Thursday, July 24, 2014

Homemade Brownie Mix

As I've browsed freezer cooking recipes and articles over the past few years, I've always run into these make ahead mixes for cookies, pancakes, waffles, brownies and so much more. I'd yet to have tried one, but I like the idea behind it. Eliminate the convenience of simply opening up a boxed mix by pre-measuring the dry ingredients for your desired recipe. Because that's really why we think they are so much easier than baking from scratch, right? You still have to add in eggs, oil, butter and what not.

Normally when I make brownies for example, I have used recipes where you melt chopped chocolate into butter instead of using cocoa powder. So this morning I tinkered around with some recipes and finally came up with a good standard brownie that I could easily adapt to be made ahead. I was really happy with the results and even received thumbs up from the little taste testers.

They come together very quickly with few ingredients. In fact I spent probably about five minutes mixing together the dry ingredients for two batches. I can easily adapt the recipe to include different flavors. I was low on chocolate chips, so in the second batch I threw in butterscotch instead. Peanut butter or mint chocolate would also be fantastic choices. The finished brownies themselves are slightly chewy around the edges yet soft and decadent in the middle.

I will be storing my batches in the freezer just because the flour and other ingredients will stay fresh longer. I'm sure we'll have no problem putting these to use in no time though, in between hungry kids and bake sales for the school.

You can definitely adapt your favorite breakfast and dessert recipes to be made ahead, just mix together the dry ingredients and then add in the wet when ready to prepare. For those of you that might not be keen on freezer cooking, this could be an excellent way to still save you some time in the kitchen. Because in the end that what it's all about; giving you more time to focus on what's really important in life. Family.

Homemade Brownie Mix

1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips {or any other flavor chips you prefer}

additional ingredients needed to prepare brownies:
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, mix together all dry ingredients using a whisk. Label a quart size freezer bag with contents, date and additional ingredients needed to finish brownies. Pour dry ingredients into bag, squeeze excess air out and seal shut.

Store either in the pantry for up to six months or in the freezer for up to one year.

When ready to prepare brownies: dump dry ingredients into a bowl. Using a whisk, mix in eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Mix together just until smooth. Pour into a lightly greased 8x8-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

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