The Best Pantry Mix-Ins To Give Box Brownies A Salty Kick

At the end of a long work week, most dessert lovers are too tired to take on a recipe for homemade brownies. According to the classic recipe shared by Food Network, to make this fudgy homemade treat, you need to have a significant amount of butter, eggs, chocolate, sugar, flour, and a small amount of salt. Having all of those ingredients on hand without proper planning is risky at best. However, if you have a convenient brownie mix tucked in your pantry, you only need a few additional ingredients. 

Even though U.S. History Scene highlights the first American brownie in the late 19th century via The Palmer House in Chicago, following World War II, Americans relied more and more on canned, frozen, and shelf-stable products, making room for brownie mixes in the mid-1900s. U.S. History Scene describes how major companies like Pillsbury and Duncan Hines showcased the reliability and convenience of their mixes without compromising taste or texture.

Americans seem convinced since Statista notes in 2020 alone, 166.8 million people used boxed brownie mixes. Whether you opt for one of Food Network's brownie mix recommendations or choose your own favorite variety, adding a salty component may be a tasty way to elevate these convenient treats.

How to elevate your boxed brownies with salt

You might not be too surprised to discover that salt may be the ingredient you need to elevate your next batch of boxed brownies. According to The Chocolate Journalist, adding salt to chocolate not only enhances the flavor of cacao but (depending on how it's used) may add a textural element to any chocolate-based confection. You may be even more intrigued to find there's actual science to the symbiotic relationship between sugar and salt. Science claims one of our taste receptors can only detect sweet flavors in the presence of salt. Now that you have multiple reasons to be convinced, what's the best way to add salt to your next brownie mix?

You can simply sprinkle flaky sea salt on your brownies once they're done cooking as suggested in the Times Cooking recipe for olive oil brownies with sea salt. If you're still not sure salt is the addition your brownies need, there are other tasty mix-ins worth trying.

Tasty ways to enhance your next brownie mix

Even if you're not a fan of salt and chocolate together, you can still transform your next batch of boxed brownies into one of seven dreamy chocolate dessert recipes with a few simple adjustments. Sugary Logic claims there are a few easy swaps you can make when preparing your boxed brownie mix that can change the end result into convection that tastes homemade. For example, by using butter instead of the suggested oil and swapping coffee for water, you can give any boxed brownie brand a taste makeover.

Apart from adding a splash of vanilla extract to the brownie batter, if you're still hoping to add some fun, additional ingredients, The Pioneer Woman offers the brilliant idea of adding a favorite topping to your baked brownies with homemade frosting, or even rainbow sprinkles. The popular chef also recommends adding a swirl of fruit jam or nut butter to the top of the batter before baking for a fun and exciting twist. Food Network gives you even more ways of experimenting by suggesting the inclusion of candy bars or marshmallows and nuts. In the end, The Pioneer Woman advises the key to producing perfectly moist and tasty boxed brownies comes down to a solid reputable brownie mix, accurate cook time, and the hard task of making sure your brownies cool properly before you dig in and enjoy.