Alright cupcakes, let's lay all our cards on the table. This is a safe place. Circle of trust. (If you happen to be out mother, you might want to stop reading now).
Although 99% (er...90ish) of our baking is from scratch, elbow grease, nose to the grindstone business, there is a time and a place for shortcuts. And by shortcuts we mean boxed baking mixes. (You were warned Mom).
You wanna know an excellent time for boxed baking mixes? Vacation.
Here's why. We're thrifty gals (um, just go with it). And being thrifty gals, baking on vacation in an uber under-supplied beach house rental kitchen would require us spending far more than we'd like to. Or perhaps far more than we can. No but really we couldn't live without those earrings. Or those shoes.
Seriously, stocking up on pans, baking soda, brown sugar, good chocolate - it can really set a gal back.
Enter the boxed brownie. Slapped together with a little bit of creativity and some bananas we bought for our healthy beach vacation breakfasts (er...no comment) we ended up with something rather superb.
These brownies are probably the most deliciously soft and fudgey boxed baked goods we've ever had. And that's coming from a team who have a serious affection for Funfetti.
So if you find yourself in need of a little help, a little shortcut, give these banana brownies a try.
Circle of trust cookies.
Fudgey Banana Brownies
Makes 16 brownies
Adapted from The Cake Doctor
1 box of brownie mix (we used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 8 x 8 square baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, butter, eggs, bananas and nuts if using. Mix until fully incorporated. You do not need to add anything else despite what the box may say (no oil or water).
Bake brownies for 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a cooling rack. Brownies should still be soft in the center.