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Doctoring up boxed brownie mix...

The directions on the box call for oil, water, and egg whites. Will it make a difference if I use butter and whole eggs instead? I have a pretty good notion of what egg whites do in a baked good but haven't given much thought to what added yolks might do.

Thank you!

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  1. I always use the whole egg in brownies. I swear by the Ghirardelli mix, which calls for whole eggs. What brand are you using that only calls for the whites?

    14 Replies
    1. re: iluvcookies

      It's Duncan Hines. Yeah, I was surprised, too. But good to know; I'll use the whole egg and not give it a thought. :-)

      1. re: Violatp

        The yolk provides protein and a little fat. I think without yolk the brownies would be dry. You could sub melted butter for the oil, but that might make them greasy.

        I'll add that if you have some chocolate chips, they do well to help the texture. Toss in about 1/2 cup right before you pour the batter in the pan.

        1. re: iluvcookies

          Hmm. No chocolate chips, but there might be a chocolate bar laying around that I could chop up!

          1. re: Violatp

            Instead of water, try Amaretto (or whatever liquer you like)--big improvement!

            1. re: pine time

              Holy crap - you made me remember I have two miniature bottles of Godiva liqueur in the cupboard!!

              Best box brownies evar. :-D

            2. re: Violatp

              I always put divided Caramilk bars in my brownies. Great little chocolate and caramel nuggets throughout. Yum :)

              1. re: CanadaGirl

                Caramilk candy, oh my goodness..........SO good!

          2. re: Violatp

            Use whole eggs but half the number of whites called for, eg if it's 4 whites, use 2 whole eggs.

          3. re: iluvcookies

            love the Ghiardelli foil pkg mix.
            I think mine pkgs are White Lily chocolate brownies.
            I'm gonna check pantry though. nope-they're triple chocolate chunk.
            no wonder they're so good.

            1. re: iluvcookies

              I am loyal to Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix. I use virgin coconut oil because I like the slight coconutty taste, and also add a half cup of chopped walnuts. I bake them for 15 min in mini muffin tins, which keeps the center fudgy but maximizes the crispy edges (makes 24).

              Brownies with oil will be moister than those with butter, but butter tastes better than oil. Before discovering the coconut oil, I used melted butter plus a Tbsp of water to keep them moister.

              1. re: greygarious

                I followed the coconut oil suggestion after reading another of grey's posts and it's outstanding (and I don't even like chocolate really.) They were super moist and really flavorful.

                1. re: greygarious

                  I tried coconut oil once and the brownies never set up, they weren't 'fudge-y', just liquid brownie slop (still tasted good, but wouldn't have been serve-able if I were having guests)- what's your secret to making the coconut oil work?!

                  As for doctoring up brownie mix, I too swear by Ghirardelli mixes. I add white chocolate chips, 1 T of vanilla, and a banana cream cheese frosting. So delicious.

                  1. re: CupcakeCoquette

                    I used virgin coconut oil (Nutiva organic brand), which is solid at room temperatures below 78F. Perhaps it was hotter than that when you made the brownies. If that's the case, you would need to chill them a little before cutting, and keep them refrigerated till just before consuming. On its own, VCO is rock hard when chilled but incorporating it with other ingredients ameliorates that. Both Costco and Trager Joe's now carry (different brands of) VCO.

                    Forgot to mention - a friend unwraps a bunch of Andes mints to have them at the ready when the 8x8" pan comes out of the oven. She lays them atop the hot brownies and swirls with a spatula when they soften. This is also good with the Andes (and other after dinner chocolate wafers) with raspberry or coffee filling.

                  2. re: greygarious

                    The Ghiradelli brownie mix is very good. Now I have to go out and buy some coconut oil, as that suggestion sounds like it brings them over the top can't wait to try your suggestion.

                2. Coffee instead of water. A tsp of vanilla, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cayenne. Definitely use whole eggs.

                  1. Kahlua instead of the water! Or coffee if you don't have it. I always use whole eggs and veg. oil in boxes (butter in scratch brownies), but will definitely try coconut oil next time. And a chopped up dark chocolate bar helps a lot. Can also swirl a little cream cheese and/or raspberry jam on top.

                    1. 13x9 pan - put half the prepared brownie mix in greased pan. Next layer
                      Is 3 LARGE Symphony bars w/toffee chips etc. then rest of batter on top. Bake til done. This recipe is courtesy of Paula Deen from a few years ago. Before I stopped watching her:-)

                      1. A good way to enhance brownies from mix: Make your brownie mix according to package directions then when the brownies come out of the oven, pour this topping over them hot---it will set up as they cool. Topping: in a sauce pan put 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup milk, and 1/3 cup butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute by the clock, stirring constantly. Dump in 1 cup chocolate chips and stir until they melt. (As the brownies cool, you will have a layer of fudge on top of them.)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Querencia

                          I always use whole eggs, and if they have two options pick the fudge style one vs cake. I also add a pinch baking powder to improve the texture and a pinch of cinnamon to mask any artificial flavors in the mix. A good slog of vanilla is a must, 2+ teaspoons or so. Substituting coffee for the water is never a bad way to go, or using some instant espresso powder in with the mix.

                          And if I'm feeling really decadent I'll substitute Jack Daniels or some other type of Booze for all the water, then purposely underbake it a little to keep it very fudgy and still keep some of the booze in. Flavored Vodka works well, any sort of whiskey, non-spiced rum etc.

                          1. re: Querencia

                            ^^^gravy Querencia...............^^^ that sounds magical

                          2. I ended up doing them with whole eggs, butter, Godiva cappuccino liqueur, with Trader Joe's fleur de del caramel sauce dolloped and swirled on top, and a little sprinkling of Maldon flaky sea salt.

                            Gotta say, they were damn good!