1 box store-bought brownie mix. I buy whatever is on sale or cheap (Ghiradelli brand makes a cake-like brownie.)
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 C. sugar
6 T. cocoa mixed with 2 T. vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla
1/2 C. flour (I use whole wheat)
Hand-stir this recipe – no mixer. Dump the box mix into a bowl. Add the required water and oil as directed on the box. DO NOT YET add the eggs. Stir the cocoa and 2 T. oil into the melted butter and add to mix in the bowl. Stir in the sugar. Fork-beat the 3 eggs a bit and then stir them into the mix. Stir in vanilla. Stir in flour, until just mixed. Fold in chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, if desired.
Grease a baking pan (8×8, or 9×9, depending on the thickness of brownie you want.) Spread the batter evenly in the pan and bake at 345 degrees for 25-35 min. (depending on size of pan.) We use the Baker’s Edge pan, which you can order online. Brownies are done when toothpick-clean in the middle.
I have to say, the Baker’s Edge pan produces the best brownies – it’s the only pan we use.
The size and height bake the perfect brownie, and every piece has an edge. It’s a bit pricey ($50), but you’ll only buy it once. And I’ve seen them on eBay for less. (I’ve heard you can bake lasagna in this pan, too, but why would you, when you can bake brownies?)
If you’re having a labor day picnic this weekend, this would be a perfect dessert. There is some labor involved, but it’s not painful. It doesn’t last for 12 hours, and you can sit down when it’s over.
Have a wonderful weekend!