Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easy "Box Mix" Solutions

This is not a promotion or review of any one brand of cookie or brownie mix. These are the brands that I use and I am in no way stating that they are better or worse than any other product(s) of their nature.

This is definitely not a difficult recipe but it is one of the most requested desserts or sweet treats that I make. It's incarnation is actually the result of a "happy accident".  We were invited to a cookout at a friend's house a few summer's ago, and I was asked to bring a dessert.  Since it was a casual occasion, I figured that something yummy, yet simple was in order. Sounds easy-peasy, right?  


I got to thinking about the more popular desserts that I've served at our own barbecues or casual parties, and my first thought was to make a big pan of brownies, grab some vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce at the store and provide the fixings for hot fudge brownie sundaes. Brownies have always gone over quite well with both adults and children and they sure weren't going to take up half of my day making them. Add a little scoop of ice cream and some thick gooey hot fudge and you have a real party pleaser!  Et Voila! That was the plan.  Or was it??   Hmmmm.....


We'd had a pretty busy morning and as usual, I had waited til later in the day to start my preparations. As I  grabbed the brownie mix from the pantry shelf, I realized that there was only one box. One box? How in the world was I going to feed what I was told would be at least 30 people with one box of brownies? Those little needles of panic started to take hold. I didn't have time to run to the store and buy another box!  Yikes! I hadn't even showered yet! I was barely going to have enough time to stop at the store to get the ice cream and fudge sauce on my way to the party! I was beginning to feel a bit faint. What on earth could I do?


As I was momentarily teetering on the edge of sanity, the pantry shelves flashed by in my head. There wasn't a second box of brownie mix, but wasn't there something else that I saw out of the corner of my eye?? OK... I think so.... But, what was it?  I flew back into the pantry and as my eyes scanned the rows of condiments and canned goods, it appeared!  One lone box of chocolate chip cookie mix! But.... Wait a minute!  Surely one box of cookie mix was not going to feed that many people either!  Maybe I could make cookies and brownies?  Would that be enough?  Well, maybe..... BUT!  What if..... What if I could somehow combine the two mixes and make one dessert go far enough?  Then, it hit me.  Like a miracle from Heaven above, I saw in my mind's eye a pan full of wonderful chocolate chip cookie/brownie bars!  Could it work?  I mean, really work?

Well, it did work.  I set about making the cookie dough and before it was fully mixed, I thought to myself, "Wait!"  So I set the half combined dough aside and grabbed a second mixing bowl and began to make the brownies.  When I finished mixing the brownies, I decided to leave the cookie mix in the crumbly state that it was and sprinkle it over the brownie batter like you would a "crumble" over a cobbler.  So, I followed my somewhat doubtful plan and in about 30 minutes, I had what looked like a pan of cookie bars, but not just any old cookie bars....  No, these bars had a decadent secret underneath their chewy goodness.  A rich dark chocolate secret.


I took a deep breath and jumped into the shower, knowing that these new confections would be cool enough for me to cut into several small-ish squares and arrange on a pretty platter.  Surely, the combination of the two goodies would be rich enough that one would only need a small piece to satisfy their sweet tooth.  Much to my luck by the time I was dressed and ready to head out to the party, I had a lovely platter of small, but yummy goodies to offer my hostess for her guests to enjoy.  And enjoy them they did!  So much so, that at least 10 people asked me for the recipe before the end of the party!  And new party goers galore ever since then have done just the same.  I proudly pass my happy little accidental recipe along to all who ask.  And now, I have the pleasure of sharing it with all of you too!


  • 1 Box Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, follow package directions (see note below**)
  • 1 Box Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, follow package directions
(Of course, you don't have to use Ghirardelli mixes, but they're the only ones I've ever tried this with.  My theory?  If it ain't broke.....   If you do use other brands, I'd love to hear your thoughts.)

Once you have mixed the dough and the batter, pour the brownie batter into ungreased 9x13x2 glass baking dish.  Sprinkle the "chunks" of cookie dough over the top of the brownie batter as close together as you can get them.  Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 28-30 minutes, or until top looks set and is a light golden brown. Allow to cool for 30 minutes (or a bit longer if you can) running a butter knife around the edge of the pan two or three times during cooling, and then cut into approx 2 inch squares. Serve and Enjoy!

**  Do not mix the cookie dough thoroughly. Try to leave it in "chunks" the same size as you might use for a fruit cobbler or crumble. It's virtually impossible to "spread" the cookie dough on top of the thinner brownie batter. I suppose if you made a boo-boo and mixed it too much, you could rotate the cookie dough to the bottom and pour the brownie batter on top. I also wouldn't worry if the brownie batter seeps down in between the cookie dough chunks.  No matter which way you have to do it, they'll still be delish!


  1. Sounds like fun...though I've got a dilemma. I've sworn off all mixes in favor of cooking from scratch. I just don't like the chemical taste. I make the recipe from Baker's Chocolate for "One Bowl Brownies" and have my own recipe for Blonde brownies...The combination would probably still taste fantastic, but might be too much effort when running late...

  2. I have to work on Easter Sunday, and I decided we are going to have a potluck at work--I think I'll try these! Thanks for the idea--it's brilliant.


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