Pros: Easy to prepare, yummy fudge-like taste, inexpensive.
Cons: It's chocolate, silly!! So of course there are no cons :-)
Mmmm! For chocolate lovers everywhere, it's hard to beat biting into a warm, chewy brownie that just came out of the oven. My mouth is watering already just thinking about it! I suppose there are still people out there that have the time to cook such things from scratch, but I'm all for pre-packaged cake and brownie mixes as they allow me to make tasty treats for my family with little fuss. So for many years, I've been purchasing this Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix for times when I'm craving a gooey, chocolate filled dessert. The brownies are easy to prepare and the mix is very affordable, especially when purchased on sale and with coupons. Read on to find out more about a staple food item I regularly keep stocked in my cupboards for when that sweet tooth eventually wins out! Diabetics and those following a strict diet may wish to skip the mouth watering review that follows.
~~~The Family Style Brownie Mix~~~
This Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix is one of my family's most favorite dessert items. I personally don't like buying such things at a bakery as not only is it more expensive, but the taste just isn't as fresh or good when compared to preparing baked items at home. Each 21 ounce package makes about 20 brownies according to the box, depending on how big you like to cut them. But we like large portions, so I'll prepare our brownies in a square pan and cut the dessert into 3 rows of 3, equalling 9 total. There are two ways to prepare these yummy brownies to make them either "fudgy" or "cake-like". We prefer the "fudgy" brownies, which require adding only 2 eggs instead of the 3 needed for the "cake-like" ones. Then all that's needed to complete the recipe is to add is 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup vegetable oil to the dry mix and stir until well blended. Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for the specified amount of time, depending on the size pan you use, and perfect, chewy brownies are just minutes away. Sure, they are packed full of sugar and fat, but then most yummy desserts are. But eaten in moderation, this Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix makes a yummy, chocolate flavored the whole family won't be able to resist. Eat them plain, add nuts (no thank you!), or even top with vanilla ice cream to add taste, texture, and/or variety to this sinfully delicious dessert.
~~~Price & Preparation~~~
I usually stock up at my local grocery store when this Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix goes on sale for .99 cents a box. Sometimes I'll also find valuable coupons in my Sunday newspaper so the cost is really cheap, even when you add in the minimal price of 2 eggs and the 1/2 cup of vegetable oil also needed (of course the tap water is free!). There are other varieties of this brownie mix available, but this one is the flavor I buy most often. In a medium-sized large bowl, I add the dry mix in first and then the other three ingredients before stirring well with a large spoon. The mix is rather thick, so your wrist will get a good workout! I use an 8 X 8 inch glass pan sprayed with cooking spray for baking them as we prefer our brownies thick and gooey. Cooking time is anywhere from 27 to 45 minutes, depending on what size pan is used. I usually cook ours around 35-40 minutes and then let them cool in the pan before cutting. Once my family smells them cooking, they are practically lined up waiting and ready when the brownies come out of the oven! So to please the chocolate lovers in my house, all it takes is a box of this Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix and they are happy. And on the rare occasion they aren't all gone soon after baking, zap one in the microwave for a few seconds a day or two later for that same, fresh straight-from-the-oven taste.
Of course this Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix is far from being low-fat or even very nutritious, but then again it doesn't claim to be. When baked according to the directions, each serving contains 180 calories, 80 of which are from fat. There's very little fiber and/or protein but instead each brownie has 24 grams of carbs (sugar). The mix does contain wheat and is made in a facility that also processes peanuts, so those with food allergies will want to steer clear. There is an alternative lower fat recipe printed on the box for those interested, but I'd rather have the real thing in moderation myself :-) For those interested in the nitty-gritty detailed ingredients listing for this Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix, they are as follows:
Sugar, Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour Enriched with Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Malted Barley Flour, Cocoa Powder, Processed with Alkali, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Wheat Starch, Contains 2% or less of Dextrose, Salt, Cornstarch, Artificial Flavor, Carrageenan, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate)
~~~Sharing a Brownie Story~~~
When I used to work the 11am till 11pm shift at the hospital, this Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix won me lots of "brownie" points with my co-workers. (Ah! I just couldn't resist.) I worked every other Sunday, so as I was coming in, the day shift would be getting ready for lunch. They often brought in cooked dishes since the cafeteria is closed on the weekends (one of the "perks" of working in a small hospital). So to add to their Sunday dinners, I started bringing in my famous chewy brownies and my co-workers were instantly hooked! Soon enough, I started joking around that I'd better not show my face at work on Sunday's without my brownies (well, I was actually only half-kidding!). There were never any left-overs and everyone complimented me on how good they were and wanted the recipe. Little did they know that my coveted dessert came straight out of a box! (Nurses love food if you don't know that already. Leave money on the breakroom table and no one will touch it for days. Leave food on the table, however, and chances are, it will be gone when you get back to it!) After many months, I finally told my co-workers about my secret brownies and that this Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix deserved all the credit. I'm just good at following the directions! I always made two boxes as I'd have to leave some at home for my family as they were not pleased when they'd smell the brownies cooking and not be allowed to eat any of them. So baking two boxes instead of just one was the solution that made everyone happy.
While we all know it would be far from healthy to consume lots of yummy brownies made from this Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix on a regular basis, I see little harm with indulging in moderation as depriving oneself of yummy, chocolate treats from time to time would be very tragic in my opinion. Variety is the spice of life, or so they say, and special desserts like this one are made to be savored and enjoyed. For me, I'll just work out a little harder on my next treadmill workout after eating a brownie (or two!) to help burn the extra calories. I often find splurging on a great dessert to be so worth it but others may not. In conclusion, you just can't beat the convenience, price, and ease of preparation as a fresh plateful of yummy brownies are only minutes away when baked using this Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix. Good luck and happy eating :-)
Pinnacle Foods Corporation
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002-4112 USA
***This review is part of the Food for Food Write Off hosted by cmaw63.