DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIE MIX: The frugal farm girl's DIY ready-made mix series.

Ready-made mixes: Homemade goodness made simple, one jar at a time.

 It's not a new idea. 

It's been around since at least the 70's. 

But it's still very popular. 

It's part of a back-to-basics movement, a food revolution. I'm talking about making your own made-from-scratch, ready-made mixes. For example, baking and seasoning mixes, gravy, sauces, even side-dishes. 

Forget commercially packaged foods that are loaded with unwanted additives, chemicals, and preservatives. Homemakers today are putting their foot down. A couple generations ago, our grandmother's may have been enchanted with the advent of commercially prepared convenience foods, but not today's homemakers. Today, a growing number of women are taking steps to recapture what our grandmothers once knew: How to make scads of food with just a few pantry staples. 

Consider this: Do you know how to make your own baking powder? Or your own cake flour? How about how to make your own soup stock, bread and burger buns, tortillas, enchilada sauce, or chili seasoning? Some of us know how, but most do not. Most of us don't even know how to cook a pot of beans from scratch. We're part of a generation that's grown up reliant on those small (and expensive) food packages from the store. We've become accustomed to quick-fix food, eating whatever the big food manufacturers decide to feed us. Rarely do we question what we're ingesting. Rarely do we question the packaging itself. If we did, we'd discover that our food is not only loaded with nasty additives, it's also often contaminated with unwanted chemicals from the packaging itself, such as aluminum or BPA. I could go on with how these additives and chemicals are linked to all sorts of illness and even obesity, but that's not what this post is about. 

With this post, I'm starting a series meant to help you capture the made-from-scratch goodness of the past and combine it with the modern value of convenience in today's kitchen. Join me in learning how to stock your pantry with jars and jars of your own homemade convenience! In the end, you'll not only eat better, you'll also set yourself up to save big money. 

I've decided December is going to be the chocolate month. After all, with the holidays upon us, and this being a month for baking goodies, a chocolate theme seems fitting. But don't worry, as time goes on, we'll make plenty of other mixes that you'll use over and over in your meal preparation. 

Are you ready? Then come join me in the kitchen! Today, we're making... 


If you're a chocolate lover, these brownies are simply divine! Rich, chewy, and ohhh so very chocolaty! You won't have to worry when those unexpected guests drop in. Just like a store-bought mix, all you need to whip these puppies together is a jar of your mix and 3 added wet ingredients, and you'll be serving your guests a plate of brownies-made-from-scratch in no time! 

How to make the mix

In a large bowl, mix the following dry ingredients together with a whisk until thoroughly blended:

1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1  3/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk everything
together until well blended.

Store the dry mix in a quart-size mason jar, or another air-tight container in your pantry. (This mix fits into a quart-size mason jar when you use a canning funnel and a tamping tool to lightly press the last of the mix into the jar).

It will all fit into a quart-size jar when
you use a canning funnel and a tamping tool
to press the last of the mix into the jar.

PANTRY TIP: Make several batches at once. Each batch of this mix makes one large batch of brownies. Once you have all the ingredients out, it's easy to make up several individual batches at one time, so you can stock your pantry. 

How to use the mix

When you want to make brownies, simply combine the following: 

1  jar of homemade Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs

Hand-mix everything together with a rubber spatula for one minute, or until completely blended. Then spread the mixture into a greased 13 X 9 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting to serve. That's it! 


Don't forget to label your ready-made mixes! To help you out, you'll find that each post in this series contains a link to a free downloadable page of 8 labels and baking instructions to attach to your homemade mixes. These labels are simple and easy to read, and done to look a bit retro (which I love) with their lettering and color scheme. You can print your labels onto white cardstock, cut them out, and use double-sided tape to stick them to your jars of mixes. Or, keep it super simple and print your labels onto this sticker paper by Avery. Just cut them out and stick them right to your jars. Enjoy!

Farm Girl Inspirations: www.joyelick.com.

Let's chat: What are some store-bought ready-made mixes you regularly use that you'd like to learn how to make at home? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

Until next time...

Joy--Fearless Farm Girl,

"Farm Girl: It's a verb, because it's what you do."

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