I have a secret. My go-to dessert, when pressed for time, is boxed brownie mix. That in it of itself is no big deal--plenty of people turn to the box, and we've even taste-tested a few of the major brands over the years. But every time I make brownies from a box, men, women, and children start drooling and clawing at the pan like deranged chocolate zombies. Why?

Because I use twice the mix. In one pan. Yes, that's right: I double the recipe of my favorite mix, Ghirardelli Double Chocolate,* and pour the entire contents of the batter bowl into one baking pan, resulting in doubly thick, doubly moist, quadrupally chocolatey brownies in exactly the same amount of time. That is correct: I do not adjust bake time on a double recipe--I find the tall, gooey brownie that results quite enjoyable, as does seemingly everyone else who encounters them.

So that's my ridiculously, almost embarrassingly simple secret. Anyone else have a favorite boxed mix trick?

*Ghirardelli Ultimate Fudge brownies didn't fare well in our taste-test, but I stand by the Double Chocolate variety, which is studded with mini chocolate chips that melt into delicious goo pockets while the brownies bake.

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About the author: Jamie Feldmar is a noodle aficionado, barbecue lover, and the managing editor of Serious Eats. You can follow her on Twitter at @jfeldmar.


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