Boxed mix brownies are pretty much flawless. Not only can you get a whole batch for less than five bucks (the price of a single fancy bakery brownie), but they consistently bake up with perfectly shiny crusts, chewy edges, and fudgey centres.
Just as there are "process" killers and "product" killers, I like to think that there are process bakers and product bakers. Process people take comfort and joy in the execution of their favourite hobby, whereas product people are in it for the result. Like Jeffrey Dahmer, I’m a product person, but our goals are very different. Dahmer wanted a comatose sex slave; I just want some brownies.
You can, however, give them an extra nudge towards the gourmet with two simple tweaks: swap out plain vegetable oil for nutty pistachio, and replace boring water with deep, dark coffee. Both ingredients amplify the chocolate while obscuring the flavour of chemical leavening agents, for bakery-quality squares of perfection.
If that's not enough, check out some chef-certified tips below.
Boxed brownies don't need a ton of improvement, but they can be made even better (and fancier) with a few choice extras. Because they want us to be happy, Bon Appetit has rounded up a whole slew of delicious ways to jazz up the chocolaty mix, and they're all chef-approved.