1 Box Of Brownie Mix, 3 Unexpected Recipes

Photographed by Sarah Anne Ward; Styling by Ali Nardi.
Today officially marks the beginning of National Brownie Month! Let's all gather hands and share a story about the first time we enjoyed a brownie. What's that, you say? You can't remember the first time you had one? Of course you can't! And neither can I! Brownies are the ultimate American dessert, so deeply embedded into our lives, our childhood memories, and our national culinary fabric that it'd be almost wrong (or sad) to remember that first fateful bite. All I know is that I am not a sweets person, but when it comes to brownies, stay away from my plate OR I WILL CUT YOU.

Setting violent tendencies aside, here are three incredibly creative ways you can whip up brownies to celebrate National Brownie Month. Don't forget to share (but don't expect me to).
Photographed by Sarah Anne Ward; Styling by Ali Nardi.
Brownie Dessert Pan Pizza
Serves 4
One (18-ounce) package (approximate size) brownie mix
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup chopped mini candy bars such as Milky Way or Snickers
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp caramel sauce for drizzle
1/4 cup chopped peanuts or almonds
1/2 cup mini pretzels
1. Prepare the brownie mix according to package instructions. Fill four mini cast-iron pans halfway up with batter and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (about 25 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, arrange the coconut in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and toast it, just like you would a piece of bread.

3. Remove the pans of brownies from the oven and let cool. Spread an even layer of cream cheese over the brownies, then scatter with the toasted coconut, which will resemble melted cheese. Arrange the rest of the toppings and drizzle with caramel sauce.

4. The options for different toppings are endless. Have fun experimenting with various combinations, or set up a topping bar and let everyone pick their own.
Photographed by Sarah Anne Ward; Styling by Ali Nardi.
Mini Brownie Stack Cakes
Serves 4

One 18-ounce package (approximate size) brownie mix
Cooking spray
2 cups mixed fresh berries
1 cup whipped cream
1. You will need four mini springform pans to make the stack cakes.

2. Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.

3. Grease each springform pan with cooking spray, then fill almost to the top with batter.

4. Bake according to the package instructions. Let cool completely.

5. Unhinge the pans, then push up from the bottom to unmold. Cut each brownie in half horizontally.

6. Spoon about a tablespoon of whipped cream and berries onto the bottom half of each brownie, then gently lay the top half of the brownie over them.

7. Heap whipped cream and berries on top. Serve immediately.
Photographed by Sarah Anne Ward; Styling by Ali Nardi.
Waffle-Iron Brownies
Serves 4
One 18-ounce package (approximate size) brownie mix, batter prepared according to directions
1 additional egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp melted butter, for brushing
Sprinkles, for garnish
Whipped cream, for garnish
1. Preheat waffle iron and brush with melted butter using a pastry brush. Stir the egg into the prepared brownie batter.

2. Place between 2 tablespoons and 1/4 cup brownie batter into the waffle iron. The amount of batter needed and cooking time will vary, so check the waffle maker’s instructions. Belgian waffle makers will use more batter than the smaller square models.

3. Garnish with sprinkles and whipped cream and serve immediately.

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