Sometimes it's the simplest recipes that make an impression. This brownie treat is basically a brownie mix and some M&M's. Originally found on Pinterest, the recipe comes from a Betty Crocker boxed brownie mix here.
Now, there is no reason you couldn't just do this to your favorite 'from scratch' brownie recipe. But if you're like me, there are times when you just might not be Betty Baker, and using a mix is the only thing that's going to get that batch of brownies on the table for the pot luck that you completely forgot about until two in the morning the day of said pot luck. Or you forgot that the husband had invited neighbors over after dinner and they expectantly look at you with those "aren't you Betty Baker?" eyes thinking some treat will be coming out of the oven any minute to tickle their tummies. All I know is that I usually have a bag of M&M's for whatever current holiday is upcoming (I think I even have a "fall" bag still in my stash) and with a premade brownie mix I will always have a holiday dessert I can put on the table. Besides, when I served this to someone at work, they made a comment that they could tell I'd made this from scratch since brownie mixes have an off taste. Score one for the lazy bakers.
RED, WHITE & BLUE M&M TOPPED BROWNIES
Boxed Brownie Mix (or your favorite brownie mix recipe).
1 Bag of appropriately colored M&M's
Follow the brownie mix recipe. During the last 10-15 minutes of baking, sprinkle the M&M's over the brownie batter.
NOTE: I used the Patriotic Red, White, and Blue M&M's. I only found them at one store in my area (CVS) and they sold out pretty quickly. I'll remember if I want to make this next year, to pick up a couple of bags earlier in the season.
NOTE: I used my favorite boxed brownie mix which is Ghirardelli. They have many different flavors and I like the fact that little Ghirardelli chips are included in the mix.
NOTE: I waited until the last ten minutes of cooking time to put the M&M's on top of the mix and it was almost too late as a crust had already started to form on the top of the brownies. The M&M's don't tend to melt into the brownie mix and when you picked up a cooled piece of brownie, a couple of the candies would fall off. I think if you lightly pressed the M&M's into the top when you put them on the brownie mix it would help them "adhere" better.
NOTE: The Ghirardelli mix I used made an 8x8 pan of brownies. I used about 1/2 to 3/4 of a bag of M&M's to get the look on the top of the finished brownies in the photo. I just kind of dumped the candies on top of the mixture. I've seen where others have arranged the M&M's into a much nicer formation (where the colors are more evenly distributed), where they have placed the M&M's upside down so the logo doesn't show or where every single candie is flat and not on it's side...but I am not Betty Baker and I just didn't want to spend the time.
NOTE: The M&M's crack so don't worry about that.
I now have an excuse to buy bags of holiday M&M's. Now I can tell Mr. L "It's for the brownies Dear. Of course I won't eat them right out of the bag."