Most of these ideas will work with any basic brownie as a starting point. If your favorite comes out of a box, you’re in good company. Or a lot of people in the world seem to like Katharine Hepburn’s family recipe. Now, here’s how to add a little swag:
1. Add lots of nuts.
The walnut is an especially brownie-friendly nut. Get this recipe at Grown to Cook.
2. Bury with fudge and sprinkles.
Get a the recipe for buttermilk-chocolate fudge frosting at Confessions of A Cookbook Queen.
3. Devote equal vertical space to chocolate chip cookie dough.
At LEAST equal. Possibly more. Get the recipe at Brown Eyed Baker.
4. Layer with cookie dough AND oreos.
Say hello to the Slutty Brownie. Get the recipe at What’s Gaby Cooking.
5. Bake brownie ice cream bowls.
6. Peanut. Butter. Pretzel. Brownies.
You can thank Joy the Baker for this paradigm shift.
7. Top with a raspberry-goat cheese swirl.
Good for bringing dessert snobs around to the brownie way of life. Get the recipe at The Kitchn.
8. Stencil pretty powdered sugar patterns.
Crafty! You’ll need cardstock and an x-acto knife. Designer Anna Bondoc shows how to do it here.
9. Pile on peanut butter frosting and crispy chocolate ganache.
BRB have to go stare at this photo for a while and then pass out.
Recipe at Babble.
10. Swap heart cutouts between brownies and blondies.
Adorable and probably good for seducing crushes. Recipe and instructions at Smitten Kitchen.
11. Serve one big brownie tart for a party.
Top with whipped cream if you want to be really fancy. Recipe at Babble.
12. Put them on popsicle sticks.
You’ll need candy melts if you want to dip them, but just a basic brownie-on-a-stick is pretty delightful too. Get instructions at Munchkin Munchies.
13. Fill them with caramel and chocolate chips.
Easier than you think. The Pioneer Woman’s recipe is about as glamorous as cake mix, evaporated milk, and melted caramel candies will ever get.
14. Dress them up in chocolate lace.
Not for the faint of chocolate-piping heart. You can find the recipe, including how-to tips, at Cafe Fernando.
15. Add a pumpkin cheesecake swirl.
Bonus: gluten-free. Get the recipe at The Bojon Gourmet.
16. Always frost twice for good measure.
Hell, add bourbon while you’re at it! Get the recipe at Fort Mill SC Living.
17. Try “beer and nuts” (peanut butter and stout) brownies.
Ideal football game food. The recipe is at Raspberri Cupcakes.
18. Bake them inside egg shells!
19. Borrow the magic of s’mores.
And ask yourself why it took so long. Recipe at Prevention RD.
20. Stack with mint marshmallow fluff and oreos.
Fresh! Get the recipe at Averie Cooks.
21. Disguise them as cupcakes.
Even weirdos who don’t like brownies might fall for one that looks like a cupcake. This recipe, with hazelnut ganache frosting, is at Butter Baking.