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Everyone loves brownies. And while baking from scratch is undoubtedly rewarding, sometimes we need a quick fix that doesn’t compromise on taste. That’s where boxed brownie mixes come to the rescue. Today I’m sharing my simple boxed brownie hacks to level up your baking (even if you’re using a mix.)
You can use these brownie hacks on any brownie mix. My favorites are Ghirardelli and Duncan Hines (and for gluten-free baking I like Simple Mills and King Arthur.) You can also apply these tips to any “made from scratch” recipe – although why do more work than you have to?
Now, let’s dive into the first hack that will bring out an amazing depth of flavor: swapping water for coffee or espresso.
Instead of following the instructions on the box that suggest adding water, use coffee or espresso as the liquid component. Don’t worry; your brownies won’t taste like coffee. Instead, the subtle infusion of coffee will intensify the chocolate notes, giving your brownies a luxurious and irresistible taste. The depth of flavor this simple substitution adds is truly remarkable.
Once you’ve mixed your batter with the coffee or espresso, it’s time for the second hack. Take half of the batter and spread it evenly in your baking pan. Now, it’s time to add a surprise element —your favorite candy. I’m using Ghirardelli’s sea salt and almond squares but Symphony Bars also work well. Simply add half of your brownie batter to a prepared pan. Then break up the candy bar and plop the pieces onto the batter in the pan. If you’re using a candy like M&M’s or Reeces Pieces, just scatter them in an even layer. This layer of candy will melt during baking, creating an ooey gooey candy center that will delight your taste buds.
After adding the candy, cover it with the remaining batter, ensuring the candy is completely concealed. Now, bake your brownies per the box instructions. The result? A harmonious blend of rich chocolate, melt-in-your-mouth candy, and the perfect fudgy texture.
These two simple hacks take your basic brownie mix to a whole new level. The addition of coffee or espresso infuses the brownies with a deep, complex flavor that will leave you craving more. The incorporation of your favorite candy creates an irresistible surprise in every bite, adding a delightful textural contrast and enhancing the overall indulgence.
So, the next time you find yourself craving a quick and delicious chocolate treat, reach for your favorite boxed brownie mix and experiment with these two hacks. The end result will delight your taste buds as well as your friends and family. They’ll never believe these amazing brownies came from a mix. Enjoy the sheer decadence and satisfaction of these easy and extraordinary brownies!