Best Brownie Baking Hacks: 7 Tips to Turn Store-Bought Brownie Mix Into Gourmet Chocolate Decadence by Melissa Vickers
Who doesn’t love a good brownie? I want mine soft, chewy and fudgy. There are some amazing brownie recipes out there for folks with the time and energy to make these chocolate goodies from scratch, but a good store-bought mix and a few tweaks to the directions can make some mighty tasty brownies.
Here are my favorite tips for improving the lowly store-bought brownie mix:
- Start with a good mix. Betty Crocker’s Hershey Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix is my go to. It’s full of chocolate flavor, and includes little bits of chocolate as well.
- Add a little vanilla! Vanilla extract helps any sweet baking mix taste more like made from scratch.
- Cook brownies low and slow. This particular mix says to cook an 8x8-inch pan at 325 degrees F for 47 to 50 minutes. That’s already a longer cook time and a cooler oven than some mixes call for, but I drop it even more. I preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and set the timer for 42 minutes. You really can’t use a toothpick test to see if these are done. Just pull them out! Note that Chef Alton Brown suggests testing with a digital thermometer to ensure at least 195 degrees F to kill any bacteria in the eggs or flour.
- Like them really fudgy? Try this variation suggested by Chef Brown: Bake the brownies for 20 minutes, take them out of the oven for 15 minutes and then cook them the last 20 minutes. Oh my!
- Want an easy frosting? As soon as the brownies come out of the oven, lightly sprinkle on a layer of chocolate chips. Wait a few minutes till they melt and then spread the chocolate around like frosting. It makes a thin layer of chocolate, more than enough for these already rich brownies!
- Save those take-out food plastic knives. I know the boxes all say to let the brownies cool before cutting. Who wants to do that? The trick is to use a cheap plastic knife and it will cut even fresh-out-of-the-oven brownies quite nicely.
- Store in an airtight container. Be sure to do a “quality control” taste testing while they are warm! These brownies will freeze well, too.
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