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

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

Kahlua Mousse Brownies

November 14, 2011 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Alcohol, Chilled, Creative, Decadent, Nut-Free, Off the Beaten Path


Usually, when I photograph a finished brownie, I show one serving. With this brownie, it looked so pretty IN THE PAN after I cut out a piece. It almost made me sad to think there's one less brownie left to eat. But then I remembered the one I just ate, and I felt much better.

I have 2 words for you: Sit down. Or maybe 2 better words might be: Starve yourself. Because you’re going to want to fill your belly with this new scrimpity-scrumptious brownie. I am beside myself with joy right now because I’ve brought this brownie into the world. And soon I hope it will be in your world, too: The Kahlua Mousse Brownie.

8 ingredients. 1 perfect dessert that will be sure to impress.

1 box brownie mix
Oil, hot tap water, and egg — in the amounts called for on box (I like the 2-egg version for a taller brownie)
2 tsp instant coffee
1 box Jell-O Temptations (get the “chocolate mousse decadence” flavor)

Filling Mix (from inside the Jell-O Temptations box)
1 – 1/3 cup whole milk, very cold
1 ounce Kahlua coffee liqueur

Mousse Mix (from inside the Jell-O Temptations box)
1 cup whole milk, very cold
1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur (you may omit or substitute more Kahlua if you like)


Put instant coffee into hot tap water and mix thoroughly until dissolved. Mix the coffee water, eggs, and oil into the brownie mix. Pour into greased pan and bake as box directs. When done, allow the brownies to cool completely until cold.

Empty packet labelled “filling mix” into a medium-sized bowl, preferably chilled.

Brownies are done; that's layer #1. Layer #2 starts with the filling mix, super-cold milk, and an ounce of Kahlua.

Add Kahlua and 1-1/3 cups of whole milk and beat on medium to high for about 2-3 minutes until pudding gets thick.

My "pudding" was just perfect for spreading on the cooled brownies. It had little flecks of chocolate in it; this didn't bother me and certainly didn't "show" in the final product.

Spread pudding onto cooled brownies then put the whole pan into the refrigerator or freezer while you do the next step.

In a medium-sized chilled bowl, empty packet labelled “mousse mix.” Add 1 cup of whole milk and Bailey’s.

By the time you start on layer #3, you'll be getting excited, because you know how soon your mouth will be stuffed with brownie goodness.

Mix on low for 30 seconds; then beat on high for 4 minutes until fluffy and light.

Hey! Don't put yer fingers in there! At least wait until the beaters have stopped.

Gently spoon the fluffy mousse on top of the pudding layer and spread evenly.

Manners, manners. Please try to wait until you actually cut and serve it on a plate.

Cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator until just before serving. If you choose to freeze it, allow at least 30 minutes to thaw before slicing and serving. It’s so refreshing, you will think that a drunken chocolate penguin exploded in your mouth. (Actually, that doesn’t sound very refreshing. But you get the idea.)  

Three layers of decadence: coffee brownie, Kahlua pudding, and Bailey's mousse. Yum!


Chocolate lovers, rejoice in this ready-made snack

October 20, 2011 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Musings, Peanut Butter, Products, Salty-Sweet


Don’t have time to make a batch of brownies? Look no further. Check out this amazing, crispy, chocolatey, peanut-buttery snack delight that I found on the shelf this fall. I’m in love! (You’re welcome, in advance.)

I chomped on this bag in two sittings. Gone, Daddy, Gone. (After I hit "submit" on this post, I'm off to the store to get another bag.)

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.