Best Back of the Box Recipes: Baker’s One Bowl Brownies

Brooke Newberry
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It’s time we told you the truth: some of our mothers’ simple, undisclosed recipes weren’t completely their own. Many of them were the old school “back of the box” classics – whether they were Mom’s own variations or straight representations, the backs of those boxes were once the best kept secret weapons in the kitchen.

There’s something more comforting about cooking or baking from the back of a box than from an actual cookbook or Internet recipe.  It’s all about marketing – if the box endorses it, it must be flawless in taste and method. Back of the box recipes are usually plain, simple and dedicated to the ingredient featured and sold inside the package. So what makes a recipe a classic?  It seems as though Generation X has come to know the taste of these recipes as “classics” because of their original box printing and familiar nostalgic taste. Whether semi-homemade or semi-authentic, we grew up with these time-honored recipes and consider them family.

This week: Baker’s One Bowl Brownie Recipe

One Bowl Brownies are homemade brownies that actually seem easier than a box mix and taste 10 times better. The brilliance of this recipe is its simplicity, the buzzworthy “one bowl” gimmick, and the richness of the brownies. And the batter is absolutely killer (if you’re into that sort of ‘salmonella who?’ lifestyle). If this was a back-of-the-box that raised you, chances are this recipe is one of the most intense batches of nostalgia. These are moist, fudgy and not for cake-like brownie lovers. Nuts are optional (the addition of nuts is a tender and controversial topic).  

Kraft acquired the 1790-born brand in 1989. and just this past April the classically familiar eight-ounce chocolate bars were replaced with boxes containing only four ounces of baking chocolate (with not much of a price reduction).  Kraft responded to consumer questioning by saying that shoppers just weren’t using all of the chocolate, as the One Bowl recipe only calls for four ounces per recipe.

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