Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Brownies....from Scratch!

                                Since I have significantly more time on my hands than I've had in the past 10 years, I decided to do all those things I've always wanted to do. One of which, was to learn how to make more things from scratch. Shamelessly, the more "complicated" items have always came out of a box. When you work full time, trying to keep up with laundry and the housework, a boxed mix is a tasty time saver.... or so I thought.

I was in Coles (the local grocer), cruising the aisles to see the difference between their products, and the more familiar American ones. I came across their brownie mixes, and at $5 (that's Australian dollars!) and up a box, I decided it was time to learn how to do it myself.

I totally bombed my first attempt. You can view the recipe from  here

Absolutely Best Brownies

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, and mix well. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the vanilla and stir in walnuts if desired. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are firm. Cool before cutting into squares.

It's completely my own fault, but I wasn't paying close enough attention and used the only pan I had on hand. This recipe was intended for an 8x8 or 9x9 pan, and the one I had was 9x13. So of course the brownies were spread too thin, and they burned. They look and tasted like tough chocolaty pancakes.

Luckily Round Two went much better. I searched around until I found a recipe intended for the correct pan size, and I came up with this one. Horrible name, great recipe.

Dump Bars


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt; mix into the egg mixture until just moistened. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in preheated oven, or until brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

The only things I did differently was to sprinkle them with a bit of powdered sugar, and put the chocolate chips in the mix instead of just on top. These were great. Thick, fudgey and very moist. 
It took a couple tries, but success!

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