Seven Fabulous Brownie Desserts from a Mix or a Recipe

Seven Fabulous Brownie Desserts from a Mix or a Recipe

Sep 08, 2023Dennis Weaver

This article arms you with seven fabulous desserts you can make with your brownie mix or recipe.  This article, How to Customize Your Brownies, tells you how to customize your brownies, make them sweeter or more chocolatey so they are the perfect brownies for you and your family.

Here you will find directions for:

  • Swirled Cream Cheese Brownies
  • Cream Cheese Brownies
  • Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies
  • Nutella Brownies with Salted Snack Nuts
  • Brownies in an Ice Cream Cone
  • Brownie Pizza
  • Banana Split Brownies

 

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How many different kinds of brownies are there?

I'm sure there are hundreds, maybe thousands.  And you can always create more. But let's stick with the proven ones.

These have been with us for years. Try the ones that look good to you. Better yet, use these for inspiration.

This story is about creating new brownies out of proven reliables.  These plain brownies are the building blocks.

Uncle Bob's Extra Moist and Chewy Brownies

"Amazing!! These brownies are so amazing they put store-bought to shame. I would recommend 100%." Gina Akins 

Seriously Fudgy Brownies

"Awesome. Super easy and great tasting. Thanks."  Debra Woolstenhulme 

 Here are seven desserts You can make with a brownie mix. 

 

1. Swirled Cream Cheese Brownie Recipe

 

You can add a cream cheese filling to any brownie mix or recipe.  There are two ways to do this: either swirling the cream cheese filling through the brownie batter or putting a cream cheese layer over the brownie batter to make a layered dessert.  We’ll describe both ways. 

This is the swirled cheesecake brownie, a scrumptious marriage of cheesecake and brownie. Because you are starting with a mix and cheesecake filling is simple, this is an easy recipe. It's shown above and to the right.

1 brownie mix
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Dust with flour or line with parchment paper.

  1. Mix the brownie batter according to mix instructions. Set aside.
  2. For the cream cheese filling, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat in. Add the egg yolks and beat until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Pour half of the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Spoon half of the cream cheese filling onto the batter in pools. Pour the rest of the chocolate batter over the cream cheese pools. Spread smooth. Spoon the remaining cream cheese filling in pools over the top of the brownie batter.
  4. Hold a table knife or spatula vertically and cut through the batters just until the two batters are swirled together. Do not over mix.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the brownies test done by sticking a toothpick or knife into the center of the pan. The brownies will be done when moist crumbs cling to the toothpick or knife. Let the brownies cool completely before removing them from the pan.

    Cream Cheese Brownies

    2. Layered Cream Cheese Brownies

    Reference the swirled cream cheese but make twice as much cream cheese filling. Just double the cream cheese portion of the recipe above.

    Instead of swirling the cream cheese through the brownie batter, spoon all of the cream cheese filling on top.

    The result will be a layered, double-decker brownie: chocolate on the bottom and cream cheese on top as seen here.

    Bake it as directed for the brownies But make sure the cream cheese portion is set. A table knife inserted into the cream cheese portion two-inches from the center should come out clean.

    3. Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies

    Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies

    This is different. This is the only recipe in this set that you can't build with a brownie mix. Instead, you're going to build a brownie-like peanut butter cake and then swirl chocolate through it.

    If you like peanut butter and chocolate together, you're going to like this.

    This recipe calls for chocolate syrup. It really doesn’t matter what kind. Commercial syrup works fine but so does homemade. At the bottom of this recipe, you'll find directions for a homemade chocolate syrup.

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup butter
    2/3 cup peanut butter
    1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
    3 large eggs
    2 tablespoons milk
    1/2 tablespoon baking powder
    1 1/4 cup all-purpose or bread flour

    1/2 cup chocolate syrup

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Dust with flour or line with parchment paper.

    1. With your stand-type mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter together until soft and combined. Add the brown sugar and salt. Add the extract.
    2. Beat in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the milk. Add the baking powder and flour and beat until well combined.
    3. Scrape the peanut butter batter into the prepared pan. Spread smooth. Pour the chocolate syrup onto the batter in pools.
    4. Hold a table knife or spatula vertically and cut through the batters just until the two batters are swirled together. Do not over mix.
    5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the brownies test done by sticking a toothpick or knife into the center of the pan. The brownies will be done when moist crumbs cling to the toothpick or knife. Let the brownies cool completely before removing them from the pan.

     

    Better-than-the-Store Chocolate Syrup

    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup cocoa
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup hot water
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions

    1. Mix the granulated sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the water.
    2. Cook, stirring frequently, until it boils. Boil for about one minute stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.
    3. Add the butter. After the butter melts, add the vanilla. Stir until smooth.

    nutella brownies

    4. Nutella Brownies with Salted Snack Nuts

    These are really good brownies—different and sophisticated. We love them.

    Nutella is a sweetened mixture of ground hazelnuts and chocolate usually with dairy or oil added.  It is used as a spread or in baking.

    nutella

    Nutella Brownie Recipe

    Nutella brownies are made with nutella mixed into the batter, swirled through the batter, and placed in dollops on top of the batter.. We have not made it with the nutella mixed into the batter. Swirls within the batter is marvelous.

    To make swirls in the batter, place pools of nutella on top of the batter and just before baking, drag a spatula held vertically through the depth of the batter. Do it just enough to swirl the batter but not enough to mix it. 

    • One brownie mix for a 9×13-inch pan
    • 3/4 cup Nutella
    • 3/4 cup salted snack nuts coarsely chopped

     

    Place little pools of Nutella on top of the batter in the pan.  If desired, create nutella swirls by holding a spatula vertically and slicing through the pockets of Nutella.

