SRP #10:  Pudding the “easy” in “Brownieasy”

Pudding Mix Brownies

In the world of dentistry, “SRP” stands for “Scaling and Root Planing,” a clean so deep your toes will tingle.  In the world of FoodSwing Blog, “SRP” stands for “Short Recipe Post,” a way for me to augment the recipe archives with only minimal monologuing. 

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After having already posted a few iterations of my favorite basic Pudding Mix Brownie recipe, I realized I have never actually posted the most basic version of this recipe in its simplistic purity:  the Basic Pudding Mix Brownie.  So, here it is…along with my current favorite recipe variation below!

This recipe requires no mixer (hand or stand), one bowl, and only a few, very common ingredients – this recipe is basically even more basic than a pumpkin spice latte.  You can make them as exotic or as traditional as you like, but the fun in these super simple treats really comes with the experimentation.
Here are the others that I have posted so far:

Blueberry Almond Bars

Cake Batter Blondies

Easy Lemon Pudding Bars

 

Basic Pudding Mix Brownies

2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
3.4 ounce box instant pudding mix, any flavor
~1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (NOTE:  you can swap in any extract of choice to compliment your chosen pudding flavor – just be aware that some extracts are stronger than others, so substitute with care!)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit, and spray a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, dry pudding mix, and vanilla, until smooth, ~1 minute.  In a 2-cup measuring cup, use a fork to combine the flour, baking powder, and sea salt.  Dump dry ingredients into mixing bowl (you can add them gradually if you’re trying to keep your countertop clean), and use a rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients.  Fold just until all ingredients have been incorporated, no more than 1 minute.
Transfer batter to prepared dish, and use your rubber spatula to spread the batter into an even layer, spanning the entire dish.  The pudding mix makes this batter less pourable than your standard brownie batter, so you really do need to spread the batter to all edges of the dish.  I know it seems like a very thin layer of batter, but it really puffs up in the oven!
Bake 30-35 minutes, until puffy and cracked at the edges – center should no longer be jiggly.  Let cool completely before slicing into bars.  These brownies will stay freshest if you leave them in the pan after cutting and just cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap – this way, the cut-sides won’t dry out because they’ll be protected by their neighbors!  These bars can be stored at room temperature, but I think that the pudding-imbued moistness is maximized by storage in the refrigerator – trust me on this one.  Chill and be thrilled.

Red Velvet Swirl Brownies

All above ingredients for Basic Pudding Mix Brownies, plus:
Half of a can sweetened condensed milk (you can store the rest of the can in a clean jar in the fridge for a later use)
2 tablespoons regular cream cheese, softened to room temp
Prepare Basic Pudding Mix Brownies (above), as directed, using one box of Red Velvet instant pudding mix, and transfer to prepared dish.
In a separate bowl (or the same one you used for the batter if you’re not too picky), whisk together the softened cream cheese and the sweetened condensed milk until combined — you may need to dust off your hand mixer for this step, otherwise, just whisk the heck out of it until the lumps of cream cheese disappear.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape aside a small portion of the red velvet batter, exposing the bottom of the pan.  Use the same spatula to transfer large dollops of the cream cheese mixture to these depressions (at which time they will no longer be depressions…they’ll be exuberants).  Repeat the depression-making-cream-cheese-transfer process until all of the cream cheese mixture has been used (~12 – 15 dollops interspersed across the pan).  Drag a clean butter knife through the batter horizontally, zig-zagging down the pan, being sure to scrape the bottom.  Then, zig-zag the knife vertically (i.e. perpendicular to your previous zig-zagging) across the pan, yielding the pretty marbled effect.
Bake and cool as directed above.  Store in an airtight container (or in the same pan, tightly covered in plastic wrap), IN THE REFRIGERATOR, for up to 5 days.

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