Thursday, December 1, 2011

Better than Brownies

I'm so thrilled to be doing another Gooseberry Patch cookbook review today. Many of you know that I am a huge fan of Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. They are full of recipes from everyday home cooks like us. You can flip through any one of their cookbooks and you are sure to find many recipes that your family will love. 
So I was super giddy when I received the Rush-Hour Recipe Cookbook from Gooseberry Patch. This book is all about meals and desserts that can be made fairly quickly and with just a few ingredients.  Perfect for those crazy-busy weeknights. There are even slow cooker meals in here. 
So I flipped through and as I usually do, I immediately looked for something sweet. I always go to the dessert section first. Anyone else do that? And I came across this little gem of a recipe called Better than Brownies. It caught my eye because it uses a boxed cake mix, which we all know I love to use. This recipe is located in the section entitled "Speedy Potluck & Party Food". 
1 package (3.4oz) Cook & Serve chocolate pudding mix (not instant)
2 cups milk
1 (18.5oz) package chocolate cake mix
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Make sure you get the Cook & Serve type pudding, not the instant kind. 
Preheat oven to 350F degrees
In a medium sauce pan, prepare dry pudding mix according to package directions.
Cook until slightly thickened. (Not too thick, but enough to cover and stick to a spoon).
 Remove from heat. Stir in dry cake mix.
 Stir until combined.
 Spread batter into a greased (I use nonstick cooking spray) 13x9 baking pan.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts (if using).
Bake at 350F degrees for about 30 minutes (until an inserted toothpick comes out clean).
Cool and cut into squares. Makes about 2 dozen.
Cook's Review: They are moist and chocolate-y and will satisfy any sweet tooth. The nuts are completely optional in this and you could also use different types of chocolate chips for variety. 


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  1. Those look sooo yummy! I can't think of any shortcuts, really, just using my food processer to chop all the foodie friends on FB, and I love cookbooks....:-) Thanks for sharing, & for giveaways....

  2. Sounds DELICIOUS! AND EASY! I absolutely love Gooseberry Patch cookbooks!

  3. I am now following Goose Berry Patch on Facebook!

    My kitchen hint is to always cook and be mindful of the next days meal. What can I make a double of triple batch of that will compliment my next night's meal. I love cooking pork roast and using it to make pork enchiladas with my King Ranch Kitchen recipe. It's fabulous and ready in no time.

    As always, I love you site! It's just exploded...but all due to your hard work and great recipes.

    Happy Holidays!


  4. Shortcut: My sweetie does all of the cooking :)

  5. I follow Gooseberry Patch on Facebook!

  6. My favorite time saver in the kitchen is my crock pot! When I worked I used it several times a week. Put it on in the morning and dinner was ready when we got home!

  7. I now follow Gooseberry Patch on FB!
    Thank you, Crystal :)

  8. Hi! I am sooo grateful I stumbled upon your blog this week! I needed a Pasta E Fagioli recipe for our Sunday School Christmas party and your recipe popped up! It was a BIG it and I plan on making it again soon along with many more of your delicious looking recipes :)
    I always look at Gooseberry Patch cookbooks when I find them, but unfortunately, I do not own one. What a blessing this book would be for our family, anything to provide a wonderful meal for my family and allow me more time with them!
    One of my go-to shortcut recipes is a slow cooker chicken & dumplins made with cream of chicken, rotisserie chicken & canned biscuits. My favorite shortcut tool is my garlic press! I put garlic in almost everything and the press allows to put the garlic directly into the pot, no chopping needed :)
    Thank you! Crystal

  9. I followed from GBP on FaceBook. A way for me to jump start my dinners is to have a couple meals already in my freezer for when days are hectic and I can just thaw and bake. :)


  11. I would love to hold this cookbook in my hands and try the recipes. My shortcut - cook extra. I freeze, or we eat leftovers. I can make three different meals out of the same roast, thinking creatively.

  12. Wow, I just found you and have saved almost all of your recipes to try. You are a food genius! I've also liked you on Facebook.

  13. Hello, this sounds so so good, might have to try this weekend ♥

  14. I already follow Gooseberry on facebook, but took at look anyway, that Golden Hash Brown Casserole sounds amazing!

  15. These look so good! Would love to have this cookbook.

  16. Do you have any idea how this would turn out if you used a brownie mix instead of a cake mix?

    Thank you!

  17. I make this cake and use M&M's instead of chocolate chips...very good and colorful too.

  18. I love Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. The recipes are well written and easy to follow. I would love to win this one. Oh, and I too go to the desert section first. I tell my guest " keep your forks because the best is yet to come!"

  19. Ok, I was torn on what to make today, these, or the Snickers cake you recently posted on Facebook...I went with these. They're in the oven now, and smell awesome! Can't wait for them to come out!! The only thing I did different, was in addition to the chocolate chips, I added a few handfuls of peanut butter on the top, because what's better than peanuts butter & chocolate? Nothing, that's what!!

  20. Hey All,
    Just wanted to let you know I made some additions to this recipe that were totally killer if y'all want to try them out. I followed the directions up through the 30 minute baking time except I substituted pecans for the walnuts. After they had baked thirty minutes I covered them with miniature marshmallows (I used a whole 10 oz bag so the pan was very full!). I baked them for a couple more minutes until the marshmallows puffed and just started to turn golden. Then i drizzled over a chocolate frosting I made and swirled with the marshmallows.

    Frosting: heat 3 tbsp butter, 4 tbsp milk and 1 cup powdered sugar. Once it bubbles remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips for the brownies and the frosting)

    They were messy and better scooped from the pan into bowls like spoon cake but were totally killer! We came up with the name marshmallow explosion mess brownies!


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