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

Mudslide Brownie

July 22, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Alcohol, Candy Bar, Chilled, Decadent, Nut-Free


The cocktail drink called The Mudslide is the perfect starting place for a refreshing chilled brownie recipe with a hint of coffee, Kahlua, rum, and dark chocolate. Eat it with a fork, a bib, and a passion for oozy, goozey chocolate.


  • 1 box brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli Ultimate Fudge)
  • Oil, eggs, and water as called for on box instructions (I always use the extra-egg recipe)
  • 2 tsp instant coffee flakes (I used Maxwell House)
  • 1 box chocolate mousse mix (I used milk chocolate, Dr. Oetker brand, 3.1 ounce size)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used non-fat)
  • 1/2 cup Mudslide Mix (I used Chi-Chi’s brand)
  • 4 dark chocolate candy bars (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)



Pour brownie mix into a large mixing bowl. Add oil and eggs as directed on the box. Into a small bowl, add the amount of water called for on the box directions and then dilute the instant coffee in the water. Add the coffee water to the large mixing bowl.


Mix until batter is smooth and rich. Pour into a greased 9″x9″ pan and bake as directed on the box directions. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Make sure the brownies are room temperature before continuing to the next step.
They should be completely cooled. 
Are they cooled? Completely?
No longer warm at all?
Then let’s move on to the next step, which can get a little messy. So, I recommend that you put on your favorite apron. Here is a picture of me in my favorite apron.
(“Thanks, May, for this super-cute Christmas gift!”)


Pour the  mousse mix powder into your electric mixer’s bowl. Add milk.


Add Mudslide mix.


Mix on low speed until blended. Then whip on high speed until it is fluffy, chocolate-y, and gooey. At this stage, you may get splattered by flecks of chocolate perfection escaping their orbit. Consider it a risk that you will just have to take.


Pour the mousse onto your cooled brownie crust and spread evenly. Try not to “motorboat” your face in this decadent layer of tempting mousse. (But if you do, I will not judge you for it.)


Take the packet of frosting that came with your brownie mix and soften it by running it under hot tap water. Squeeze the frosting out onto the mousse layer.


Take a knife and swirl the top two layers together. This means you get to lick the knife, which is always good. If you prefer, you can skip this step and keep these two layers chunky and funky, which is fine with me. Remember this IS a mudslide, and there is definitely room for artistic interpretation here. 


Break the dark chocolate candy bars into small pieces, about the size of a thumbnail. Spill them artfully onto the top, creating your own mudslide of splattery cocoa chaos.


Refrigerate until you’re ready to cut and serve it. Your guests will be swept away by this avalanche of rich dessert perfection!


There she is, the Mudslide Brownie: Chilled, chocolate-y, rich, and ready to mudslide right onto your tastebuds.


If you liked this recipe, you may also like:

Kahlua Mousse Brownie

Super-Easy Caramel Fluff Brownie

Low-Fat Salty-Scotch Brownie


Nutella-Kahlua Brownie Truffles

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


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!


  • 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, February 27, is National Kahlua Day!

February 27, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Alcohol, Chilled, Decadent, Nut-Free, Products


Kahlua is a coffee liqueur.  Kahlua is a vodka-based spirit.  Kahlua is thick and sweet and dark.  Kahlua is, as the commercial says, DELICIOSO.  And Kahlua is friends forever with brownies.

I have a simple box-brownie recipe to help you celebrate this lovely friendship. I promise to get you out of the kitchen FAST, giving you more time with your delicioso dessert.  This 3-layered recipe of  brownie + pudding + mousse is called The Kahlua Mousse Brownie and you can find it right here:  http://outoftheboxbrownies.com/2011/11/14/frozen-kahlua-mousse-brownies/‎

The Kahlua Mousse Brownie looks so pretty IN THE PAN. It made me sad to think there's one less brownie left to eat. Then I remembered the one I had on the plate. And I ate it with great joy.

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!