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

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

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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.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 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

DIRECTIONS

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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

Nutella-Kahlua Brownie Truffles

June 21, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Decadent, Fun For Kids, Off the Beaten Path

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Oh, truffles, darling truffles, made with hazelnut Nutella, Kahlua liquor, brownie mix, and your lovely little hands. What a dazzling, dreamy, decadent treat! Don’t stand there drooling, get started right away!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli)
  • Egg(s) as called for on the box
  • Water as called for on the box
  • Oil as called for on the box, but instead of oil, substitute melted butter
  • 1/2 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
  • 2 Tbsp Kahlua (optional)
  • 1 pound tempered chocolate (this means chocolate “candy melts,” the kind of chocolate you use in a candy mold; I used Baker’s brand dipping chocolate)
  • If available, 1/8 cup finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts to use for garnishing

Choose a garnish before you get started and have it ready in advance. I chose finely chopped hazelnuts. If that’s what you want to use, I highly suggest toasting the nuts for about 5 minutes at 350 F, because toasting takes the bitter edge off the hazelnuts. Set toasted nuts aside until it’s time to garnish.

Mix batter according to box instructions, except substitute melted butter or margarine for the oil. Bake according to box instructions, and let cool completely. When brownies are cool, trim off the “crunchier” edges from the pan of brownies, just 1/4 inch or so.

You don’t need those crispy, crusty edges, so set them aside (in your mouth). Take the remaining tender, ”middle” brownies and break them up into a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp Kahlua into 1/2 cup Nutella and mix them together. Stir this dark, rich mixture thoroughly into the broken-up brownies, creating a uniformly dense truffle filling.

Roll into truffle-sized balls with your palms.

Put balls on wax paper and refrigerate for 10-20 minutes while you do the next few steps.

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt 1 pound of tempered chocolate (aka CandiQuik, candy melts, or dipping chocolate) by following the microwave instructions. Don’t overheat; I suggest heating 20-30 seconds at a time and then stirring in between heatings until smooth.

Depending on your preference, you can use chocolate (above) or white/vanilla (below).

Don’t use chocolate chips because they’re not tempered. Only tempered chocolate will give you a hard candy shell that allows you to pick up the finished truffle without getting gooey fingers.

When your tempered chocolate is melted and smooth, remove the truffle balls from the refrigerator and dip them one at a time into the melted chocolate.

Work one by one: Dip, allow excess chocolate to drip off, place dipped truffle onto wax paper, and then garnish. Repeat. For a dipping tool, I used a fork because the tines allowed the extra chocolate to drip back down into the bowl. As you continue dipping and garnishing, the chocolate may begin to get stiff and harder to work with; in this event, just microwave the chocolate for 20 seconds and stir until smooth again.

Once you place the dipped balls on wax paper, they will dry almost instantly, so be sure to immediately add any garnish you may want. I garnished with chopped hazelnuts, but you might instead choose to use a sprinkle of cocoa, powdered sugar, or shiny sugar sprinkles. I found the cutest mini-muffin paper cups that were the perfect size for presentation. Adorable!

So, so pretty. You’ll be tempted to pop the whole dang thing in your mouth and grab another, but I suggest savoring it in 2 or 3 long, passionate bites.  Brownie truffles with hazelnut Nutella and Kahlua are sure to be a hit at any special event, or to make any event special!

Today Is National Waffle Day!

March 26, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Decadent, Fun For Kids, Nutty, Off the Beaten Path, Super-Simple

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The Brownie Waffle with Hazelnut-Cafe Whip. It's the best solution for when you need a brownie, but don't have 40 minutes to wait.

Happy National Waffle Day, everyone! It’s a FINE DAY for waffles, don’t you think? But if you REALLY want to celebrate, perhaps you should do so with a waffle that is super-special. And that would be Brownie Waffle with Hazelnut-Cafe Whip. It’s the most wafflicious way to celebrate your day.

 

Brownie Waffles with Hazelnut-Cafe Whip

January 15, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Creative, Decadent, Fun For Kids, Nutty, Off the Beaten Path, Super-Simple

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Want a brownie, but you just can’t wait 40 minutes for baking time? Then you need a brownie recipe that takes (literally) 2 minutes to bake. And it’s a real show-stopper for last-minute guests who drop in!

Creative, fast, simple, and gorgeous. Crisp, buttery crust. Sweet, nutty topping. What more could you ask of a brownie recipe?

INGREDIENTS
Hazelnut-Cafe Whip
1 tsp hot tap water
1/2 tsp instant coffee
1 Tbsp hazelnut flavored syrup
2/3 c Cool Whip
1/4 c chopped hazelnuts, toasted (optional garnish)

Here are the ingredients you need for the Hazelnut-Cafe Whip topping.

Batter
1 c brownie mix (NOT the whole box)
1 egg
2 Tbsp oil
1/3 c milk

2-4 Tbsp butter or margarine (for coating the griddle)

Here are the ingredients you need for the batter.

DIRECTIONS
Make topping first. In a small bowl, put hot water then dissolve instant coffee in it. Add hazelnut syrup and mix completely. In a medium bowl, put 2/3 cup of Cool Whip. Add hazelnut-cafe mixture to the Cool Whip by gently folding it in.

Mix instant coffee into hot tap water, then add syrup and mix. Add that into your Cool Whip by gently folding.

Topping is done–isn’t the cafe-au-lait color just divine for this garnish? Refrigerate until your brownie waffles are ready to serve. If you have hazelnuts on hand, toast them in the oven for 5-6 minutes at 350 F so you can use them to “garnish your garnish.”

Now for the batter.

Heat waffle iron. Mix the 4 batter ingredients together until smooth; it will be thinner than a typical brownie batter. Grease cooking surface (either with cooking spray or with melted butter/margarine).

Mmmmm, put that golden stick right onto the sizzling-hot griddle -- both bottom and top. This will give you a sweet, crunchy crust! Don't skip this step, unless you want to see your waffle innards hanging from both sides of your waffler. Horrors.

Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto the cooking surface, depending on how large your waffler is.

In 30 seconds, your kitchen is going to smell divine. In 3 more minutes, you'll be sitting down and stuffing your face!

Close lid. If your waffler has a “done” light, use that as a timer. Otherwise, count about 120 seconds. Open waffler, remove waffle with a fork, place onto a serving plate.

If you're efficient (and highly motivated), you've invested only about 5 minutes of time to get to this moment. And you're 1 minute away from shoving this mouthwatering masterpiece into your mouth. Keep moving!

Add a dollop of the gorgeous Hazelnut-Cafe Whip. . .  I do believe it’s flirting with me!

Speechless. Drooling. It gets better.

Add toasted hazelnuts. And get ready to PASS OUT from sheer bliss.

Oh, joy. Does it get any better than this?

Serve immediately. Wait for the gasps! You should have enough batter for 4 to 6 giddy guests–or 2 very hungry but madly delighted guests.