Mixed Review

We bake from the box.

Mixed Review: Betty Crocker Cookie Brownie Supreme Bars

Ever wonder about a mix you've seen in the store? Is it any good? Could it replace something you'd otherwise make from scratch? Welcome to Mixed Review, where the whole point is putting mixes to the test! —The Mgmt.

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[Photos: Lucy Baker]

Ever wonder about a mix you've seen in the store? Is it any good? Could it replace something you'd otherwise make from scratch? Welcome to Mixed Review, where the whole point is putting mixes to the test! —The Mgmt.

Sometimes I just can't decide if I want a rich, fudgy brownie or a buttery chocolate chip cookie. So why not combine the two in one? This week I tried out Betty Crocker's Cookie Brownie Mix, and for a mere $2.50, baked up a batch of gooey brownies topped with a layer of moist, tender chocolate chip cookie dough.

Betty Crocker mixes are usually dead simple to prepare. Because this one involves two separate batters, it's slightly more difficult. The brownie mix requires a couple of tablespoons of water, 1/2 a stick of melted butter, and an egg.

20110319-142681-betty-crocker-brownie-cookies-3.jpgFor the cookie mix, you need one tablespoon of water and 1/2 stick of softened butter. (I left a whole stick of butter on the counter until it came to room temperature, then melted half of it.) Then I spread the brownie batter in a pan and dropped teaspoons of cookie dough on top.

At first I tried to leave space between the cookie clumps, letting the brownie batter peek through, but there was so much of it I gave up. By the time I added all the cookie dough to the pan, the brownie layer was completely covered.

While the package says you can bake the brownie-cookies in several different sized pans, I would suggest sticking with an 8x8-inch square. Anything larger and your bars will be too thin. After 50 minutes in the oven, mine came out thick and fragrant, with a craggy, golden-brown cookie top dotted with melting chocolate chips.

What I found most irresistible about these bars was the cookie layer. It was buttery, soft, and loaded with chocolate chips. Biting into it was like biting into the very center of a slightly under-baked chocolate chip cookie. Heaven. What I didn't love so much was the brownie layer, which was a little bit over-baked compared to the cookie layer. The chocolate flavor was bold but vaguely off; I wondered if the cocoa powder in the mix was of low quality, or perhaps a bit past its prime.

Despite my reservations, I think this mix would be a huge hit with kids. It is messy, delicious fun to drop the gobs of cookie dough into the pan, and the results (a cookie and a brownie in one!) are sure to please little palates.

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