7 Mix-Ins That Will Take Your Brownies to the Next Level

You’re better than basic chocolate.

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Just like chocolate chip cookies, brownies are one of those classic desserts that never seem to fail. However, sometimes a plain brownie seems a bit...well, plain. That’s why we’ve rounded up a collection of brownie recipes that are anything but basic. From salty to extra-sweet (seriously, just check out Ree Drummond's Crazy Brownies), these jazzed-up treats are sure to win you major brownie points (Not sorry. Had to do it).

Crazy Brownies (pictured above)

True to their name, Ree Drummond's brownies are utterly crazy. She sandwiches a layer of peanut butter cups, chocolate caramels, chocolate candies and chopped nuts between two thick layers of batter, then sprinkles a coating of powdered sugar on top. Our advice? Save this recipe for a few days post-Halloween to use up all that leftover candy. You’re welcome.

Food beauty of potato chip bacon brownie, as seen on Food Network’s Trisha’s Southern Kitchen Season 13

Packed with bacon and crushed potato chips, Trisha Yearwood's brownies are not for the faint of heart — or stomachs. Before baking, she sprinkles extra bacon and chips on the batter for an extra-crunchy (and salty!) topping.

Giada's Lemon Cheesecake Brownies, as seen on Giada Entertains, Season 4.

Photo by: Melissa Libertelli

Melissa Libertelli

Who says brownies can’t be fruity? Giada De Laurentiis swirls a mixture of mascarpone cheese, sugar and plenty of lemon zest into her box-mix brownie batter. These delicious delights are best served cold, so feel free to make in advance and chill until it’s time for dessert.

Adults, this one’s for you. A bottled brown ale does double duty in this decadent dessert — the beer creates an ultra-tender texture and enriches the brownie’s flavor. If that’s not enough to win you over, the beer-spiked pecan icing certainly will.

Aztec Chocolate Brownies with Cinnamon Whipped Cream as seen on Valerie's Home Cooking No Siesta Fiesta episode, season 8.

Photo by: Rob Pryce

Rob Pryce

Kick it up a notch with Valerie Bertinelli's flavorful treats. She uses an ancho chile-infused butter to add spice to her brownies, then rounds out the batter with a dash of cinnamon. Don’t forget the whipped cream for dipping!



Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Inspired by the classic Fluffernutter sandwich, Rachael Ray's brownies are loaded with peanut butter chips and topped with ooey-gooey marshmallows. Even better? She starts with a store-bought brownie mix and spreads the batter in a larger pan, ensuring a dessert that’s ready to eat in less than 30 minutes.

Food Network Kitchen’s Eight-Flavor Sheet Pan Cookie-Brownie Bars.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

If you just can’t decide which mix-ins to use, we totally get it. Luckily, these sheet pan bars mean you don’t have to choose. Use store-bought brownie mix and cookie dough for a super-easy base, then load ‘em up with toppings like marshmallows, pretzels, dulce de leche and more. And with eight flavors to sample, it’s only logical to say yes to a second helping.

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