Happy Endings

Technology is a wonderful thing. It allows us to stay cool in the middle of summer, travel thousands of miles in mere hours and make a pan of brownies with only a few minutes of effort. Box mixes allow us to make everything from muffins to cookies without much fuss ... but sometimes you want something special. Does that mean you have to start from scratch? Not necessarily.

This month, I'm offering a few recipes that start with a package of brownie mix and end with a specialized dessert that's sure to please. Whether it's the addition of specialty liquor or flavored chocolate chips, these recipes still maintain the ease of a boxed mix and give you a result that you can be proud of. Enjoy them and take the time you've saved to kick back and relax on the porch with a tall glass of lemonade!

Dried Cherry Brownies

  • 1 c. dried cherries
  • Cherry schnapps
  • 1 (10.25 oz.) pkg. fudge brownie mix
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Place the dried cherries in a small bowl and add enough schnapps to just cover them. Microwave in 30 second intervals until the cherries have absorbed most of the liquid.

In a medium bowl, combine the cherries and liquid, brownie mix, oil and egg. Beat until a lumpy batter forms. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center of the pan comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

  • Yields: 9 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Mint-Chip Brownies

  • 1 (10.25 oz.) pkg. fudge brownie mix
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 2 T. creme de menthe
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. mint chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until a lumpy batter is formed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center of the pan comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

  • Yields: 9 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

  • 1 (19.5 oz.) pkg. fudge brownie mix
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, oil and eggs. Stir well. Add the chocolate chunks and mix to combine.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls two inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and the centers are still soft. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Yields: 4 dozen cookies
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

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