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Old 02-16-2012, 11:28 AM   #1
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Default Herf Brownies

I've been meaning to post this for some time now because I get asked all the time about the brownies I often bring to herfs. I kind of laugh, tell the recipe and explain that I'm not really doing anything special, they are out of a box, just modified a bit and I really doubt that I'm the first person to do this.


Besides a "family sized" box of good brownie mix like Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker, the dark chocolate tends to work best, you will need:

  • a handful of fresh chopped walnuts
  • a handful of chocolate chips (a chopped up hershey bar works even better)
  • a handful of dried fruit - apricots, pineapple or cranberries seem to work well.
    OR
    a bag of all fruit trail mix, sometimes called "tropical trail mix" - pick the bag with the least amount of raisins (because they are boring).
  • about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of real vanilla extract
  • strong espresso OR a small can of evaporated whole milk


Directions:


  1. Pre-heat oven per directions on box.
  2. Dump the brownie mix into a big bowl
  3. Add number of eggs as directed on package
  4. substitute the volume of water as called for on the package with either espresso or the evaporated milk - your choice, depends on what type of brownie you want, one with a hint of coffee or more of a smooth mellow chocolate.
  5. If you used espresso in step 3, use 2/3 the listed amount of oil. If you used evaporated milk, use 1/2 the listed amount. If you use grapeseed or safflower oil, keep it on the scant side or you'll end up with greaseballs - but if you're using those oils, you probably know that already.
  6. Add the vanilla extract along with the nuts, extra chocolate and fruit.
  7. Mix and bake according to the box directions. I recommend using a 13x9 pan, the smaller pans cause the brownies to be too thick and they don't cook right because of all the extra ingredients.
  8. Lick the bowl and mixing spoon.
Note regarding the pan, because of the dried fruit and reduced oil, these can stick rather easily, I found that even in my Wilton non-stick pans, an oil coat isn't enough, I have to use a heavy coat of the floured baking spray. Baking parchment would probably work too.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Brownies with chance to use Espresso or some Eagle Brand instead of milk?!

I am sold!
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Adam, you're from Cali, aren't you missing an ingredient?
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Isn't Eagle Brand a sweetened condensed milk?

I never tried it with sweetened condensed, I don't think it would have enough moisture to wet the dry ingredients fully. This stuff already spreads like cold peanut butter in the pan due to the extra ingredients and reduced oil, I think it might be impossible to spread out with sweetened condensed.

Maybe a mix of sweetened condensed and espresso would work, but I'd have to think about what the proportions should be.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subvet642 View Post
Adam, you're from Cali, aren't you missing an ingredient?
Cheese from happy cows?
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Quote:
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Cheese from happy cows?
Just what makes them so happy?
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

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Just what makes them so happy?
That they're not freezing their udders off in Wisconsin.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.G View Post
Isn't Eagle Brand a sweetened condensed milk?

I never tried it with sweetened condensed, I don't think it would have enough moisture to wet the dry ingredients fully. This stuff already spreads like cold peanut butter in the pan due to the extra ingredients and reduced oil, I think it might be impossible to spread out with sweetened condensed.

Maybe a mix of sweetened condensed and espresso would work, but I'd have to think about what the proportions should be.
You are right, I misread your recipe. I really do want to try these especially with the espresso.

I was going to comment that these doctored brownies seem far more tasty than the ones my roomates used to make, but theirs always left you wanting more...
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

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Originally Posted by T.G View Post
That they're not freezing their udders off in Wisconsin.
Of course!
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Quote:
Originally Posted by awsmith4 View Post
You are right, I misread your recipe. I really do want to try these especially with the espresso.

I was going to comment that these doctored brownies seem far more tasty than the ones my roomates used to make, but theirs always left you wanting more...
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Quote:
Originally Posted by awsmith4 View Post
You are right, I misread your recipe. I really do want to try these especially with the espresso.

I was going to comment that these doctored brownies seem far more tasty than the ones my roomates used to make, but theirs always left you wanting more...
The confusion between sweetened condensed and evaporated milk happens a lot actually. I've even done it a few times by accident when reciting the recipe.

Regarding the espresso, it comes out as a subtle flavor in the brownie. If you want it to be more pronounced, you can add a tablespoon or two of instant coffee to the mix.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:15 AM   #12
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

I want to thank Albert for the accidental mention of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk the other day, because of that I started thinking about how to make it work and here's what I came up with, and I think it's an improvement over how this recipe started out.

  1. Start with a "family sized" or "makes a 13x9 tray" box of dark chocolate brownies - Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker (Pilsbury if you must).
  2. Add a 5-6 oz bag of tropical trail mix
  3. Add a handful of chocolate chips or a chopped up candy bar, or even M&Ms (note, the shells will melt and give some interesting mold-looking color patterns on the underside of the brownies)
  4. Add 4-5 oz of chopped walnuts
  5. Substitute strong espresso or coffee with an additional 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) of dark roast instant coffee mixed in (I use Nescafe Classico) for the water.
  6. Use one half the amount of oil as called for on the box.
  7. Add a volume of sweetened condensed milk equal to the amount of oil added in step 6.
  8. Add eggs as directed on the box (you can short the eggs a bit or use smaller eggs to get a denser brownie)
  9. Cook as directed on the box.
Chocolate, more chocolate, sugar and caffeine. What's not to love?


Thanks again for the idea, Albert!
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.G View Post
I want to thank Albert for the accidental mention of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk the other day, because of that I started thinking about how to make it work and here's what I came up with, and I think it's an improvement over how this recipe started out.

  1. Start with a "family sized" or "makes a 13x9 tray" box of dark chocolate brownies - Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker (Pilsbury if you must).
  2. Add a 5-6 oz bag of tropical trail mix
  3. Add a handful of chocolate chips or a chopped up candy bar, or even M&Ms (note, the shells will melt and give some interesting mold-looking color patterns on the underside of the brownies)
  4. Add 4-5 oz of chopped walnuts
  5. Substitute strong espresso or coffee with an additional 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) of dark roast instant coffee mixed in (I use Nescafe Classico) for the water.
  6. Use one half the amount of oil as called for on the box.
  7. Add a volume of sweetened condensed milk equal to the amount of oil added in step 6.
  8. Add eggs as directed on the box (you can short the eggs a bit or use smaller eggs to get a denser brownie)
  9. Cook as directed on the box.
Chocolate, more chocolate, sugar and caffeine. What's not to love?


Thanks again for the idea, Albert!
Going to have to give this a try T.G!
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Glad my slip up turned into a success...wish that happened more often
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

I love a good brownie.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Saw "herf" brownies, thought I'd poke my head in and see what it was about
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:17 PM   #17
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

fruit in brownies?
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:52 AM   #18
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Default Re: Herf Brownies

Adam, if these were the ones that were at the Barn Herf this weekend, they were killer!
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:35 PM   #19
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Adam, if these were the ones that were at the Barn Herf this weekend, they were killer!
Thanks Brent! Yes, they were the recipe from post #12 w/ a bit more instant coffee added and no walnuts (because I forgot to put them in).
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