Saturday, November 30, 2013

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Brownies in a Jar and the thrifty Ziploc bag option

I decided a couple weeks ago to make some "mixes in a jar" for Christmas gifts rather than doing a lot of baking this year.  So many people are overloaded with sugar goodies during the Holiday season.

After researching loads of recipes, I decided to use this one, tweaking it a little.*

It is very thrifty and just to make sure it also tasted really good... now, this was really hard to do... I baked the mix in the Ziploc bag above and had a piece of absolutely delicious fudgey brownie. I think it tasted even better the next day.

Below is the recipe and directions for layering it in a 1 quart wide mouth Ball jar.  If you decide to use the Ziploc bag option, I found it better to use the quart size freezer bag as it needs the sturdy thickness (the one above is the Holiday version).  I plan to make more of both options.

Chewy Brownie Mix in a Jar
Layer in order, tapping slightly on counter after each layer.  I used a regular canning funnel to make placing items in the jar easier but some people said online they made a funnel out of paper or parchment paper.

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa*
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate chips)

Layer ingredients in order.  You really have to use a wide mouth jar for everything to fit correctly.  You can also use chopped nuts instead of chocolate chips.  Place lid on top (I added a pre-made square of fabric) and attach recipe.

Recipe to print out and attach:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Pour brownie mix into large bowl.  Stir in 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) melted butter or margarine, 2 beaten large eggs, 2 tablespoons water, and 2 teaspoons vanilla (optional) until well blended.  Spread into prepared baking pan.  Bake 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (may be a little sticky).

I did not add vanilla to mine and it tasted fine.

Thrifty Ziploc bag option:
Assemble all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then transfer to the quart size freezer Ziploc bag.  Tape printed directions to the back of the bag.  These work great for those people you want to give two or three brownie mixes to, they fit nicely in a gift bag.

* The original recipe called for 3/4 cup cocoa and I found 1/2 cup to be just right (very chocolaty!).  The original recipe was put out by Nestles' cocoa... need I say more.  That extra 1/4th cup of unneeded cocoa would really add up if you are making a lot of these.  Most older brownie recipes always called for only 1/2 cup.

Note:  Make only one recipe at a time, even if you are mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl for the Ziploc bag option.  However, it goes very quickly!


Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

What a great idea to use the ziploc bags Brenda!

Anonymous said...

Can the brownies be baked in a 9" square pan? Also, you could pack 2 or 3 of the filled Ziploc bags into the appropriate baking pan, adding potholders,a wooden spoon and/or rubber spatula, tie it up with a ribbon and use it as a gift for young people who have just moved into a first apartment.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I love the idea of making the mix for the recipients to use any time they choose, rather than give them pre made treats!

I am going to try this brownie recipe out tonight! Wouldn't want to give away something that didn't taste right, you know?!

Thanks Brenda for the inspiration.


Anonymous said...

Mmmmm.....Thanks for the Yummy idea! My daughter wants to give baking mixes in mason jars for Christmas. I'll pass this one on to her! Do you use unsweetened cocoa?
Hope your Thanksgiving was Blessed!
Laura C.

Vee said...

I'd be happy to receive one if these either way. And, I think I did last Christmas and I think tonight might be the time to bake those puppies up. Hope that you enjoyed a very pleasant Thanksgiving! said...

I also make a ready made Brownie mix and put in ziploc bags and store in my own pantry, cheaper than buying the "boxed" kind and I always have it on hand.

Cornerstone said...

Brenda - thank you for the recipe - I have a brownie mix in a jar gift - but no recipe....

Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea to use the ziplocs if you are mailing these. I love to make and also receive food gifts. When my boys were young they made coffee mixes every year for the grandparents. The website "budget101" has hundreds of recipes for mixes. Stay warm, Brenda! Dee/MN :o)