how to make your brownies taste better than the box, when they came from the box {nod to my sis}

The texts usually start with one of us saying, "Come over, I'm making brownies."

My sister and I are 10 years apart, but it's never felt like that. We have so much in common and share so many of the same quirks and loves, that age ain't got nothing on us. One of the loves we share is straight up brownie batter and when the craving calls, the text message follows. 

 As one who freaking blogs about creating homemade treats, I feel slightly hypocritical saying such a thing, but it's true: my sister and I make more boxed brownies together than any other treat. True, they are just as easy to make completely from scratch as they are opening a box, but there are days when work was cray, and the mess just doesn't seem worth it (but the company does), so the mix it is. Also, with my sister being younger and fresh to the domestic world, brownies from a mix seem to give her, even the newest of bakers, encouragement by results.  

I have no recipe to share today, only my love and confession for boxed brownies, thus reveling my great secrets to making them taste so good, that no one will ever guess they came from a generic mix. (I promise). 

By the way, is weird that I'm sharing this?  This post idea was completely on a whim as I was baking brownies for the masses this past week, and I thought, huh, I wonder if my blog friends would appreciate these tips on making super fabulous brownies from a mix.... 

And here we go: 

1. Add a teaspoon of espresso powder, a handful of dark chocolate chips and teaspoon of vanilla to your batter. If you don't have espresso powder, and/or want to take it a step further, use lukewarm coffee as a replacement for the water usually called for in brownie packages. 

2. Butter your baking dish. That's right, use softened butter to grease your pan and avoid that non stick spray stuff. It makes for the crispiest and most coveted brownie corners and way better flavor. I promise, if you butter it right, those brownies will come out nice and clean. 

3. Don't over bake. I aways bake my brownies 10 minutes less than the box instructions call for. Stick a knife in the center and if it comes out clean, they're done! 

4. As soon as my brownies are done I put them straight into the fridge. This ensures the perfect gooey texture, and a COOL brownie (not a COLD brownie) is a lot easier to cut! 

5. When cutting your cool brownies, warm the knife first with hot water before slicing. Cut, and then douse your knife in hot water again, wipe it dry and repeat, to ensure pretty, somewhat-square looking brownies. 

6. update from my cousin! if you cut brownies with a plastic knife - they cut so much better than trying to cut with a metal knife. try it! your mind will be blown. ;) 

Bakers note: There are many times when my sister and I ignore the "put the brownies in the fridge step" and scoop brownies straight out of the warm pan into two little bowls for us to savor. That always works too. We call that chocolate therapy. ❤️