Don’t say I never make anything chocolate for my husband. Early last fall, I had some walnuts and chocolate chips laying around from a cookie recipe that didn’t take nearly as many ingredients as I had thought and I figured it was about time to make something that pleased someone other than me. I also had half a canister of store-bought chocolate frosting that I had used to test out decorating cookies, and I wanted to make sure my husband ate all the test cookies. Chocolate chips, walnuts, chocolate frosting—they seemed to be crying out for brownies.
I have a lackluster history with brownies made from scratch, but maybe I just never found the right recipe. Even though I’m not a chocolate addict, I think a brownie should be chewy and fudgy, not cakey. I’ve tried recipes with cocoa, with shaved and melted bakers chocolate, with chocolate syrup—you name it, but they always missed the mark and I didn’t want to start that experimentation again. I figured there was no reason to turn up my nose at brownie mixes from the name brands, so I looked around on the web for brownie mix reviews. There are, as it turns out, reviews for just about every mix out there, but little consensus. Just about every known mix turns up as the worst brownie in one review and the best brownie in another. No help there.
I decided to try a different approach to choosing the best mix—the most appealing box design and photography. Don’t laugh, it worked. There are no shortages of brownie mixes on the market, but my eye went straight to the top row of mixes from Ghirardelli. I think they had about 6 different flavor combinations, but the “Triple Fudge” sounded both moist and fudgy. It includes a packet of some kind of fudgy chocolate and chips, which I admit must be very tiny, as I couldn’t really see them. I added 6 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the mix, but I’m guessing it would come out moist on its own. When cool, I frosted the brownies with Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Chocolate Frosting with 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts mixed in.
I have to say that these were the best brownies I ever made or ate. My husband agrees and requested them again, so I made another batch today, with intentional ingredients, not leftovers.
Brands referenced in this review: