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There are so many times, especially during the school year, when we must take desserts to functions or events. Time is often scarce after long days of school. However, I never want to bring a dessert that doesn’t look like I took the time to care by baking it well. Enter… gourmet brownies in a box!

A few years ago, I was teaching middle school. One of the 7th-grade teachers, Ms. Ferrara, made the best strawberry cakes and brownies. I asked her for the recipe to both, and she happily shared them with me. Ms. Ferrara’s brownies were phenomenal. Before receiving the recipe, I would have thought there was a complicated recipe that took hours to make. I was shocked and completely wrong to find out that these brownies were made from a box and a little help.

The help comes from a Hershey Symphony Bar, the one with almonds and toffee chips. I use the extra-large Symphony bar, which I would usually classify as a “movie candy bar.”

As far as brownie mixes, Ms. Ferrara used a specific kind of brownies and I only deviate within the specific brownie line. She used the Duncan Hines Decadent Line, and specifically the Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix. When I can’t find the Triple Chocolate, I will use the decadent line’s Double Fudge Brownie Mix instead.

I use two boxes of brownie mix for the recipe. When doubling the recipe, pour both boxes of brownie mix into the bowl, and then two times the added ingredients.

Gourmet Brownies from a Box

Today, I am using the Double Fudge mix because the grocer was out of the Triple Chocolate mix.

2 boxes of Duncan Hines Decadent Double Fudge Brownie Mix

3- XL Hershey’s Symphony with Almonds and Toffee Bits

3 eggs (I like a mix between fudgy and cake-like brownie for this recipe)

6 tablespoons of water

2/3 cup of oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I like to use a dark metal pan. I always spray cake and brownie pans with Baker’s Joy (Check it out on Amazon). Baker’s Joy contains flour, so it is a cross of traditionally flouring a pan and using Pam Cooking Spray.

Combine the brownie mix, eggs, water, and oil.

Mix well.

Pour half of your mixture into the pan.

Open the Candy Bars and lay them across the brownie mix.

Pour the other half of the brownie mix over the candy bars. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes.

One tip I learned in cooking class is that baking times are always suggestions. Ovens vary in heat regardless of what temperature you set your oven. My oven runs a little hotter, so it bakes foods faster. I always check my brownies at 28 minutes and see how they look.

Typically, I will insert a toothpick or fork in the middle of the brownies to see if they are thoroughly cooked. However, when using the candy bars, the chocolate will be melted so this trick doesn’t work. Just look for the brownie edges to separate from the pan and that there is no jiggle in the middle of the brownies, which indicates that the mix hasn’t fully cooked.

I like fudgy brownies and one too many times I have made the mistake of taking the brownies out of the oven too soon because that is my preference. However, when using the candy bars, you want to cook them completely and then let the brownies cool to get the perfect taste of the Symphony.

After cooling, cut into squares or do like our family and eat them right out of the pan!

These brownies are delicious and taste like they should be sold for $8.00 in a brownie boutique in New York City. If you are ever in a pinch for time, or just want a delicious brownie, definitely give them a try. I hope you love these brownies as much as we do. They are sure to bring a symphony of gourmet delight to your taste buds!

Bon Appetit!!!

Do you have a dessert hack that gives a gourmet taste? We would love to hear from you. Please drop us a line in the comment section below!

Interested in more simple and delicious desserts? Check out Coconut Snowball Dip and the Best Pound Cake Ever!


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