This post has been compensated by Acorn Influence and Sam’s Club. All opinions are mine alone.
When it comes to holiday baking, I am a huge enthusiast. I have dreams of being Betty Crocker, satisfying the masses with my amazing confections and having to turn away producers who want to give me my own holiday cooking show. But the truth is that whenever I throw on my frilly little red apron and roll up my sleeves to get it done, it’s because I’ve waited until the last minute to gitterdone.
The truth is, in the great scheme of things, I’m what they call a “Last-Minute Merry Maker.” I either don’t have the time, or I procrastinate too long to actually put my plans in action. So I’m always left scurrying around trying to prepare an amazing recipe that will impress with very little time to do it!
But suffice it to say that I always come through. I have a whole arsenal of recipes at my disposal using simple General Mills baking mixes you can buy at Sam’s Club. Perhaps my favorite of all is this recipe for Garbage Brownies, which is the epitome of Last-Minute Merrymaking, in that it can be done SUPER fast, with very little effort and using ingredients you will scrounge from your pantry.
Bear in mind that you can use any ingredients that you fancy. I’m going to include what I used, but only the first four ingredients are mandatory.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Betty Crocker Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Mix (2 pouches)
2/3 C brewed coffee
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 C salted potato chips (crushed)
1/2 C pretzel sticks (broken)
1/2 C honey roasted cashews (chopped)
3/4 C chocolate chip cookies (chopped)
1/2 C chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels (chopped)
1/2 C chocolate and marshmallow pretzels (chopped)
3/4 C mini peanut butter cups (roughly chopped)
To begin, chop up all of your “garbage” ingredients. I literally used a bunch of opened snacks my kids and husband hadn’t finished. I like using a mixture of salty and sweet ingredients, and I find it best when using stuff that is naturally crunchy or even stale. The baking mix has Hershey’s chocolate chunks AND chocolate chips in it, so there’s no real need to add more of them, but if that’s your thing, go for it!
Start by making the brownie batter. Use two pouches of the mix (the box has four pouches), four eggs, 1/2 C vegetable oil and the morning’s leftover coffee. Coffee has the beautiful effect of making chocolate things even MORE chocolate-y without making them taste of actual coffee. You can use water if you prefer, but I highly recommend trying it with the coffee in it!
You can use an electric mixer to combine it all together, but I nearly always use a whisk so as not to break up the chocolate chunks too much.
Once you have a nice batter (I add twice the amount of liquid as suggested for more moist brownies – it helps so all the add-ins don’t make it too thick), start adding in some of your so-called “garbage.”
You can stir gently as you go. You want to make sure the ingredients are combined but not made too small. Big chunks are where it’s at.
Note: I did NOT add the mini peanut butter cups – they’re for later!
When you’re satisfied, turn out the mixture onto a greased 13″ x 9″ pan, spreading it out as you go.
Bake at 325 degrees for 47 minutes. Try not to overcook. Remove from the oven and check that they’re done by inserting a toothpick or a knife into the center and seeing if it comes out clean. Personally, I enjoy them when they’re a bit gooey, but you do want to be careful that they aren’t actually raw (been there!).
Once you’ve removed it from the oven, gently lay out your mini peanut butter cups on top. Just drop them around in an even layer. Feel free to press them in a bit. I like to let them melt just a bit and then use a knife or offset spatula to spread the chocolate and peanut butter around like a sort of frosting.
Then just sit back and let them cool. You can’t really get easier than that, can you? I think it took me about five minutes to pick out my add-ins and get them chopped. The actual combining of ingredients took another 2 minutes, and then the baking and topping was about 50 minutes. All in all, it was less than an hour! Amazing, right?
You can cut the brownies large or small. This recipe can make 40 small ones, but I tend to cut them slightly bigger and make around 25 – 30. They are SO moist and delicious. Take them to a holiday party and I promise people will ask you for the recipe. It’s so fun to see their faces when you tell them there are potato chips in it!
If you want to give this a try, head on over to Sam’s Club and pick yourself up a box of Betty Crocker Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Mix. Be sure to check out more amazing recipes that will wow your friends and family! Got any thoughts or suggestions on other great treats to make last minute? Leave a comment below!