I always hear about how great the store brand is in particular, for quality and value. That's why I wanted to try out this brownie mix just as it was, but I couldn't ignore my primal instinct to mix things together and try something new. So I went for brownie bites rather than a pan cut into squares, which allowed me to break my batter into a few categories. There were countless possibilities, but I restricted myself to just four:
- Original: I had to leave some as just plain old truffle brownies. Which sounds like an oxymoron to me, but there ya go.
- Chocolate chip: A few 'spare' milk chocolate chips sprinkled on top, because more chocolate is rarely wrong.
- Caramel center: Again, 'spare' soft caramel candies, submerged in brownie goodness. And again, because adding caramel can't really be wrong either.
- Cookie butter: Also of the TJ brand, I thought it only appropriate to swirl some of this on top of a few.
Aside from getting to mix things up, I feel like I was able to do a little informal anthropologizing based on which flavor brownie bite disappeared faster. Turns out, cookie butter is too intriguing to pass up, so that came in first place. Caramel was a close second, though, and extra chocolate chips perhaps an expected third. Coming in last were the demure originals, but they still made a good showing. Or rather, tasting. it all served to only heighten my cravings for the Austin location...this fall in Rollingwood!
Trader Joe's Brownie Bites
makes 36 brownie bites
- box of Trader Joe's Brownie Truffle Baking Mix (or other brownie mix)
- eggs and butter/oil as directed by the mix
- additional mix-ins: chocolate chips, Speculoos cookie butter, soft caramel candies, nuts, M&Ms, etc.
- Take a clean mini-muffin pan and spray generously with non-stick spray. Then spray some more.
- Follow the directions for the mix to create the batter, including preheating the oven to the correct temperature.
- Scoop the batter into the tins, until they are only about half to two-thirds full. Add in whatever mix-ins you'd like.
- For soft caramels: cut in half first, then press into the batter until mostly submerged.
- For cookie butter: Take a small dollop of cookie butter and swirl it onto the top of the batter with a knife.
- For chocolate chips, nuts, or other candies: you can either sprinkle them on top (if you want them in the batter itself, you'll need to combine before scooping into the tins).