When it comes to brownies, there are certain qualities that distinguish the good ones from the mediocre. The best brownies are chewy, slightly fudgy and have that signature crackled top that gives them character. They are also dark and satisfyingly chocolaty. But most importantly, they are made with high-quality ingredients and a lot of love. If you’re a baker, you might be tempted to make your own brownies from scratch, but let’s face it, there are just times when it’s okay to turn to a box mix. This is particularly true if you are pressed for time or need a treat to take to an event. But even if you’re making a boxed dessert, there are still some easy hacks that will make your brownies taste homemade and extra delicious.
Start with the right brownie mix
While there are many different brands of boxed brownie mixes, I prefer to use Trader Joe’s Brownie Baking Mix. This baking mix uses quality cocoa powder and is a little more chocolate-y than other mixes I’ve tried, which means your brownies will be moist and rich.
The classic vanilla flavor pairs wonderfully with chocolate and elevates the brownie from “meh” to “Yum!” Vanilla will give your brownies a deeper chocolate flavor and balance out the sweetness of the sugar in the mix.
Increase the fat content
If you’re going with a boxed brownie mix, adding more fat will make your brownies more moist and fudgy. The trick is to add the butter or oil after you’ve mixed the dry ingredients into the batter. This is a quick and easy way to transform your brownies from dry to moist, and it will also help keep them from becoming overly cakey or oily.
Swirl in extras
Try swirling in a few spoonfuls of peanut butter, Nutella, raspberry jam or even cream cheese into your brownie batter just before baking. It’s an easy way to turn a standard brownie into a special treat, and it adds a layer of deliciousness that your guests will be sure to notice!
A common mistake when making brownies is to overbake them. This will make them dry and brittle. Instead, be sure to check your brownies before the oven timer goes off and remove them when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out moist with a few crumbs.
Use a sharp knife to cut the brownies
A dull knife will create ragged edges and a messy interior. Instead, use a serrated knife and run it under warm water between cuts to ensure you’re cutting your brownies cleanly and perfectly every time. brownie box