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Brownie Mix for Work Pot Luck

  • j

I have a Thanksgiving pot luck this week and I need to bring a dessert. Everyone else is bringing pumpkin this or that. I don't really bake so I bought brownie mix. However, I want to jazz it up a bit and maybe put a holiday twist to it. What can I add in or modify to make this brownie mix more spirited?

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  1. I always like to add some good choc chips, marshmallows and nuts although you may want to skip the nuts because of allergies

    1. I cut them into small squares, place on a pretty whit platter, sprinkle w/powdered sugar, place 2 dried cherries on top and tiny mint leaf..they look pretty and taste great!

      1. add a 1 T of extra oil to the mix and sub cold coffee for the water. Use the chewy version on the box, not the cake version (3 eggs). For the Thanksgiving kick, mix together a package of room temp philly, an egg and 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling. Drop dollops on the batter and swirl through. For a Chrismas kick, add mint extract to the batter, frost with dark chocolate ganache and sprinkle with chopped candy canes.

        Or a peanut butter swirl
        Or graham cracker pieces and mini marshmallows
        Or cherry pie filling swirled
        Or drizzle with thick caramel, sea salt and roasted pecans

        1. I drop teaspoon-size dollops of raspberry preserves on top and swirl before baking.

          Sometimes I add "cheesecake" swirls--8-oz cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 t vanilla, 1/4 t salt.

          . . .and sometimes both. . .

          1. Buy a box of Andes mint candy. Unwrap them all, and as soon as you remove the brownies from the oven lay them on top. As they start to melt spread them a little. Then let the brownies cool- so yummy!

            1. use dark coffee instead of water. add some orange-scented "craisins" and toll house chips.

              1. Wow -- I thought I had some good ideas for jazzing up brownie mix! What a great thread!

                Other than some of the things mentioned here, I sometimes add dried cherries. Or if nut allergies aren't an issue, the mini chocolate/peanut-butter cups from Trader Joe's.

                If you have access to a freezer -- some holiday-flavored ice cream would make a nice finish -- pumpkin, egg nog, etc.

                1 Reply
                1. re: momjamin

                  momjamin, they are almost a blank (and yummy) canvas! ;-)

                2. My favorite thing to do is mix peanut butter, butter, and a bit of sugar and spread over the top of the batter. Yum! It's not very holiday, but it's good.

                  1. I ad peanut butter cups, turtle candies,snickers..or whatever you like. Ad sojme extra vanilla to the mix and that helps also. Richie

                    1. Substitute the water with red wine and throw in some dark chocolate chips.

                      1. Mash 4 tbs softened butter into a cup of light brown sugar. Mix in a cup of chopped pecans into this mixture. Prepare the brownie mix as directed on the package and spread in pan. Sprinkle sugar-nut mixture on top and bake. This is really, really great.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: raj1

                          I think I did this a really long time ago and could never duplicate because I never saved the recipe. It was realllly good and praline like. Thanks! I am going to try it!

                          1. re: chocchipcookie

                            I forgot my secret ingredient! The box calls for vegetable oil. I use half roasted peanut oil from the Asian grocery store--Lion and Globe brand--along with canola oil.

                            1. re: raj1

                              I made the brownies with the brown sugar top this morning for a preschool mom on bedrest due to her pregnancy(along with a chicken dish). But I could not sneak a corner without them noticing so I will have to make them again soon. This time I will try the peanut oil trick. Will regular peanut oil work? The kind you deep fry a turkey in?

                        2. add 1/2 c very finely ground hazelnuts or almonds. Gives a great flaovr note.
                          Or 1 T walnut oil for flavor.
                          Add roughly chopped hazelnuts to the mix if you have them.
                          Or add 2T Nutella to the butter and eggs before you add the dry mix.
                          Or Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cayenne for kick.
                          Or add cut up pieces of caramel candies to a half full pan of batter, then top with second half of batter. (A friend uses the sheets of caramel sold at the grocery for making quickie caramel apples)

                          1. I usually sub Kahlua for the water. Makes a killer brownie.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: duckduck

                              I love the taste of chocolate and orange. So substitute orange juice for the water, and add 2t of orange zest.

                              Instead of actual caramel candies, try dulce de leche. Put down half the brownie batter, add some dollops of ddl, then swirl it on the top of the second half of the batter.

                              Likewise, lay down half the brownie batter; cover with seedless raspberry jam, then add the rest of the batter. You can frost this with chocolate glaze and you have a sacher torte brownie.

                              1. re: brendastarlet

                                goodness, i love this tricked up brownie thread!

                            2. These were great ideas. I need to make some brownies for a bbq potluck. Anymore ideas?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Jacey

                                An adult only barbeque? I made some well-received brownies, that I subbed Bailey's Irish Cream for the water, then made a chocolate ganache topping.

                                You can also do a chocolate chip cookie base beneath the brownies and frost with a nutella frosting.

                                S'mores brownies - graham cracker crust, chocolate chocolate chip brownies, then a marshmallow frosting.

                                Peanut butter blondies - layer half batter in pan, then spoon in dollops of grape or strawberry jam, cover with remaining batter and bake.

                                1. re: Emme

                                  I should have added something easy and not complicated at all...I'm not a baker!

                                  1. re: Jacey

                                    those are all easy if you start with a mix. brownie recipes are easy regardless - hard to goof up if you just mix the ingredients in the order listed in a good recipe...

                                1. I usually make a cream cheese topping and swirl it on top.

                                  From pillsburybaking.com

                                  FILLING for 9x13” pan
                                  2 packages (3-oz.) cream cheese, softened
                                  1/4 cup sugar
                                  1/2 teaspoon vanilla
                                  1 egg (or egg replacement)

                                  In small bowl, combine all filling ingredients; beat until smooth.
                                  Pour filling mixture over brownie batter, spreading to cover.
                                  Top with spoonfuls of remaining brownie batter.
                                  To marble, pull knife through batter in wide curves; turn pan and repeat.

                                  1. I usually add a few tablespoonsful of great cocoa powder and then I add a few tablespoonsful of instant coffee. I also have frosted them using 10x sugar, water and adding peppermit flavoring. I then top with a bit of unsweetened melted chocolate squares melted with butter... great digs.