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I’ve yet to meet a person who does not appreciate a great Brownie. Some days, I will accept a not so great brownie.

What is the quintessential picnic food and perfect for BBQ’s? A dessert loved at baby showers, pot luck, as well as making appearances at weddings? And “Oh, I need to send something to school / scouts meeting / bake sale – whatever shall I make?”

 

In the hands of professionals…

Why “just make brownies” when the possibilities are endless.

 How do I love thee ? Let me count the [Top 20] ways:

Suggestions to add to batter before baking: 

(1) mini marshmallows and chopped nuts (2) Any king size candy bar, chopped into small pieces (3) coconut (4) mashed banana (5) white chocolate or butterscotch chips  (6) toffee pieces (7) a tablespoon of extract (mint, almond…) or liqueur like Kahlua or Grand Marnier (8) Dried fruit, like cranberries (9) sift in tablespoon or two of instant espresso into the flour.

…..I’m just getting started…..

Mini -Muffin Variations: Perfect for parties. Bake batter in mini- muffin pan; need to watch to avoid over-baking) While brownies are still warm, push into center of each one:

(10) An Andes Mint (11) acouple pretzel M&M’s (12) half of a mini peanut butter cup (13) those cute Halloween pumpkins (14) small piece of caramel….

or (15) top each with a dot of cream cheese and strawberry slice

Topping Variations:

(16) Spread raspberry or cherry preserves over top, drizzle melted chocolate (17) Crushed candy canes, while still warm, press in with back of spoon so the pieces stay in place (18) sprinkle chips like white chocolate or peanut butter over top and set in the still hot oven for afew seconds to melt, then spread like frosting (19) Top with melted caramel (or caramel sundae topping) and walnuts for Turtles (20) The obvious….experiment with your favorite frosting recipes like cream cheese or german chocolate.

And my mom’s trick: She has always made the best fudgy brownies. She says “it’s the same recipe you use.” To which I answer “Oh, no, no…mine do NOT turn out so melty and gooey !” She confesses – “Oh, I came across a trick by accident. I under-baked a batch once and every one went nuts over it.” She really irks me sometimes.

Anyway, under-bake only by about 5 minutes and keep in mind it does make it more difficult to serve and eat. As if I care. When I do this, I don’t feel the need to dress them up with another variation, just hand me a fork.

What a teen boy does to a brownie

Why yes, I happen to have a yummy basic recipe; I use one from an old Hershey cookbook:

1 stick butter

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/3 c. Cocoa

1 tsp vanilla ( or try a substitute like mint extract)

1/2 c. flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350, spray 9×9 pan.

Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Sift together dry ingredients and add to mixture. Stir in any add-ins (white chips, etc.)

Spread into pan. Bake 20 – 25 minutes.

***I always double the recipe. It’s brownies. And after I eat about 1/4 of the raw batter…..

If anyone has other variations, I’d love more ideas !

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