Monday, February 27, 2012

A Big Batch of Brownie Mixes - Secret Recipe Club

I was assigned Kelli's blog Ambition's Kitchen for this month's Secret Recipe Club assignment. I've spent many hours going through nearly all of her recipes, and found several different ones I want to try.  But the one that grabbed my attention was one of her Frugal Friday posts.  Every Friday, Kelli gives a recipe for something that is usually store-bought, but is cheaper and usually better for you when it's homemade.  She's given us pudding pops, Larabars, aluminum-free baking powder, maple pancake syrup, and more. The one I chose to make was the homemade brownie mix.  I had plenty of flour and sugar, and last month I bought a bag of Ghirardelli dark cocoa.  I wanted to make multiple batches, so I got out some large mason jars I'd bought for baking small loaves of bread.  As I began to dish out the ingredients, I realized that the jars were too small - I needed quart-sized, not pint-sized.  My husband came up with the solution - just put half the ingredients in one jar, and use two jars for a batch of brownies.

He's so smart.

In less than 10 minutes I'd measured out 5 batches - four into the jars and one into a bowl.   Then to the bowl, I added the wet ingredients; then put the batter into a 9" stoneware pan. 20 minutes later, they came out of the oven -- dark, rich, decadent brownies.  I chose not to do any mix-ins, and these are so good they don't need frosting.  (Though I love a good frosting!) They hold together when cut, and are perfectly fudgy; just the way I like them.

Brownie Mix

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder or nonfat milk powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 cup add-ins, such as chopped nuts or dried fruit (optional)

In a medium bowl (or deli container), combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, buttermilk powder, baking powder, salt, and whisk (or shake) to blend. Stir in the chocolate chips and add-ins (if using). Store airtight.

To make fudgy brownies

Brownie Mix (above)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan.
2. Dump the Brownie Mix into a bowl. Add the oil, water, vanilla, and egg, and stir just to blend.
3. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it.
Makes 16 brownies

Just for comparison, here's the ingredient list on a box of Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownies:

Enriched Bleached Flour (wheat flour, niacin, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
Chocolate Flavored Syrup (high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, water, cocoa, salt, mono and diglycerides, polysorbate 60, xanthan gum and vanillin)
Cocoa Processed with Alkali
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil
Contains 2% or less of: Corn Starch, Salt, Corn Syrup, Artificial Flavor

I like the homemade mix better, anyway!

Follow the links below for more great recipes from the Secret Recipe Club!


Lisa~~ said...

Brownies from scratch are so much better than the box and by making your own mix it's so easy when you want to quickly bake. They look fudgy delicious, great SRC choice.

If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Group 'A' SRC entry: Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites and my Group 'D' entry: Health(ier) Peanut Brittle

Cook Lisa Cook

Kelli said...

So fun to see who ended up with my blog. Great choice! Can't go wrong with homemade brownies!

Casey @ Beautiful Disasters said...

Yum! I love this idea for when you're in a rush and want a tasty treat. Looks delish!!

amy @ fearless homemaker said...

looks like they turned out fabulous + they're just adorable in the little jars - they'd make a great holiday gift or hostess gift like that. so fun to 'meet' you through the SRC!

Erin Stomber said...

I love the idea of making homemade mixes and controlling the ingredients you put in. I have to start doing this more often with more things! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Those extra bottles look like a nice birthday or X-mas gift. :)

Unknown said...

Homemade anything taste better then the store bought stuff in my opinion. The little jars would make such cute holiday gifts. The brownies look like they turned out great.

Nicole @ I am a Honey Bee said...

wow this is so cool. I like that this would make for a great gift

Rituparna said...

Those brownies look delicious !