Brownies – Boxed vs. Homemade

After Christmas we decided to mix things up a bit schoolwise to get through the midwinter blahs.  I’ve been hoping to get Piper more interested in cooking, so I picked up 4-H’s Cooking curriculum and we’re stepping through it.  Obviously I can teach her to cook, but sometimes it’s nice to have some structure to keep you accountable and 4-H really does a nice job.

One of the recent projects Piper picked out was making brownies both from a box and from scratch to compare the differences in time, price, appearance, and taste.  Needless to say Tim is really enjoying these projects.

We needed a non-dairy brownie mix so we went with Arrowhead Mills.

Our from scratch brownies used the recipe for Stowe Brownies from Didi Emmon’s Entertaining for a Veggie Planet.


Time: Boxed – 20 minutes,  Scratch – 35 minutes

Cost: Boxed – $6.08, Scratch, $7.41 (difference $1.33)

Appearance – The from scratch batch was much more attractive with a shiny crust on top.

Taste – While the boxed brownies weren’t bad, the from scratch batch was the hands down winner with everyone in the family.  It had a much richer chocolate taste  and wonderfully chewy texture.

Keep in mind that the times noted were with Piper cooking so these would probably be quicker with a more experienced cook.  Also the cost for the scratch batch would likely have been less than the boxed if we had not used Valrhona chocolate.  One of the benefits of baking from scratch is you have the option to splurge if you want.  🙂


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