cook: welcome to the dark {chocolate} side – the brownie edition

Um, yum. Fudgy delicious brownies studded with chocolate chips and topped with a decadent dark chocolate glaze. That’s the good news. Want to know the even better news? They’re good for you! Full of pureed spinach and mashed black beans, these brownies are as healthy as the day is long.

Ok, just kidding. They’re actually full of butter and cocoa and it’s probably best not to think about their health value while you make and eat them. The real “even better” news is that they are terribly easy to make, and can feed a crowd, making them perfect for potlucks or family gatherings. Want to make some?

Pick up two boxes of brownie mix (yup, that’s right, brownie mix. The mix gives a fudgy consistency that’s hard to beat with a from-scratch recipe. But don’t worry, we’ll doctor it up a bit). I ALWAYS make these with Duncan Hines family sized (for a 9×13 pan) fudge brownie mix. Except for today, apparently, when I used Better Crocker. Either works, but I like Duncan Hines a bit better. You’ll also need 4 eggs, a cup of butter, chocolate chips, and 1/2 C water.

Start by melting your butter (two cubes) in a large mixing bowl. Add both packages of dry mix, 4 eggs, and 1/2 C water. Then throw in two cups of chocolate chips (which is one normal size bag, if you don’t buy your chocolate chips in bulk like I do). Please don’t ever ask how long it takes us to get through one of these bigs bags of chocolate chips.

Mix with a wooden spoon until everything is nicely incoporated, then spread into a large greased cookie sheet with sides (aka jellyroll pan or half sheet pan).

At this point pause to allow your helpers fight over the leftover batter in the bowl.

Make sure the baby doesn’t get left out.

Slide your pan into a 350 degree oven and cook about 30 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick or fork near the middle of the pan. It should come out mostly clean. If it comes out covered in chocolate that means you’ve hit a chocolate chip and you need to clean (lick) off your fork and test again somewhere else.

As soon as the brownies come out, you can start mixing up the glaze. Grab powdered sugar, cocoa, more butter, vanilla, salt and some water.

Start by melting 2/3 C (which is just shy of 11 T) of butter in a medium saucepan on the stove. Mix in 1 C of cocoa, 1 T vanilla, 1/2 C water, and a pinch of salt.

You can mix this up with a spoon or a whisk, but I actually prefer using a beater. It can get a little thick for a whisk, but a spoon doesn’t always get the clumps of suger and cocoa mixed in all the way. As soon as the butter is melted, take it off the heat and add four cups of powdered sugar.

Stir, stir, stir until all the sugar is incorporated and your glaze is nice and smooth. Note: I bought Hershey’s extra dark baking cocoa last week. I’m not sure it tastes any different from the normal cocoa, but it’s much darker in color, so if you use normal baking cocoa your glaze won’t be quite as dark as this.

Pour the glaze over the brownies, moving your saucepan around so most of the brownies get covered as you pour. Then use the back of a spoon to quickly smooth the glaze over any uncovered areas. The glaze will settle into a nice smooth, shiny topping. You now have a sheetcake of sin.

Here’s the most important part: feel free to indulge right away while the brownies are hot, but be aware that these actually taste better when they are completely cool and set. Completely cool as in four or five hours later. I know that’s kind of bad news, so cut off a corner to taste it right away, then wait for a while before you try to slice them and serve to anyone.

After a few hours the glaze will be firm enough to hold its shape, and the brownies themselves will have settled into dark fudgy deliciousness.

You can cut this sheet of brownies into 30 large brownies, or up to 48 smaller sized brownies. Using a plastic knife will greatly increase your chances of getting the brownies cut and out of the pan without making a complete mess (as will waiting even longer after you bake them). When I make these to give out to neighbors, I try to cook them at least 8 hours before delivery since they cut so much more nicely after settling for a while.

I hope you enjoy them!

Dark Fudge Brownies

2 boxes Duncan Hines family size brownie mix

2 cubes melted butter

4 eggs

1/2 C water

2 C semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix together w/wooden spoon. Spread into large greased cookie sheet with sides. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out mostly clean. Glaze immediately if desired, but wait until completely cool to cut and serve. (Use plastic knife to cut.)


2/3 C butter

1/2 C water

1 C cocoa

2 t vanilla

dash of salt

4 C powdered sugar

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa, water, vanilla and salt and mix well. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar. Pour glaze over brownies, smoothing with the back of a spoon until brownies are completely covered. Cool completely before cutting and serving.


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    Denise says

    YUMMY!!! I so have to try these soon. I wonder if I have brownie mixes down in my storage room now … 🙂

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