We love chocolate brownies in our household. I wrote awhile back about an amazing bake-from-scratch brownie recipe that was easy and amazing, but truthfully sometimes the box mix is just easier for me. I buy my favorite – Betty Crocker – when it’s on sale so that they always have some in the closet for last minute bake sales or late night chocolate fixes.
Lately I’ve been intrigued by some recipes and photos I’ve been spotting on ways to dress up your brownies. I tried a Salted Caramel brownie and I’m hooked, as were my visiting in-laws. Rather than give exact recipes I think the fun in creating your own brownie creation is using what is either already in your kitchen or the aisles of your favorite candy store and following your gut. My family has graciously eaten my creations that have gone astray – it’s usually a cosmetic malfunction so the taste remains delicious.
Here are some of our favorites…
Salted Caramel: This could not have been any easier. I had left over Smuckers-brand caramel in my refrigerator and kosher coarse salt in my spice cabinet. I baked my brownies according to Betty’s instructions and then squeezed the caramel over the hot brownies and sprinkled the sea salt on top of it. If you desire a thicker caramel, pick up a package of caramels that are in the Halloween candy aisle. Melt them down in the microwave or stove top and pour that over your finished brownies. The salt is really the cincher. My mother-in-law commented on how much it accentuates the chocolate flavor.
Candy Bars: Last year I found that my kids collected way more Halloween candy than I felt comfortable letting them eat at their own discretion, so I hid away a bag to use for my brownie creations. One of those is Heath Toffee brownies. The sweet crunch of the toffee is amazing. I’ve had success adding broken up bits of the Heath bar directly into the batter before baking.
Peanut Butter: There are lots of online recipes. I think Martha Stewart chooses to add vanilla and sugar to her recipe to make a sweeter mix, but I’ve found an even easier method. After you prepare your brownie mix then divide it in half. Keep one half the chocolate bases and mix your favorite peanut butter directly into the second half of the mix. Put the plain mix in the pan as the base and then swirl the peanut butter-enhanced half into the pan using a knife and bake as instructed.
Chocolate Chips: I always have a bag in my fridge or freezer for emergencies. Just dropping a handful of chips into the brownie batter gets me way more compliments than I ever expected. Experiment with other chips too – like butterscotch, peanut butter, or white chocolate.
Happy Baking & Bon Appetit!
That’s IT Mommy Jill