Brownies are good on their own, but if you’re looking for a fun way to stretch your original mix, here are 10 ways to update this classic:
1. Buckeye-brownie cups: Love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter? I do too, that’s why I love making ooey-gooey brownie cups stuffed with peanut butter.
STIR 3/4 cup peanut butter with 1/4 cup softened butter in a large bowl until fully blended. Stir in 1/4 tsp vanilla, then 1 cup icing sugar. When fully mixed, flatten into a disc on plastic wrap and then refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
PREHEAT oven to 350F. Spray a 12 tin muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix a batch of the Chatelaine Kitchen’s best ever brownies. Fill the bottom third of each muffin tin with brownie mix. Reserve the rest.
ROLL the chilled peanut butter dough into 1 tsp balls. Place a ball over the brownie mix in each muffin tin. Cover the peanut butter balls with remaining brownie batter, 1/4 in. from the top of the tin.
BAKE in the centre of the oven until the tops of the brownies are slightly cracked and shiny, about 20 min. Remove pan to a rack to cool. Run a sharp knife between the brownie and the tin to release. Let cool in the pan for 10 min. Serve.
2. Brownie pops: Forget fussing with cake crumbs and elaborate recipes, this is a great shortcut method for cake pops.
To make pops:
PREHEAT oven to 350F.
MIX a batch of the Chatelaine Kitchen’s best-ever brownies, omitting the nuts. Slightly under-bake brownies, until they are slightly cracked and shiny, but a toothpick inserted still collects some crumbs, about 30 min.
FOLD a clean tea towel in half and run under a tap until it is wet, but not dripping. Remove brownies to a cooling rack and cover with wet towel. Let cool, covered, for 10 min, or until cool enough to touch.
SPOON warm batter by the heaping tbsp into the palm of your hand. Roll into a a ball. Insert with a lolly-pop stick and transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining brownie mixture.
ROLL cooled brownie pops in icing sugar or dip in melted chocolate if desired. Decorate as you wish!
3. Brownie cookies: Just as they sound. A warm and tender cookie, made with brownie mix.
PREHEAT oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
MIX a batch of our best-ever brownies. Drop 1 tbsp portions of batter onto prepared baking sheet 2 in. apart.
BAKE in centre of oven until slightly shiny and cracked, about 8 min. Remove pan to a cooling rack and let cookies sit on tray for 5 min. Lift cookies onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
4. Brownie ice-cream sandwiches: Who says it has to be summer to enjoy an ice cream sandwich…especially these ones made with decadent brownies.
Try it: brownie ice cream sandwiches.
5. Blondies: Rumour has it that blondies are making a serious comeback in 2013. We’ve prepared ours as part of our holiday line-up, but they are suitable for any time of year.
Try it: blondie cookie recipe.
6. Go gluten-free: Gluten-free brownies…are they too good to be true? Absolutely not. Not only are these brownies gluten-free, they are moist and delicious. If you are all gingered out after the holidays, feel free to omit the spicing and substitute the icing.
Try it: gluten-free gingerbread brownies
7. Cheesecake brownies: A classic favourite that we can’t overlook. Brownies and cream cheese….yum!
Try it: Cheesecake brownies
8. Quick whoopie pies: Make the brownie cookies as outlined above. Once cooled, spread 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff onto the base of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies. Voila!
9. Want to take chocolate to a whole new height? Incorporate your favourite chocolate bar.
Try it: smashed chocolate bar brownie cake.
10. Shape them up. It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to express our brownie love. Make someone’s day by sending them off with a dark chocolate brownie heart.
Originally published January 4th, 2015.