Making the case for brownie desserts

Published 8:36 am Monday, February 24, 2020

Brownies are the go-to dessert any day of the week and any time of the day, whether it be for dinner dessert or an after school snack.

Take a pan of brownies, either made from scratch or a mix, or brownies purchased from a bakery, and transform them into rich, decadent desserts that go beyond the basic baked chocolate bar.

Depending on the time, and ingredients you have available, start with any simple brownie recipe, or make one from a mix. If you are purchasing brownies, buy unfrosted plain brownies for best results.

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Brownies are always a great treat when you are entertaining for a large crowd, but if you really want to make these bad boys fly off the table at a bake sale, up your game and take unfrosted brownies to the next level with some added extras.

Use your imagination with any brownie-altering recipe. For instance, use different nuts in a walnut brownie recipe, or add some creme de menthe in mint chocolate brownies for an adult twist. Be sure that the brownies are completely cool before you start frosting or building because warm brownies will be harder to cut and may melt the other ingredients you have added.

Some brownie desserts you might want to try include:



1 package fudge brownie mix (13×9-inch pan size)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 large egg

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat brownie mix, flour, egg, water and oil until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Let stand 30 minutes.

Place confectioners’ sugar in a shallow dish. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into sugar; gently roll to coat. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.



1 package fudge brownie mix (13×9-inch pan size)

2-1/2 cups cold whole milk

1 package (3.4 ounces) instant cheesecake or vanilla pudding mix

1 package (3.3 ounces) instant white chocolate pudding mix

1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 to 3 Heath candy bars (1.4 ounces each), chopped


Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions for cakelike brownies, using a greased 13×9-inch baking pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat milk and pudding mixes on low speed for 2 minutes. Let stand until soft-set, 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping.

Cut the brownies into 1-inch cubes; place half in a 3-quart glass trifle bowl or serving dish. Cover with half of the pudding. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with chopped candy bars. Refrigerate leftovers.



1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 package fudge brownie mix (13×9-inch pan size)


3 tablespoons butter

1-1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

2-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 to 4 tablespoons hot water

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in butter until combined. Press into an ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10-11 minutes or until puffed and edges are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, prepare brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Spread batter over crust. Bake 25-30 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For frosting, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth. Immediately stir in the confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons water and vanilla until smooth. Add remaining water; stir until smooth. Immediately spread over brownies. Cool on a wire rack until firm. Cut into bars.



1 fudge brownie mix (13×9-inch pan size)

1 package (10 ounces) peanut butter chips

2 packages (13 ounces each) miniature peanut butter cups

4 cups cold 2% milk

2 packages (5.1 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix

1 cup creamy peanut butter

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cartons (8 ounces each) frozen whipped topping, thawed


Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare brownie batter according to package directions; stir in peanut butter chips. Bake in a greased 13×9-inch baking pan 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack; cut into 3/4-inch pieces.

Cut peanut butter cups in half; set aside 1/3 cup for garnish. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). Add peanut butter and vanilla; mix well. Fold in 1-1/2 cartons whipped topping.

Place a third of the brownies in a 5-quart glass bowl; top with a third of the remaining peanut butter cups. Spoon a third of the pudding mixture over the top. Repeat layers twice. Cover with remaining whipped topping; garnish with reserved peanut butter cups. Refrigerate until chilled.