How To Take Boxed Brownies From Basic To Gourmet

Tray of brownies
Tray of brownies - Galyna Nesterenko/Shutterstock

Anyone who has ventured into the realm of scrumptious homemade sweets will be quick to inform you that baking is, first and foremost, a science. As such, you don't necessarily want to change up a recipe's list of ingredients all willy-nilly. However, being entirely averse to making substitutions in your baking projects is also foolhardy. The right ingredient swap or additional inclusion could be what takes your box brownies to the next tier of desserts.

There is no shortage of delicious ingredients you can mix with your next batch of boxed brownies. Adding fruit, be it fresh or dried, can add a whole new realm of sweetness to your brownies. You can give your brownies an extra savory kick by tossing in some crispy bacon bits, crushed potato chips, or even a smidge of cream cheese. You shouldn't just let your boxed brownie mix function on its own. Fortunately, many creative chefs have come up with countless variations to the standard boxed brownie recipe.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Structural Changes That Transform Your Basic Brownie

Glass of milk by brownie stacks
Glass of milk by brownie stacks - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

When you begin your boxed brownie creation journey, you may be tempted to immediately reach for the myriad of delicious add-ins that can bring your baked goods to a fun and fancy place. Before you reach for something creamy or crunchy, it is worth examining the ingredients that you can use to improve upon the brownie itself.

For example, if you want to end up with an extra chewy boxed brownie, all you have to do is add milk. Substitute milk where the recipe calls for water, and you'll end up with rich brownies with a considerably chewier consistency. Whisking ½ cup of mayo into your boxed brownie mixture is the secret to making moist brownies. Another fat substitution that could kick your boxed brownies up is using melted butter instead of cooking oil. Simply melt your butter and include that same amount of liquid butter as the recipe calls for oil. Doing this will result in a more dense and substantial finished cake.

More Mix-Ins To Boost Your Boxed Brownies

Brownies with white marbling
Brownies with white marbling - nickichen/Shutterstock

However, there are boxed brownie recipe upgrades that focus more on flavor than consistency. For example, giving your boxed brownie mix a swirl of high-end vanilla extract, which even casual cooks know to be a top-tier baked good addition, will kick your brownie's flavor into high gear.

Furthermore, adding a swirl of something fun and flavorful, be it caramel, fruit jam, or even Nutella, will instantly kick your boxed brownie up a couple of notches. Add your chosen mix-in to the brownie mix before you've added it to the oven, then drag a toothpick across the unbaked batter to give your tray of divine dessert a delightful marbled aesthetic.

Some of the most direct flavor profile changes can be made with salty snacks. Adding a handful of crushed chips or pretzels or a sprinkling of salted nuts will add a delightful crunchy texture to your brownie while giving it a much-needed savory side.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.