Part of the reaon why I love the midwest so much is for the bulk shopping. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a huge box of extra chocolate chunk brownie mix. Well I came to find there were four separate bags, so I wanted to take on the challenge of making them four different ways. I spent plenty of time looking up recipes for doctoring up a box, and although many sounded good, most were pretty plain. Many called for andes mints, smores, and other simple mix ins. I thought to start it off, I would make a traditional brownie and bump up a few ingredients. Round two I tried the “coke” cake, where you do not need to add eggs or oil to the batter, but simply a can of diet coke I took that to another level and added peanut butter swirl as well. Third round was a for birthday party (I know another) where the birthday girl requested a cookie cake and I though I would make a “brookie” cake because it could feed double the people. And finally I made a batch of brownie pops straight out of the freezer because it is sweltering hot here! There were a few bumps on the journey, but they were all devoured pretty quickly so come along on the food journey.
Round one: The Bumped up Brownie
I wanted to know what these brownies tasted like before going too crazy experimenting so I followed MOST of the instructions. My changes included adding vanilla extract to the
batter and sea salt on top along with underbaking the brownies. When underbaking brownies, they must go in the freezer before cutting. The only mistake I made was sprinkling with powdered sugar before letting the brownies cool. They were still great especially with the sea salt.
Round Two: Diet Coke Brownies
My Thought behind this one was that I did not have much vegetable oil left and heard about coke cake, and it looked like a coke brownie was also possible without losing too much of the fudgy texture. I also figured adding a peanut butter cream swirl would cover up the taste if they did not taste good plain. I mixed peanut butter, milk, and powdered sugar together for the mixture. To make it even easier I put the remains of the peanut butter in the microwave to soften it, then added the powdered sugar and milk and shook it up to avoid cleaning another item.
I decided to bring these to the green room to share them at intermission.
Round three: The Brookie
This one I sort of knew was going to be a disaster, but I wanted it to be in a round pan and I thought it would be too thin divided between two. I started with a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe that I let sit in the fridge for several hours to hold its mold.
Then I poured a simple brownie mixture overtop and baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, then another 10 minutes, then another 10 and another. Well you can see where this is going. I didn’t want to overbake the cake, but it was already overflowing and still underbaked in the middle.
The good thing is that it did not go to waste. I just trimmed off the edges, sprinkled some powdered sugar on it, and fed it to the hungry boys in the house who ate the whole plate gladly!
I flipped the “cake out of the pan and although it looks plain and overbaked, I decided not to ice or decorate it in fear of it being too sweet and I believe I made the right choice. It was super crispy on the outside and ooey gooey on the inside and was one of the first things to go at the party.
I know its not the prettiest, but I think I am most proud of this one
Round Four: Buckeye Brownie Bites
For this one I wanted to make something that people can easily pop in their mouths and something chilled because it is starting to get hot outside. I also like the fact that these could be easily transported. I baked the brownies as directed with two eggs, oil, and 2 T water and baked only 35 minutes so they could easily be formed into balls, but still be crispy on the edges. While letting it cool I used the extra chocolate chips as well as vanilla and peanut butter chips to dip the balls in. I melted them in the microwave with a little veggie oil to make it silky smooth. The only problem is that I was running out of both types of chips so by accident I created the buckeye brownie bite which is not something I found online.
Top left : boring brownies
Top right: Brownie balls with semi sweet chocolate and sprinkles
Bottom left: buckeye brownies
Bottom right: plain brownie balls frozen
I prefer the peanut butter capped ones the best because the brownies still had crunchy bits as well as soft batter-like bits.