Sugar High – Cake Mix Brownies

I try not to bake too often, because it is just the two of us and by the time we finish a batch of something it’s usually just on the verge of becoming stale. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the sweet stuff and hubby has a GIANT sweet tooth. I love chocolate, but I can’t really eat too much of it before I am feeling kind of queasy. I am sure that is probably a good thing!

When I do get a craving for something sweet, I have a few dessert-type recipes I like to whip up. I’ll try to share a few here and there in this new section called “Sugar High“.

Today’s recipe is for making brownies from a cake mix.

I have never actually made brownies from scratch. I have read many people mention on forums that their homemade brownies never turn out just right. On the rare occasion that I made brownies in the past, I just used a brownie mix. Have you ever noticed that brownie mix is often about 3 times more expensive than a cake mix? Are there some “magic” or special ingredients in the brownie mix? That’s a rhetorical question…

In any case, I knew I had seen recipes to make cookies from a cake mix, so one day I went on the hunt for a brownie recipe made from cake mix. Lo and behold, I found exactly what I was looking for. Isn’t the internet such an amazing arsenal of information? I can’t imagine what I’d do without it. I remember the days when I’d be scouring cookbooks, sometimes for an hour (or more) and still not finding what I was looking for. Not to mention, I’d often be borrowing cookbooks from the library and end up photocopying whatever I was interested in. It kind of saddens me to think of all those trees I inadvertently killed over the years. (Please share a moment of silence to mourn those trees with me now…)

Now, back to the brownies. YUM!!

I found all kinds of great variations and suggestions for making brownies from a cake mix on this recipe forum: http://www.recipelink.com/mf/2/10213

Here is my variation (that I have made a few times now), and they always turn out great.

Ingredients

1 pkg. Devil’s Food Cake mix (dry)
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 Tbsp water
1 egg
2/3 – 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease pan. I used a square 9×9 pan, because we prefer thicker, moist and chewy brownies. The recipe I adapted this from uses a 9×13 pan, but I find that makes them thinner, almost like a cookie. 
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. It will be fairly firm and a bit sticky (I ALWAYS need to add an extra 1-2 Tbsp of water). It gets so hard to mix for me, that I usually have to call in the big guns (thanks hubby) to finish stirring it for me!
  4. Press into greased pan.
  5. If using a 9×13 pan, cook about 32-36 minutes. If you’re using a 9×9 pan, you’ll likely need to add about an extra 10-15 minutes or so. I just check them at 35 minutes and then every few minutes after that.
  6. Cool and then cut into bars or squares.

Notes:

Cake Mix: I use Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines. I am sure you could use the store brand too. However, these two brands often go on sale for $0.99 and I try to pick up a box or two (for those brownie emergencies!).

Chocolate chips: The recipe I started from calls for a whole package (10 oz) of chips. Since I bought a big bag of store brand chocolate chips, I used a conversion program to calculate that into 1 and 1/4 cups. That was much too sweet. The next time, I tried 1 cup, and even “Mr. Sweet Tooth” said we could use less. I guess it all depends on what you like, but that’s why my “suggested” measurement is not exact for the chocolate chips.

Nuts: The recipe I started from did have 1 cup of chopped walnuts in the ingredient list. Since neither of us really like walnuts, I skip them. If it was just me, I might try adding some chopped almonds, or maybe even hazelnuts or cashews. However, hubby doesn’t much care for any type of nuts in his baked goods, so I just tend to omit them. I just thought I’d mention that, in case you like nuts in your brownies.

Now that your brownies have cooled, try not to eat the whole pan at once…  Just kidding. These are VERY rich, but oh so TASTY. I hope you enjoy these easy and delicious brownies, the next time you get a chocolate craving.

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