What do you do when your birthday boy or birthday girl isn’t a huge fan of birthday cake? Make their favorite dessert instead! There are no birthday police, and I promise that you are not required to make a cake.
For our birthday boy (hubby) I made brownies instead. I’d like to say I made them from scratch, but that wasn’t happening. So I pulled out a box mix from the cupboard (a REALLY GOOD mix, with fudge topping) and doctored it up a little bit. I added ½ tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp grated orange peel. While you can’t really taste the additions, per se, you can tell that it’s a little richer and has a little… something to it.
Hubby loved it. I loved it. Max wasn’t allowed to have any, but I’m sure he would have loved it too.
If you want more ideas of what to do with a brownie mix, look at those deluxe chocolate bars. You know, the $4.00 apiece ones. What additions do they have?
· Mint? Add ½ tsp peppermint extract
· Cayenne pepper? Add ¼ tsp (or more if you’re braver than me) ground hot pepper
· Almonds? Add ½ cup chopped nuts
· Espresso? Add 1 or 2 Tbsp instant coffee crystals
· Lavender? Add 1 or 2 tsp food-grade dried lavender
· Peanut butter? Add ½ cup peanut butter
Be creative. There are tons of ways to doctor up a box mix to make it a little better – or a lot better. My favorite is to take a chocolate cake mix, add a can of cherry pie filling and the recommended eggs. Bake as directed. Oh baby. That was hubby’s standby birthday request for at least five years.