In my former life as a teacher, I used to bake for my students as a treat every so often. I’d make some really big batch of a recipe (usually cookies) so I had enough for all of my classes and anyone else that stopped by. Want to know what their absolute favorite thing I ever made was?
Boxed mix brownies. Just plain old Duncan Hines brownies. As a baking blogger who thinks that she makes brownies much better than what a box can do, I was pretty offended.
But there really is something about a boxed mix brownie that’s different. Maybe it’s the nostalgia – it’s definitely something I learned how to make by myself pretty early, and was a staple of childhood sleepovers. So this week, when Erik said he wanted brownies, I decided to give Hummingbird High’s boxed mix version a go (scaled down to small batch, because COVID).
The recipe was definitely as easy as the boxed mix (other than the fact that you have to make the dry mix yourself). It came together quick with pantry ingredients I already had, and I baked it in a 9×5 loaf pan instead of an 8×8 square pan since I halved the recipe.
Start by making the dry mix. Whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, confectioners’ sugar and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, oil and water. The recipe below says canola oil, but you can use whatever neutral oil you have on hand – I used sunflower oil.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a rubber spatula until just moistened.
Spread into a 9×5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Use an offset spatula to level the top.
Bake at 325°F for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of the center with just a few crumbs clinging to it.
Allow to cool completely in the pan before using the parchment paper to remove and put on a cutting board to cut into bars.
I went with 8 bars on this one because when I did 6 with the lemon bars last week, they seemed very big.
Brownies! And I didn’t even have to leave home to get ingredients! Best of all worlds.
Small Batch Boxed Mix Brownies
- 3/4 cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (1.625 ounces) flour
- 1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup (1.5 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) confectioners sugar
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a medium bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, flour, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, confectioners sugar and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg, canola oil and water.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Spread batter into a 9×5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake at 325°F for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
- Allow to cool completely in pan before transferring to cutting board and slicing into bars.