Out Of The Box Brownies: Magical brownie recipes that start with a box
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Archive for the ‘Super-Simple’

Last-Minute-Miracle Christmas Brownie (aka Raspberry Brownie)

December 20, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Decadent, Fruit, Fun For Kids, Holiday, Nut-Free, Super-Simple

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If you’re stuck in a last-minute Christmas baking rush, and need a quick but awesome holiday dessert with just a couple of ingredients, try this simple recipe for a beautiful raspberry brownie! (I’m doing this recipe sort of in a tale-of-two-brownies style. One is dark chocolate; one is milk chocolate. You’re welcome.)  You’ll find these raspberry brownies to be both easy and eye-rollingly delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box brownie mix (either dark chocolate or milk chocolate)
  • Eggs, oil, and water as called for on the box (use the “extra egg” recipe)
  • Raspberry filling (either 20-oz of raspberry pie filling or 16 oz of raspberry jam)
  • Optional: white chocolate chips, chopped into smaller pieces
  • Optional: drizzle (2 T butter, 1/2 c confectioners sugar, splash of milk, jam) or sprinkles

Photo below shows ingredients I used to make BOTH a dark chocolate version and a milk chocolate version!

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DIRECTIONS

Prepare the brownie mix with eggs, oil, and water — as instructed on the box, but using the “extra egg” recipe (often listed as a footnote). Pour HALF of the batter into a greased pan — set aside the other half. I used a 9×13-inch pan and it worked out fine, but an 8×11-inch pan would give you a taller, more stately brownie.

Pour your raspberry filling in a thin, even layer over top of the batter. If using raspberry jam, it helps to heat the jar in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds and then stir; if you skip that step, the jam tends to be too thick to pour.

Photos below show the dark chocolate with jam first — followed by the milk chocolate with the pie filling.

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If you’re adding chopped white chocolate to your recipe, now is the time. Evenly sprinkle it right over your raspberry layer.

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Now, pour the remaining chocolate batter on top. If you use the right technique, this can go quite quickly. Get a nice, wide stream falling out of the lip of the bowl — then drag that stream into a wide ribbon that covers the raspberry in a back-and-forth motion. See below for my awesome technique on both the dark and milk chocolate versions.

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If you prefer sprinkles to icing, you can add those now. Be generous! I used red, but red and white would be extra-super Christmassy!

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Bake at 350 F for about 30-45 minutes, depending on the size and depth of your pan. Check with a toothpick, looking for a fairly clean pull from a center placement. Cool brownies completely.

Baking is done. Now, if you have the time… and if you prefer icing to sprinkles, make yourself a nice, thin icing. Start with 2 T of butter in a small bowl. Using the back of a spoon, smoosh the butter against the sides of the bowl so it is smooth and pliable. Add about 1/2 to 3/4 confectioners sugar and mix until thick. Add a small amount of milk — maybe a teaspoon or two. Mix. Add either more milk or more sugar until it’s the right consistency for drizzling. Using a spoon, drizzle HALF of the icing onto cooled brownies in a big, looping, swooping pattern. Next, take the leftover half of the icing and mix in one teaspoon of raspberry jam. It will be pretty and a purplish-pink color. Drizzle THAT on top of the white icing. So, so pretty.

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Ain’t she purty? And done so quickly! The raspberry brownie is surely a Last-Minute-Miracle Christmas Brownie, one that you’ll be proud to serve at any holiday event!

Zombie Apocalypse Blondie

December 06, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Alcohol, Blonde Brownie, Creative, Fruit, Fun For Kids, Nut-Free, Super-Simple

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So, the Mayans said it’d all be over in December 2012: “Zombie Apocalypse, for sure,” they warned. Hmm. My suggestion is to print this perfect survivalist recipe and put it in your shelter, in case the apocalypse ever does come in our lifetime. This recipe features canned goods and alcohol, two things you’ll need to have handy in the post-apocalyptic world–whenever it might occur. It’s super moist and lightly fruity. Heck, if you add enough rum extract, it could pass for a very cool, very modern twist on a fruitcake! Look at that texture.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 can sweetened, condensed milk (I used Eagle brand)
  • 2 ounces of rum or 4 tsp rum extract (I used Captain Morgan Spiced Rum)
  • 1 box (about 15-17 ounces) sugar cookie mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, optional
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) drained fruit cocktail (I used Del Monte)

DIRECTIONS

Siiiimple, simple, simple! First melt the butter and pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, milk, and rum (or rum extract) and stir together well.

Drain the fruit cocktail and then mix it in. If you really like maraschino cherries and always keep them on hand (like me), add a few more cherries than are in the fruit cocktail can. It’s just prettier that way.

Add the sugar cookie mix to the large bowl. If you like nutmeg, add it now. Stir just until it’s fully blended.

Pour into a greased 9×13-inch pan.

