October 11, 2012

Best Brownie Mixes?

Duncan Hines, Ghirardelli, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury.... the list goes on. The search for the best brownie mix is a long, harsh one. Not only are there so many different brownie box brands, there are so many different types of brownies! After hours of testing (and calories), the final batches are done and the results are in. This article will be organized with "the best-tasting" boxes for each category.

Notes about our experimentation process: to make all the tastings fair, all brownie mixes were prepared exactly as stated on the packaging and baked in a 8x8 metal pan (besides the family sized batches). The brownies were then plated "randomly" and voted on without the prior knowledge of which brownies corresponded to which brand. Our board of tasters consisted of five "brownie experts" who all rated each brownie on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being a good score and the highest amount of points achievable.

Best Boxed Fudge Brownie Mix?
Duncan Hines Decadent Double Fudge Brownies
Average Score: 9.4/10

Fudge brownies are what people think of when they think of a warm, gooey brownie. Hence, this category was more scrutinized during testing than the others. It's kind of hard to gauge these describing words towards tangible tastes. Duncan Hines was heavenly, I don't think I'd buy another fudgy box of brownies again. The Ghirardelli's Ultimate Fudge icing packets were not added over top to keep them looking similar to the other brownies, regardless the "icing" didn't really taste good anyways. If you want to know how to make your brownies even fudgier, check out this article.

Other Contenders: Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies (8.8/10), Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies (8.2/10), Ghirardelli Ultimate Fudge (7.7/10), Pillsburg Chocolate Fudge Brownies (7.5/10) Betty Crocker Triple Chunk Brownies (7.4/10)

Best Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix?
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownies
Average Score: 8.9/10

Ghirardelli offered up the perfect dark, unadulterated chocolate taste. I personally like to use their cocoa in recipes so this did not come as a surprise when we found out the winner. One of our testers does not like dark chocolate at all, but still enjoyed Ghirardelli's brownies.

Other Contenders: Betty Crocker's Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies (8.5/10), Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate (8.3/10), Pillsbury Dark Chocolate (7.3/10)

Best Boxed Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix?
Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownies
Average Score: 8.7/10

Chewy brownies have a bit of bite when bitten into! We made it imperative that the brownies were cooled off completely so that the perfect chewiness could be experienced. Every tester thought the Duncan Hines batch was really chewy! They merited the 1st place position on this one. Some tasters did mention that these brownies left a slight after-taste in your mouth. It's worth mentioning that Pillsbury's brand of brownies came in with a close 2nd averaging at 8.4 points.

Other Contenders: PillsburyBetty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix (7.9/10)

Best "Family Sized" Chocolate Box Mix?
Pillsbury Family Sized Milk Chocolate Brownies
Average Score: 8.8/10

Family sized brownie-mixes are typically for 13x9 pans. More and more box brownies mixes are only for 8x8 or 9x9 pans. Pillsbury offered up a good amount of brownie without sacrificing thickness or quality. Granted, some big players like Ghirardelli do not box brownies in a quantity large enough for a family-sized pan.

Other Contenders: Duncan Hines Premium Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix (8.3/10), Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate Brownies  (7.9/10)

Best Peanut Butter Brownie Mix?
Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Supreme Brownie Mix
Average Score: 9.2/10

There was something about adding large chunks of peanut butter which raved amongst our tasters. Betty Crocker seemed to get the perfect mix of chocolate and peanut butter. Maybe it was a nice change of pace to all the other "chocolatey" brownies we just consumed earlier.

Other Contenders: Duncan Hines Decadent Peanut Butter Brownies (8.7/10), Peanut Butter Company Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies (8.4/10)

Closing Comments:
Granted, these are only opinions of me and my friends. We've eaten plenty of boxed mixes, but that doesn't mean we are 100% correct, everybody has different tastes. Hopefully, we narrowed down your search for a good box brownie mix. After all, this whole ordeal was only done to help people. Any comments can be made below without a subscription or anything like that. If you're interested in how to doctor up these brownies, check out this article: How to Doctor Box Brownie Mixes.

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