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October 19, 2017

Boxed Brownie Mix “Hack”

I LOVE brownies. My husband loves them. And most importantly my kids love them. But we don’t all agree on how we like them. My husband will only eat them crispy on the outside and cakey on the inside. For the kids and me, the fudgier (is that a word?) the better! With this recipe they are crunchy around the edges, gooier toward the middle, and everyone is happy 🙂

It’s always fun to make them from scratch and try new recipes, but 99% of the time I’m either in a huge rush to get somewhere or the kids are melting down so making them from scratch is not an option. With a couple minor tweaks, brownies from a box can taste SOOOO much better!

Start with the ingredients listed on the box, but add in an additional 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Prepare an 8″ x 8″ metal pan (glass just doesn’t work the same for me) by spraying it with Baker’s Joy and preheat the oven to 325º F.

Ingredients

Combine the brownie mix, water, oil and eggs. DO NOT over mix!!

Using a rubber spatula mix in approximately 3/4 cups chocolate chips (if you like chocolate the way I do, add even more!). I prefer Ghiradelli semi or bittersweet chips. Pour the batter into the baking pan.

You can put them in the oven just like this, or you can step it up a notch by sprinkling some Reese’s Peanut Butter chips or Reese’s Mini Pieces Peanut Butter Candy (shown here) all over the top. NOW it’s ready to go into the oven! Aside from a perfectly chilled glass of Savignon Blanc, is there anything better than chocolate and peanut butter???

This part may vary by oven, but I bake my brownies about 5 minutes less than the suggested time on the box. Anytime I follow the guidelines on the box, they come out dry and overcooked. My husband may be okay with it, but the rest of us are not!

** The most important step (and this probably goes against some rule of baking!!) is once you take the brownies out of the oven, immediately put them on a hot pad in the refrigerator. When they come out of the oven they are so hot and continue to bake until they are overcooked. Leave them in the fridge until completely cooled and then bring them out to cut and serve.

 

Haunted Halloween Wreath

Our countdown continues – 12 days until Halloween!

As I was going through all my Halloween boxes in the attic a couple weeks ago, I came across some black wreaths from a Michael’s grab bag last year. I also had a bunch of floral stems leftover as well as some miscellaneous Halloween items from the dollar store (skull, bones, etc.). With the kids in bed, glass of wine poured, and apparently nothing better to do, I decided to try and put together my first wreath, ever.

I cut the flowers off the long stems and arranged all the pieces around the wreath, then used a hot glue gun to secure each piece into place. I hung it on a door to see how it would look from that angle and filled in any empty spots with extra black leaves. The entire project took no more than 30 minutes – just about what I had the patience for at 10:30pm!