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

Dreamy Apricot Blonde Brownies

August 31, 2011 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Blonde Brownie, Cream Cheese, Creative, Fruit, Nutty, Off the Beaten Path


By now, you’re probably getting the impression that my brownies are my children. I love them all. And I hate to play favorites. But this one, this little lovely sun-colored gem, is quite special. It’s my site’s first blonde brownie. And it’s a doozy. My husband just had his fourth serving, and I made them just 3 hours ago. That means it ranks a “ten” on the IE Scale (Infinite Edibility Scale).

The Dreamy Apricot Blonde Brownie. Girly, yes. But men love it, too.


  • 1 box (15-17 ounces) sugar cookie mix
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, 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 macadamia nuts
  • 1 c apricot preserves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

With a palatable pile like this to start from, how could you possibly go wrong?


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

Mmm, butter-n-eggs. A solid start to build from your box-mix base.

Blend in 1 package of softened cream cheese. It helps if you cut it into pieces before adding it to the bowl.

Cream cheese is a pretty, pretty addition to make your batter smooth and rich.

Add brown sugar and stir. Mix in macadamia nuts and spread into a greased 9×13 pan.

In my mind, it wouldn't be a blonde brownie without some brown sugar in it. And the macadamia nuts? Well, gosh, they just make everything better.

Put apricot preserves into a microwave-safe dish and warm it for 30 seconds so it’s easier to stir. Add cinnamon and mix completely.

I think apricot preserves are heavenly on toast, but even better in baking. And just a touch of cinnamon makes a big difference in this recipe.

Now comes the fun part. Putting the preserves into the batter. You have two choices of how to get it there:

a) Use a knife to make channels or deep swirls in your batter and spoon your preserves into the channels, or

b) One tablespoon at a time, spoon preserves onto the batter, burying the preserves below the surface, then use a knife to gently swirl the batter and preserves together.

I like to have fun with my food.

Bake at 350 F for 35-45 mins (depends on your pan size and depth of batter), 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 like taking a bite right out of early autumn itself. Mmm.

The Dreamy Apricot Blonde Brownie, in all of its cheerful glory.