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

Nutty Zebra Brownies

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


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.



  • 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


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.


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.



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.


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


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!