I feel compelled to admit that I hate homemade brownies. I am usually at the front of the line when I hear the words “homemade” and “baked goods” together, but you couldn’t pay me to eat a homemade brownie! Those who grew up with homemade brownies don’t know any better; they have no idea what they’re missing. We who grew up with boxed mixes know better. We know the deep chocolatey flavor, the rich fudgy texture, the firm chewy edges. We know what a brownie can be, and poor homemade just can’t hold a candle to its deliciously sophisticated boxed cousin.
When I get together with my closest friends, I often make brownies. They’ve become accustomed to eating slightly scalding, but deliciously gooey, cupcake brownies or the even more popular “pile-o-brownie” (too impatient to let them cool, we scoop them out of the pan in scrumptious piles of molten brownie fudge). This wondrous delight comes from a boxed mix…Betty Crocker’s Ultimate Fudge Brownies with Hershey’s Fudge and Melt-away Chips.
Once I decided to start eliminating processed foods from my life, my wondrous brownie mix was one of the first to go. Farewell my fudgy chocolate friend; I shall miss you. Then I realized that I wouldn’t be the only one losing out. How could I tell my friends that their favorite brownie goodness was gone forever? Well, frankly, I couldn’t. The only solution was to find a recipe for homemade brownies that could match everything I loved about that wonderful mix.
I searched and searched until I found several brownie recipes, like this one on Fake-It Frugal, claiming to replicate boxed mix brownies, so I decided to try them. The first step was to create my own fudge, which I did here in a dark chocolate variety. Then I started trying out the recipes. The first was a complete and total failure. The batter was more like oily cookie dough and the brownies were as hard as rocks when they finished baking. Fake-It Frugal’s mix came second, and it was almost perfect. You’d never know by tasting it that it wasn’t from a mix.
Hang out nights are saved!!!
And so, dear reader, if you are in love with boxed mixes like me but not with all of the additives, this will save your brownie-loving soul.
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
**Prior to adding the wet ingredients, you can store your mix for quick baking later in a zip-loc bag or canning jar.
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla
3 Tbsp Fudge sauce
Preheat the oven to 350°. Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.** Whisk to combine. Add the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, and fudge and stir until just moistened; do not overmix. Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 9 x 9 pan.
Adapted from Fake Betty Crocker Brownie Mix.