Candy Jar Brownies: Spring Cleaning, During Summer

This year, I’ll be honest, I got to spring cleaning kind of late. Late, as in, I waited until the beginning of Summer to do it. What’s worse is that from the beginning of the year, until now, I’ve watched my cabinets slowly turn into monsters. Little by little, bags of M&Ms, chocolate chips, cereal, etc., all filled with like a half cup worth of ingredients, took over my storage space, making it hard to find the important things in life…like the flour. Well, friends, enough is enough. I’m taking back my cabinets, even if I am a bit behind the eight ball. Luckily for us, there’s a way to do this in style. A way that will make you look like you planned to make the most delicious dessert ever, even if it was really just made on a whim. Introducing,  Candy Jar Brownies.

There are so many reasons why these brownies kick ass. First, as you’ll see in a moment, they’re super customizable. In fact, they’re just like The Kitchen Sink cookie we made a few months ago. Literally anything you throw in them, will make them taste amazing. Second, these things are SUPER fudgy. Like, get your glass of milk now, kind of fudgy. Even better though, is how simple they are to whip up. One bowl people. One. Bowl. Let’s get started!

First, we’ll start with melting together the butter and chocolate. You’ll notice that this recipe calls for a pretty hefty amount of fat. This is one of the key components that contributes to the texture. Essentially, in baking brownies, a higher ratio of fat to flour makes for a denser product, which as far as I’m concerned is the whole point of making a brownie. 

Once those two ingredients have been melted together, you’ll add your sugar, vanilla, and eggs. You’ll want to make sure here that your butter mixture has had a chance to cool a bit so as not to scramble your eggs. (Cooked eggs are probably the one mix-in that would NOT compliment the brownie.)

Here is where it continues to get easier. To your wet mixture, you’ll add your flour, cocoa, and salt. No sifting, no mixing separately first, no additional bowls to clean. Just add and mix. Mix well though, because this batter will be quite thick and lumps of cocoa could be easy to miss. 

Let’s get to the reason why we’re all here: the candy. Personally, I went with what I had: chocolate chips, M&Ms, peanut butter cups, and caramel bits. You could go with whatever makes your heart happy. Think of the possibilities! Just off the top of my head I can imagine a sweet and salty version (chocolate chips, caramel, and pretzels), a cookies and cream version (a variety of crushed cookies mixed in) a mint chocolate version, and too many more to list. My point here…go wild. Whatever you choose to use, you should aim to add about a cup and a half of the good stuff before baking.

To bake, you’ll want to prepare your pan in advance with parchment paper and cooking spray. Personally, I was looking for thicker brownies, so I went with splitting the batter between two loaf pans. This recipe also cooks well in a 9×13 pan. You’ll bake these at 350 for about 30 minutes. While mine took longer (about 35 minutes), it’s important to start checking every few minutes at this point. You’ll want your toothpick to come of the brownies with a few crumbs. If, instead, it’s covered with batter, you have a bit longer to go. If it’s completely dry, you may be a minute or two beyond ideal cooking time.

Once baked, these guys can be eaten out of the pan (like they might have been in my kitchen), or cut and stored for about a week. But, let’s be honest, who would let perfectly good brownies sit around for that long?

Next week, we’re celebrating peanut butter, for no other reason than the fact that it’s probably one of those most essential foods to exist. Ever.

Until then, stay tuned and stay hungry!

Erin  

Candy Jar Brownies
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Ingredients
  1. ¾ cup butter
  2. 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, roughly chopped
  3. 2 cups granulated sugar
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  7. 1 cup flour
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 ½ cups mix ins (for these brownies: equal parts chocolate chips, crushed peanut butter cups, caramel bits, and M&Ms)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt together chocolate and butter, mixing intermittently until smooth and combined. Let cool slightly.
  3. Stir in eggs, vanilla, and sugar, until streaks of egg disappear and batter is uniform.
  4. Fold in flour, cocoa, and salt. Once combined, add extra ingredients.
  5. Line 9x13 pan with parchment paper (for easy removal) and spray with cooking spray. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, checking every 2-3 minutes afterwards to test for doneness.
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