It is well documented that I am not above using a boxed baking mix, particularly those of the chocolate variety. But just because something doesn’t require any culinary creativity, that doesn’t mean you can’t play around with tweaks. After I posted this ode to boxed mix brownies—which are without flaw—one very nice Twitter friend suggested mixing coffee rather than water into the mix to make the batter. (Beyond brownies, this would work well with any chocolate mix.) As someone who gets most of her hydration from iced coffee and Diet Coke, I approve, but it’s also genius from a flavor standpoint. Coffee adds depth and nuance, intensifying chocolate flavors and obscuring any “processed” ones, giving the dessert a more homemade quality. Simply substitute an equal volume of coffee for whatever amount of water the box recipe calls for, bake as usual, and enjoy.
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