Bake at 350 F for about 40-45 minutes (give or take, depending on how deep your batter is). I tested mine with a toothpick, waiting for it to come out clean and not wet or shiny. Let cool.

Cut into generous sizes because it takes a lot of energy to fight off zombies. Consider serving with the best vanilla ice cream you can afford–if you can find ice cream in the post-apocalyptic world, that is. Here it is: the Zombie Apocalypse Blondie, almost as delicious as… brains!

Strawberry Balsamic (“8 1/2 – Acre Farm”) Brownie Sundae

August 24, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Chilled, Creative, Fruit, Nut-Free, Super-Simple

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You all know I love brownies, but I also love the combinations of chocolate + strawberries, strawberries + ice cream, as well as strawberries + balsamic reduction. This recipe is nicknamed the 8-1/2-Acre Farm Brownie because it was inspired by my friend’s blog of the same name. Heather loves strawberries–almost as much as she loves blogging about her wacky family that is living life out in the country. Heather, this simple, ”country-fied” recipe is just for you. It’s sweet, bold, memorable, and entirely lovable. And it’s fun.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli with chocolate chips in the mix)
  • Egg, oil, and water as called for on the box
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Strawberry ice cream (I used Edy’s Grand)
  • Balsamic reduction glaze (you can make your own, but I used a pre-made balsamic glaze called Monari Federzoni; there is another pre-made brand named Blaze)

DIRECTIONS

This recipe is as easy as it gets, folks.

Make the brownies by following the directions on the box. Let cool.

Cut a brownie and put it on a small plate. Slice fresh strawberries and add them to the plate.

Add a scoop of strawberry ice cream.

Top with a drizzling of the balsamic glaze.

That’s my reflection in the spoon. Check out my awesome “photographer’s stance.”

This recipe is a dramatic and memorable change of pace from most brownie desserts. First of all, it’s not cloyingly sweet. Second, it hits on a tantalizing trio of the five basic tastes–specifically, sweet, sour, and umami (or “savory”). The result is a rich dessert that keeps your tongue’s attention bite after bite. This colorful, versatile treat would be a great recipe for a hot 4th of July barbecue or a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. No matter when you serve it, you’re going to love this little dazzler: the Strawberry Balsamic Brownie Sundae!

Double Dog Dare Brownie

August 01, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Fun For Kids, Off the Beaten Path, Peanut Butter, Salty-Sweet, Super-Simple

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Kids love a good food dare, and I’m no exception, so I created the Double Dog Dare Brownie recipe–complete with peanut butter, caramel, and (here’s where the dare comes in) crushed potato chips. By adding raisins, you can “up the stakes” to a triple dog dare. Try it; if you’re like most people in my beta test group, you’ll laugh a little when you realize how good it is! Have fun with this one.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box “family size” brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker’s “13 x 9 Family Size”)
  • Eggs, oil, and water as called for on the box
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I used reduced-fat Jif)
  • 2/3 cup fresh, soft raisins (optional)
  • 2/3 cup caramel dip (I used Marzetti brand)
  • Potato chips (I used Kettle Cooked Lay’s, which are super-crunchy)

DIRECTIONS

Mix and bake brownies as directed on the box. When the brownies are completely cooled, spread peanut butter in a thin layer on top of the brownie crust. As you can see, my layer was just thick enough to cover the crust.

Choose your raisins carefully. (Don’t use hard raisins. Ick.) At the store, do what you can to get super fresh and soft raisins; squeeze the box or bag to make sure. Sprinkle the raisins evenly on top of the peanut butter. Adding raisins is optional, but if you leave them out, then you only have a DOUBLE dog dare, not a TRIPLE. S’up to you.

Pour caramel over the raisins. Mine “poured” out in blobs and globs.

Spread caramel as evenly as you can. This is the surface to which your potato chips will adhere.

You’re done for now. Cover and store your brownies until you’re ready to serve. There’s no need to refrigerate. When it’s time to eat, cut a serving and then garnish it with a crushed fist full of potato chips. Yum!

The crushing is half the fun; you might want to let your guests/kids do it themselves. Serving suggestion:

Whatever you do, don’t add the potato chips until right before serving. You want a big, crunchy snap to balance your chewy raisins and that rich, fudgy brownie! If you want to turn this brownie into a QUADRUPLE dog dare, consider a flavored potato chip–like maybe barbecue or cheddar cheese. But, seriously, that’s starting to get a little weird; so you’re on your own if you want to go that far.

This recipe is a worth trying, if only to say you did it. I double dog dare you to make it. I think it’s both fun and tasty. And I know that kids are going to love it! The Double Dog Dare Brownie–with peanut butter, raisins, caramel, and potato chips–is a fun recipe to show your kids (or yourself) just how daring you are.

If you liked this recipe, you may also like:

Tagalong Brownie Pie

Turtle Pretzel Brownie