    Sprinkle the nuts over the swirled batter. Bake per the recipe instructions.  With the added nutella, baking may take a couple minutes longer.

    Note: For a 9×9-inch pan, use 1/2 cup Nutella and 1/2 cup nuts.

     

    Brownies Baked in an Ice Cream Cone

    5. Brownies in an Ice Cream Cone

    You can buy ice cream with brownie chunks. Or you can pile ice cream on top of a brownie–a brownie sundae. But you probably haven’t thought of baking the brownies inside ice cream cones. One of our readers wrote and asked if the peanut butter brownie cupcake recipe could be baked in an ice cream cone. Very nice idea. So we whipped up a batch. It worked perfectly.

    How to Bake Brownies inside ice cream cones!

    There are brownies inside those ice cream cones! It’s pretty easy to do:

    1. Stand flat-bottomed ice cream cones upright in a muffin pan.
    2. Spoon two to three inches of brownie batter into each ice cream cone.
    3. Bake the brownies in the ice cream cones in the muffin pan.
    4. Spoon ice cream onto the brownies in the cones.

     

    Choose whatever brownies you prefer, use a mix or your favorite recipe. We used a peanut butter brownie recipe for the chocolate ice cream cone you see here. It worked perfectly. We think this would be a great idea for a birthday party or for the kids at the next family reunion. And this is such an easy recipe, you can whip up a batch of cones in no time. The recipe can be doubled.

     

     

    Brownie Pizza

    6. A Brownie Pizza

    If you are going to have a party, make it a brownie pizza party.  It’s going to be fun—brownies and pizza and you can tailor them any way you’d like and to any tastes.

    I’m partial to brownie pizzas with fruit but we have made them without fruit.  For me, it’s simple and casual.  Debbie, my daughter, builds neat works of art.

    They work for a family.  We’ve made them and served them to hundreds of people.  It's that scalable—it works for two or two hundred.

     

    Guidelines for Success

    1. Pick what you want to top your pizzas with. Consider tastes.  If you are using fruit, you need to build them just before serving.  You can’t leave cut fruit at room temperatures for long and fruit tends to bleed if you refrigerate your fruit pizzas.
    2. Pick your brownie or cookie mixes. Our Uncle Bob’s Extra Moist Brownie Mix makes thick brownies and works well in a 14-inch pizza pan.   That’s a 21 ounce mix that calls for eggs.  If you use a smaller batch mix, scale down the pan size.
    3. The brownies are the base for the pizzas. Your pizzas will be no better than your brownies.
    4. Consider baking times. Because the batter is not as deep, they will bake faster than normal.  In a 14-inch dark pizza pan, we’re baking ours in about 15 minutes.
    5. Consider serving size. To serve in the store, we cut our 14-inch pizzas into eighteen slices.  Those are pretty narrow slices and about the equivalent of 2×3-inches.  If you pile a bunch of goodies on top of 2×3-inch brownie piece, that’s a generous serving.
    6. Consider a smaller pan. We’ve used those same mixes and baked each in two nine- or ten-inch pie pans.  The brownies are a little thicker than if baked in a single 14-inch pan.
    7. Consider how you are going to eat them. If the brownies are firm and you don’t pile too much on top, you can pick them up and eat them with your hands.  If not, serve them on a plate with a fork.

     

    Topping Ideas

    For fruit pizzas, sliced strawberries, bananas, and kiwi work well.  Berries work well.  Chocolate in any form works.

    We love Designer Dessert Sauces.  They are perfect for drizzles, just the right consistency, and come in a variety of great intense flavors.  We consider those almost as important as the brownie mix.

    Additional Topping ideas:

    • Chopped nuts.
    • Whipped cream
    • Chocolate whipped cream
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
    • 1/2 cup toffee chips
    • M & M candies
    • Maraschino cherries
    • Gummy Bears
    • Gumdrops
    • Cake decorations
    • Miniature marshmallows
    • Chopped peanuts
    • Chocolate syrup

      Banana Split Brownies

      7. Banana Split Brownies

      Make it a banana split with sliced bananas, ice cream, whipped cream, nuts, and a syrup.

      We recommend French Vanilla Whipped Cream.  French vanilla is the “birthday cake” flavor that we know.  Strawberry whipped cream is another nice choice.

      French Vanilla Whipped Cream

      You can make this with or without the cream cheese.  The cream cheese will help stabilize the whipped cream so that it does not melt as quickly.

       


        1. Place the sugar and cream cheese in the bowl of your stand-type mixer.  Beat until the sugar is creamed through the cream cheese into a soft, consistent mixture.
        2. Add the cream, color, and flavor.  Beat until soft peaks form.

        Notes:  Whipped cream will melt as it sits, especially if not refrigerated. A tablespoon of meringue powder per cup of whipping cream will help it hold up.  Whipped cream can be whipped again to revive it.

         

        Learn more about our brownie mixes:

        These are good, fudgy brownies, all made with premium or gourmet cocoa. Read the reviews.

         

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        Continental Divide Trail

        The Continental Divide Trail begins at the Canadian border and goes to Mexico. Here, it weaves back and forth over the continental divide from Idaho to Montana. There are occasional access points along the way to give hikers a chance to bail out or get supplies.  This one is up Sawmill Canyon on the Montana side. It's a rough hour and a half drive to pavement and then another 50 miles to Dillon, if you want to get to a sizable town. (Image by Merri Ann Weaver)

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