Yummiest brownies ever

Fast and fabulous, these brownies offer a big payoff for little work.

They start with a box mix, and candy bars and other add-ins punch up the flavor.

If you're a fan of "The Cake Mix Doctor," you know the premise. Take one ho-hum prepared mix, toss in a few carefully chosen flavor enhancers, and pull a spectacular dessert out of the oven.

I tried this recipe with two mixes: A Duncan Hines Family Style fudge brownie mix for a 9-by-13 pan, prepared for fudgy rather than cakey brownies, and a Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate with chocolate chips. I preferred the Duncan Hines version because the larger mix size made it easier to get the thickness I wanted. (I baked the brownies in an 8-by-8 pan so they'd be thick enough to sandwich a candy bar. If you're making a lot of brownies, just buy two mixes and prepare in a 9-by-12 pan.)

If you choose another mix, make sure it doesn't already have add-ins. The chips in the Ghirardelli mix made the brownies more moist and fudgy than I like once the Heath Bars were added. Everyone else who tried them didn't seem to mind.

Do you have a favorite way to improve a boxed brownie mix? Share it with other LizCooks.com readers in the commenting section.

Heath Bar Brownies
1 box brownie mix for a 9-by-13 pan
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
Heath Bar miniatures
Toffee chips (such as Heath Bits 'O Brickle)

Grease an 8-by-8 or 9-by-9 baking pan and preheat the oven based on brownie mix directions. Prepare mix according to package directions. Stir in espresso powder.

Pour half of mix into prepared pan. Place candy bars on the surface of the mix, spacing evenly. Pour remaining mix into pan, covering candy bars.

Bake according to package directions (usually about 45 minutes). About 10 minutes before baking is scheduled to end, remove pan from oven and sprinkle brownies with toffee chips. Return to oven and finish baking.

Brownies are done when they pull slightly away from the edge of the pan, or when a toothpick inserted within one inch of the edge of the pan comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.

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