A boxed mix may be convenient, but these brownies from scratch are quick and superb (not to mention, real).

1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 (glass) pan.

2. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl, set aside.

3. Cut each stick of butter into six pieces and melt in a medium bowl. Stir in brown sugar until combined and heat an additional 30 seconds to further dissolve the sugar.

4. Blend cocoa powder into melted butter and sugar with electric mixer until completely incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla and blend very well, then add flour mixture and blend until a thick, smooth batter forms.

5. Spread into greased pan pan and bake 28 - 30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and after 5 minutes loosen edges with a butter knife; this helps prevent brownies from sinking in the center as they cool. Let brownies cool at least an hour, completely if possible.

6. Frost with a thin layer of chocolate frosting (use the recipe on the back on the Hershey’s Baking Cocoa but cut recipe by 3/4) or peppermint frosting, if desired.

Mix in 2 cups of chocolate or white chocolate chips or marshmallows after most of the flour is incorporated.

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