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

Butterscotch Blonde Brownies

June 15, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Blonde Brownie, Cream Cheese, Creative, Nutty, Off the Beaten Path, Salty-Sweet


Buttery, salty, sweet, toasty, nutty: this Butterscotch Blonde Brownie is a winning combination.



  • 1 box (15-17 ounces) sugar cookie mix
  • 1 box butterscotch pudding 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)
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 1.5 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup (1/2 bag) of butterscotch chips
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Mix dry pudding mix with sugar cookie mix.

Add 1/2 cup melted butter, eggs, water, and softened cream cheese. (It helps if you let the cream cheese soften and slice it as you add it to the bowl.)

Spread batter into a greased pan.

Set the pan aside.

Melt 1/3 cup butter in skillet on medium heat. (Don’t use high heat; that won’t help. Medium or a half-notch above it is your best friend for this recipe.)

To the hot butter, add pecans. Stirring occasionally, sauté the pecans on medium heat for about 3 or 4 minutes. Don’t overcook it; you’ll know you’re done when you get a nice, rich, toasty smell. Oooh, bubbly!

Evenly pour the butter/pecan mixture onto your blondie batter. You’ll see a lot of buttery liquid goodness in there; try to distribute it evenly, across the surface.

Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt over the pecan layer, making sure you get all the edges, corners, and middle areas evenly.

Bake at 350 F for about 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of the pan. Test it with a toothpick, looking for an almost-clean pick pulled from the middle area. When done, remove from oven.

Cool completely.

Though you could serve it now, naked, may I suggest that this nutty combo brownie is just not butterscotchy enough? I HIGHLY recommend that you take 1 cup of butterscotch chips, 2 Tbsp of oil, and melt them in the microwave (about 20-30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until chips are melted). When smooth, drizzle that golden-scotchy nectar on top of that crispy, salty pecan layer. You’ll be glad you did. So, so glad.

You’re done. Aren’t you delighted? This recipe is such an unexpected charmer when it’s served. Your guests will definitely ask you for details. You will especially love how the salty, crispy, toasted, buttery, sautéed pecans add a perfect snap to the top of the Butterscotch Blonde Brownie!

Low-Fat Salty-Scotch Brownies

July 24, 2011 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Chilled, Creative, Low-Fat, Nut-Free, Salty-Sweet



Step closer and gasp at the glory of this frozen treat. Drool at the salty, butterscotchy ribbon running through the frozen fudge layer. Marvel at its mouth-watering status as a "fork brownie." Drop your jaw when you learn that it is low in fat.


1 box low-fat brownie mix

Egg, oil, and water called for on the box

1 box (of 6) Weight Watchers Giant Fudge Bars, frozen

1/2 cup butterscotch topping (fat free)

3/4 tsp salt, flaked (like margarita salt)



Do not attempt this recipe unless you’re willing to believe in reduced-fat recipes that are actually awesome. Your disbelief will only create a disturbance in the space-time continuum. And who needs that? So, first, believe.

Next, use a “low-fat” brownie mix. Mix it as directed on the box — the instructions usually call for less oil and egg than a “regular” mix.

If your store doesn’t carry a low-fat mix, call the store manager and use your sweet-talkin’ voice. Or grab a regular mix and follow the directions, except: 1) substitute plain low-fat yogurt for the oil and 2) substitute 3 egg whites for the 2 eggs.

I like to add 1 tsp vanilla for a little more flavor. I mean, ’cause vanilla is, like, three shades of awesome. Pour into greased pan and bake according to box instructions.


Two ways to get your low-fat brownie... Either get a low-fat box mix and follow the directions. Or, if your store doesn't have that, get a regular mix and make a few substitutions. (See written recipe.)

When your low-fat brownies are baked, let them cool until they are room temperature. You’ll be working with frozen stuff in your next layer, so don’t try to move on while the pan is still hot. You’ll just end up with a gooey mess and you’ll be messing with universal karma. Try to be patient.

When brownies are completely cooled, it’s time to put the Weight Watchers fudge bars on top. Using a knife dipped in hot water, pry the frozen fudge bars from their wooden sticks and place them side by side on the crust. Let stand for a few minutes until they soften.

Using a knife dipped in hot water, slide the fudge bars from their sticks. Then set the pan aside so they can soften.

Meanwhile, mix 3/4 teaspoon of flaked salt into 1/2 cup butterscotch topping. Set aside.

Flaked margarita salt helps balance the seductive sweetness of the butterscotch.

When the ice creamy fudge bars are soft, use a spatula to smoosh them together. Spread them into one smooth layer. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes or until top layer is stiff.

Those softened fudge bars don't stand a chance. Soon they will be part of a delectable low-fat frozen treat that will make your summer sweeter.

Pull from freezer. Using a spoon, artfully create deep pockets and seams into the stiff ice cream layer. Stir the salty-scotch topping once more so the salt is evenly distributed; then pour your topping into the pockets and seams to create a ribbon of salty butterscotch.

Pour your topping into the little channels you've artfully made in the surface of the ice cream. Freeze until it's solid, and then serve with a fork!

Freeze for at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you can possibly wait that long.

These pan drippin’s were scrape-worthy

July 20, 2011 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Musings


After the cutting and serving was done, the pan drippin's for this brownie stirred something primal in me. And it led to my FIRST EVER shameless (and extensive) finger-scraping session with a glass brownie pan. My selfish, Gollum-inspired goal was to capture and then consume every last molecule from the unsuspecting brownie pan. About an hour afterward, I visited the pan to apologize for being so forward.

Ok, I’ll be honest. I’ve used my finger to scrape-n-lick the last bit of batter from countless spoons over the years. Yeah, I know, no big surprise there.

But here’s the big news flash. I just created a brownie recipe that has, for the first time ever, inspired me to give my *PAN* the finger.

The pan drippin’s were THAT GOOD.


Finger-scrapin’ good.

“Where’s the recipe?” you say…. Well, be strong, my brownie fans. I will share it soon. I’m typing up the recipe and will post it this weekend. The recipe name: Low-Fat Salty-Scotch Brownies.

And, hold onto your heat wave, folks! They’re FROZEN.