Are you easily distractible? I fear I am. All it took was the sight of these gorgeously cute pre-packaged brownie mix in a jar, and I knew what my friends and family were getting for Christmas! We were on a road trip to visit family in the eastern states, and lucked upon this chocolate factory while staying with friends. With bright colours and a sense of humour to match, the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie was a fun place to visit and browse. As well as a floor to ceiling window to watch the chocolate factory in action, there was a store chock full of pre-packaged goodies to fill bag and bellies.

We didn’t buy nearly enough, but I did leave inspired. Only the week before, I had my Christmas cookie gift packs all worked out. I was going to put together a tin of assorted bliss balls for our mums group cookie swap. That was all going to plan; I had raw brownies and raw peanut butter and oatmeal cookies on the blog. Then we went interstate, and like I said… completely distractible! I like this idea even more than the previous one. I mean, who doesn’t like brownies, especially brownies that come in a jar?

With ten brownie recipes already on the blog, it was simply a matter of choosing a favourite, and buying jars and ribbon! Trevor G’s Very Dark Chocolate Brownies almost made the cut, but it was The Lazy Cook’s Buckwheat Brownies that won out in the end! Partly because they’re gluten free, but also because they use choc chips, and don’t call for any melting of chocolate. Simply add oil, eggs and vanilla extract, pour into a greased pan, and bake. Voila! Fresh, homemade brownies, headache and preservative free!

Homemade Brownie Mix in a jar {gf}
Even better than baked goodies at Christmas, is a jar of homemade brownie mix!

Makes 16

Ingredients
2/3 cup (113g) brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup (112g) caster (super-fine) sugar
2/3 cup (85g) unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch process)
2/3 cup (85g) plain (all-purpose) gf or regular flour*
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup (145g) white, milk or dark chocolate chips (I used all three)
½ cup (60g) chopped nuts (optional)**

Method
Add ingredients to a 1 litre (1 quart) mason jar in the order listed above. Add brown sugar first, and tamp down with the back of a spoon. Add the remaining ingredients using a large, clean funnel, spreading and shaking out each layer as you go. Tip choc chips in starting with dark chips, then milk, then white. Seal with lid and attach instructions with ribbon or string.

Include the following instructions for using the mix:

Preheat oven to 170deg C (340F). Grease a 20x30cm brownie pan or 23cm (9-inch) square cake tin.

Empty contents of jar into a large mixing bowl. Mix together with: 3 eggs, 2/3 cup oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add in fruit and nuts as desired.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Cool and enjoy!

Notes
Adapted from Six Figures Under and my Buckwheat Brownies

*Seriously, use whatever flour you like!
**Because many folks I know prefer nut-free brownies, I left them out.

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