A good brownie needs nothing extra to be amazing. Hacking the batter, however, with brownie mix in additions as seemingly extraneous but as totally delicious as olive oil, graham cracker bits, or chocolate mint candies makes a good brownie incredible. So here are 11 of our favorite brownie recipes (just in time for National “Have a Brownie” Day on Feb. 10—not to be confused with plain old Brownie Day on Dec. 8).
Not that there’s ever a bad time to eat a brownie.
And while all of these brownies more than stand alone, if you feel the urge to be even more extra, almost any of them would be great in our Brownie Parfaits recipe:
You can also literally gild the lily—er, brownie—by applying some edible gold leaf to the surface while they’re still a little warm:
But these brownie mix in recipes prove that it’s (mostly) what’s inside that really counts:
Regular brownie batter gets an irresistible hack of Peppermint Patties candies baked right in. It’s like a soft and gooey version of Thin Mints. Get our Chocolate Mint Brownie recipe.
Wilton Brownie Bar Pan, $9.19 on Amazon
If you prefer perfectly uniform brownies that all have chewy edges, this is your pan.
Graham cracker pieces and mini marshmallows are stirred into classic chocolate brownie batter for the ultimate summer hack (also perfect for when it’s too cold to go camping for your s’mores fix). Get our S’mores Brownie recipe.
Some say salted caramel and chocolate are a played out pairing, but we say they’re too delicious to keep apart. Get the Salted Caramel Brownie recipe.
Regular brownies turn kind of magical (not to mention extra moist) when hacked with chocolaty stout beer. Try a coconut stout, Mexican chocolate stout, or a similarly unusual option for yet another layer of flavor. Get our Chocolate Stout Brownie recipe.
Related Reading: 5 Foolproof Tips for Fudgy Brownies Every Time
We’re pretty sure that after you reach legal drinking age, s’mores around the campfire are likely to include a beer or two. Here, we’ve included beer in the s’mores themselves, adding some to the brownie batter along with crushed graham crackers and a marshmallow topping. Get our Chocolate Stout S’mores Brownie recipe.
A rich cream cheese batter is swirled into a standard brownie batter before baking—probably the most luscious brownie hack possible. Be sure to let the cream cheese soften up to room temp so it blends easily. Get our Cream Cheese Swirl Brownie recipe.
The distinct chocolate and peanut butter layers in these brownies mean you get to taste both flavors at their fullest, but it wouldn’t be the worst idea to add chopped-up peanut butter cups in between them either. Get the Peanut Butter Cup Brownie recipe.
These may look unassuming, but their flavor is deeply chocolatey thanks to melted bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and a bit of brewed espresso (which just amplifies the chocolate, rather than making it taste like a mocha), and their texture is rich and fudgy in the middle. Get our Intense Brownie recipe.
Crunchy nuts and gooey caramel top off these brownies, which demand a napkin (and a glass of ice cold milk). Get our Pecan Turtle Brownie recipe.
At her former Portland, Oregon, food cart the Sugar Cube, Kir Jensen served creative hacks on classic sweets, like these over-the-top delicious brownies, topped with coffee syrup, chocolate ganache, olive oil, and sea salt. Plus, they’re baked in muffin pans so each one has the perfect texture (and no one gets a piece that’s smaller than someone else’s, for those who tend to notice that sort of thing). Get Kir Jensen’s Ultimate Brownie recipe.
Header image by Chowhound.