The Ghirardelli chocolate makers have worked mightily to make the perfect brownie mix and I have to give them credit. With their box brownies selling for less than $2 at Costco, it’s hard to justify making them from scratch.
But are the prefabs as good as the ones you measure and mix yourself? Some cooks on the Internet say that adding a bit of vanilla to the batter makes the packaged brownie nearly as good as homemade. I agree and in a pinch I go for the package. Having said that . . .
. . . I must admit that my first choice is the recipe on the back of the Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate and Cocoa can. I don’t always have a brownie mix on hand, but I nearly always have the ingredients for making the Ghirardelli recipe. Besides, baking a batch from scratch messes up just one more bowl than the brownie mix and takes about 5 minutes longer to assemble.
The recipe on the can is pitched as an award-winning brownie, though it doesn’t say who gave the award. I suspect the thousands of hoorahs on line would make the brownie recipe a hands down winner in any competition.
I never make brownies without thinking of the story I once heard about movie star Katharine Hepburn, who had a fondness for the chocolaty concoction.
When she was hospitalized following an auto accident a friend brought her a plate of brownies. The highly opinionated and outspoken actress tasted the brownies and exclaimed: “Too much flour! Brownies should be moist, not cakey” and promptly recited her own recipe for what ingredients should be included in a proper brownie.