Make Box Brownies Fancier With A Flavorful Oil Swap

There's so much to love about box brownie mix. It's an easy-to-make treat that's ready to enjoy quickly. With only a few ingredients, which are all combined by hand, it's a great recipe to make with kids as well. The only problem is, after a while, making the same brownies from a mix can start to get a little boring. However, one simple swap can reinvent it into a much fancier dessert.

Most brownie mixes call for the contents of the package to be combined with some water, oil, and eggs. It's all then mixed together in one bowl, poured into a pan, and baked. The recipe is effortless and the brownies come out predictably well every time. Using a neutral oil such as vegetable oil or canola oil will add the proper amount of fat to the recipe, however, they won't offer any additional flavor or unique richness to the dessert. That's when you can reach for another option you likely already have on hand in your pantry: olive oil.

Olive oil isn't just for savory recipes

Using olive oil for baking purposes may seem counterintuitive at first since it's usually reserved for savory preparations. However, the flavor nuances in olive oil can also translate well to sweet recipes, too. Don't feel compelled to break out the expensive or fancy olive oil when baking, though since those tend to be reserved as finishing oils, rather than an ingredient incorporated into dishes. Also, remember there are many different kinds of olive oils out there. They can range from quite light and neutral to peppery and grassy. Maybe take a little taste of the oil before adding it to your brownie mix so you won't be surprised by the flavor when they come out of the oven.

Since swapping out the oil when making brownies works wonders, feel free to get creative with other unique ideas, and you might be surprised by the results. Browse around the shelves next time you are in the grocery store. Pistachio oil, almond oil, or walnut oil can impart a nutty flavor without adding the bits of actual nuts. Even flavored olive oils infused with orange or lemon could offer a very interesting result.

Other ways to elevate box brownie mix

After you start experimenting with swapping oils when making brownies, you might start feeling compelled to elevate the boxed mix in other ways, too. Before popping the brownies in the oven, you could try sprinkling the top with a little bit of flaky sea salt. The delicate crystals will dust the surface of the brownies, bringing balance to the sweet treat.

You could even take a tip from The Cake Boss himself. Buddy Valastro's favorite ingredients to boost a box of brownie mix include adding frozen fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips into the batter before baking. Mix-ins are another way to elevate this classic treat to the next level without much effort.

Once the brownies are baked, you don't have to stop there. Top them with a drizzle of salted caramel for additional color and texture. You can even use the brownies as a base for an ice cream sundae topped with hot fudge, sprinkles, and a cherry.