day, so let this recipe be one creative way to enjoy it. This recipe starts with Blueberry Champagne Jelly, made by Glass Rooster Cannery, located less than 5 miles from my own happy headquarters.


  • 1 box (15-17 ounces) sugar cookie mix
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese (let soften outside of ‘frig for 5-10 mins)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (use only 1/3 cup if using a “Splenda” brand)
  • 1 c blueberry preserves (I used this amazing Blueberry Champagne Jelly from a local cannery)
  • 1 c macadamia nuts, completely optional but very tasty and nicely textured





Add brown sugar to the sugar cookie mix and stir.


Melt 1 stick of butter in microwave for about 30 seconds. Add melted butter and 2 eggs to sugar cookie mix and mix thoroughly.



Blend in 1 package of softened cream cheese. It helps if you cut it into pieces before adding it to the bowl. Mix in macadamia nuts (optional).


Spread batter into a greased 9×13 pan. One tablespoon at a time, spoon blueberry preserves onto the batter.


Use a knife to gently swirl the batter and preserves together. So, so pretty. As it bakes, your blueberry will lose some of its color, but it will still be just gorgeous.


Bake at 350 F for 35-45 mins (depending on your pan size and how deep your batter sits in the pan), until a center-placed toothpick comes out moist but nearly clean. Let cool for at least 30 minutes so they set up before cutting. Though they’re delicious when completely cooled, I highly suggest eating while they’re still warm. It’s so simple, so tasty, and so tender, I just know you’ll love this recipe for the Blueberry Champagne Blondie.


Nutty Zebra Brownies

September 26, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Decadent, Fun For Kids, Nutty


These zebra brownies get their stripes from marshmallow and Nutella hazelnut spread — and, best of all, no zebra were harmed in this recipe! The black-and-white pattern is fun to make with kids and memorable to serve for a special event. Here she is in all her animal-print glory: The Nutty Zebra Brownie.



  • 1 box brownie mix
  • Eggs, oil, and water as called for on the box directions
  • Approximately 1 cup marshmallow fluff
  • Approximately 1/3 cup hazelnut spread (I used Nutella)
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)20120926-120343.jpg


Mix and bake brownie batter according to box directions. Allow to cool. While the oven is hot, toast your chopped hazelnuts for about 4 minutes at 350 F, until they smell roasty and rich. Set the hazelnuts aside for later.

When brownies are cooled, cut them into serving sizes. Don’t be tempted to skip this step. If you choose to spread marshmallow on top of un-cut brownies, cutting it later gets very tricky. Tricky and sticky! So, cut your brownies first.


Move the cut brownies to a place from which you can easily frost, store, and serve them. Separate them by at least a half-inch so the marshmallow goo from one brownie will not touch the goo from the neighboring brownie. Next, spoon about a cup of marshmallow fluff into a bowl or measuring cup and stir it until it’s smooth.



Place about a teaspoon of marshmallow fluff onto each brownie and spread. To save some time and create a bit of an assembly-line approach, I got into a “4-brownies-at-a-time” groove. I scooped and spooned fluff onto 4 brownies and then I spread it with the knife. Then I spooned onto 4 more and then spread that. The fluff begins to stiffen up after about a minute, so you don’t want to spoon too many at a time. Here is my spoon-and-spread action: 20120926-120551.jpg

Using a knife, stir the hazelnut spread until it’s smooth. Pull up a thick strand of hazelnut spread and drag it diagonally across the marshmallow topping in a zebra-like pattern. 20120926-120816.jpg

At this point, you have the option of keeping your zebra print intact or adding the extra yum (and the added ker-unch) of some toasted, chopped hazelnuts.


It’s so cute, so sweet, and so memorable! It’s the Nutty Zebra Brownie, starring marshmallow fluff, hazelnuts, and Nutella.

20120926-120850.jpg 20120926-120959.jpgIf you like hazelnut, you may like these recipes:

Brownie Waffle with Hazelnut-Cafe Whip

Oh, joy. It's the Brownie Waffle with Hazelnut-Cafe Whip. Does it get any better than this?

Nutella-Kahlua Brownie Truffles

If you like marshmallow, you may like these recipes:

S’mores Brownie

Who needs kindling and firewood when you can have the best part of a bonfire right in your kitchen?

Elvis Brownie (made with MallowCups) 

Who says, "There's only ONE ELVIS?" I count two of them: The Vegas Elvis (left, pan-fried) and The Graceland Elvis (right, pan-free).

Bacon Brownie with Maple-Pecan Frosting

September 10, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Chilled, Creative, Decadent, Nutty, Off the Beaten Path, Salty-Sweet


Butter-y, maple-y, nutty, and bacon-y joys abound, bite after bite, in this brownie fit for royalty. For you doubters out there, yes, bacon DOES go with brownie. For a few years now, it’s been rather stylish to pair bacon with just about anything, including chocolate. In fact, TWO of my friends (unbeknownst to the other) came up to me in recent months and pretty much said, “You’ve gotta make a bacon-and-maple brownie.” For the awesome, bacon-y suggestion, my thanks go out: to Kris Early, of Bella Beads Studio, and to my central-Ohio-homegrown-rock-star-and-X-Factor-Finalist, Josh Krajcik.


  • 1 box mix of brownies
  • Eggs, as called for on the box
  • Oil, as called for on the box
  • Water, as called for on the box


  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup maple-flavored pancake syrup (I used Hungry Jack Lite Butter)
  • 2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar, more or less to get consistency you want
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 12 slices bacon, cooked and drained (I used Sugardale, my father-in-law’s favorite bacon)

Mix and bake brownies as directed on box. While your brownies are baking, pan-fry your bacon and place cooked bacon on paper towels to let the excess fat drain.

When brownies are done, remove from oven and let them cool completely. While the oven is still warm, place the coarsely chopped pecans on a cookie sheet and toast them for 3 to 5 minutes at 350 F. If you skip this pecan-toasting step, you’ll have to pretend that your frosting has the same level of “ROWR” that can be achieved only via toasting. After about 4 minutes in the oven, your pecans will smell all rich and roasty and toasty. Remove them from the oven and let cool.

Place the butter in a medium bowl. Using the backside of a spoon, smoosh the butter against the sides of the bowl to smooth it out. Smooooooosh!

Mix in the maple syrup. It will look a little gross. Kind of shiny and flecky and slimy. No worries.

Sift your confectioner’s sugar and add it to the bowl. Mix until smooth. It’ll probably still look a little gross. No worries.

Add toasted pecans and mix. It’s going to start looking kind of delicious. Resist the urge to spoon it by the tablespoon into your mouth.

Take 9 of the 12 slices of cooked bacon and chop them coarsely. (Set aside the other 3 slices of bacon to use as a garnish later.) Add the 9 chopped bacon pieces to the frosting bowl and stir completely.

There’s your bacon frosting, my brownie friends. Pour this lumpy, bumpy, smoky, sultry frosting onto the cooled brownies. Spread it into a uniform layer. Do not stick your face onto the surface and begin a hands-free eating session.

Garnish by tearing up the 3 slices of cooked bacon that you set aside. Artfully place the torn bacon pieces on top of the frosting.

Keep refrigerated until serving.

There it is, brownie admirers from around the globe. It’s the Bacon Brownie with Maple-Pecan Frosting, a dessert that will astonish, delight, and satisfy all of the bacon lovers in your life.

If you like this recipe, you may also like these recipes:

Whisky-Pecan-Cream Brownie

Butterscotch Blondies with Sauteed Pecans