I don't tend to use mixes, but I'd always thought that brownies were the one exception that come out better from a box. I'd never made consistently good homemade brownies, and Betty Crocker is so reliable.
This recipe came from Margaret, from her Chocolate Bar recipe book, one of the best among her extensive and wonderful cookbook collection (I think she owns every one of Ina Garten's cookbooks, because the Barefoot Contessa is a goddess, and because she lives in East Hampton and Margaret lives in Southampton, and met her once at a coffee shop.)
Anyway, these homemade brownies reasserted that I can make anything better than Duncan Hines. I served them at a dinner party with honey-sweetened whipped cream.
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tblsp. cocoa powder
4 oz. butter
3/4 tsp. coffee grounds
5 oz. semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the coffee and semisweet chocolate.
When butter and chocolate is melted, take off the heat and add the sugars, then the eggs and vanilla, then the dry ingredients (combining until smooth after each step).
Pour into a greased 9X13 baking pan, then bake at 350 degrees for 28 to 30 minutes.