Symphony Bar Brownies Recipe

Symphony Bar Brownies

By Monica              Makes 16 brownies
These brownies are rich, delicious and always a crowd pleaser. They are easy to make with simply a mix and candy bars, but they rival brownies that are made completely from scratch.

These brownies are rich, delicious and always a crowd pleaser. They are easy to make with simply a mix and candy bars, but they rival brownies that are made completely from scratch.

Ingredients
  • 1 plain brownie mix for a 9x13 pan (I use Pillsbury Brownie Classics Traditional Fudge mix.)
  • Ingredients required for brownie mix (usually eggs, oil, water)
  • 1 pound Hershey's Symphony chocolate bars (I prefer the Symphony bars with almonds and toffee bits, but the plain chocolate Symphony bars are a better choice for people who do not like nuts.) Candy bars come in a variety of sizes; use whatever quantity adds up to 1 pound.

Directions
Preheat the oven and mix the brownie mix according to the directions on the box. Spray the bottom of a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.  (Even though you are using a mix for a 9x13 pan, you bake the brownies in a 9x9 pan.)  Next choose from two options using the candy bars either whole and concentrated in the center of the brownie or chopped up and distributed through the brownies.

OPTION 1: Pour half the batter into the pan.  Arrange all chocolate bars on top so that batter is covered.  Pour the rest of the batter on top and spread evenly. This concentrates the candy bars in the middle of the brownies in a single,thick layer.

OPTION 2: Chop the candy bars into approx. 1/2" pieces. Pour half of batter into the pan and sprinkle evenly with half of the chopped candy bar; pour on remaining batter, spread evenly, sprinkle with remaining chopped candy bar on top. This distributes the candy bar more evenly throughout the brownies.

BAKE for the amount of time indicated on the brownie mix box for a 9x9 pan, plus an extra 4 minutes. Let cool at room temperature before cutting.


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Symphony Bar Brownies

Photos and recipe instructions for this post were updated 2-7-11.

Have you ever cooked something that got enthusiastic raves but was so easy that you were almost embarrassed to admit it? For cooks like me who take some kind of silly pride in making things from scratch, it's especially embarrassing to admit that a mix was involved in the recipe. It's even more frustrating when you've cooked your tail off making all kinds of good stuff from scratch, and it's an out-of-a-cardboard-box mix recipe that everyone loves the most.

That's my story with baking these brownies. I first heard about the recipe at a Pampered Chef show in 2005. They sounded so easy, and everyone raved about them so much that I gave them a try. King-Man said they were the best brownies he'd ever eaten. He even asked for them in place of a birthday cake that year. T-man, Brackenthebox, and all of their friends who came over for periodic feasting at football parties concurred. These brownies were the best. 

So, I'm swallowing my everything-from-scratch-is-better pride and admitting that these brownies truly are fantastic. So rich and delicious that I might as well just throw in the towel and not try to improve on these. I have slightly tweaked the original recipe; or more accurately, I have tweaked the assembly method. The ingredients have remained the same.

 

Step-by-step photos for making Symphony Bar Brownies

The main ingredients are:

  • A plain brownie mix for a 9x13 pan (with the eggs, oil, water or whatever the back of the box says you need to make the mix). You want a plain ol' brownie mix. Not one of the fancy ones with extra caramel or chocolate chunks. Keep it plain. I am partial to Pillsbury Brownie Classics Traditional Fudge or Chocolate Fudge. Giradelli has good brownie mixes, too.pillsbury mix
  • 1 pound of Hershey's Symphony Chocolate Bars. This is approximate. These candy bars come in a variety of sizes. Use whatever combination of bars adds up to approximately 1 pound. You read that right, a whole pound of chocolate. No wonder these brownies are good.    

candy bar

Symphony bars come with almonds and toffee chips (my preference)
or plain chocolate (for no-nut people). 

 

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients. In addition to the brownie mix and Symphony bars, you need whatever ingredients are listed on the back of your brownie box for making the brownie mix. I used: a brownie mix, 4 (4.25 oz) candy bars (a smidgeon over 1 pound total), canola oil and eggs. The brownie mix recipe calls for 2 eggs. I use 3 eggs to achieve a more cake-like brownie, but you don't have to.

Ingredients


Step 2. Mix the brownies according to the directions on the back of the box. I whisk the eggs with the oil and water before adding them to the brownie mix so that they incorporate into the mix faster/easier.

eggs  eggs beaten

eggs brownie mix  brownies mixed

Step 3. Take a break, because you're probably pretty worn out from all that work.

Step 4. Spray the bottom of a baking 9x9" pan with cooking spray. The mix is for a 9x13" pan, but you bake this recipe in a 9x9" square pan. I use stoneware (you can see it is "well-seasoned"). A glass or metal baking pan are fine, too.

Step 5. Now you've got 2 options to choose from.

  • OPTION 1 is the original recipe's method: Pour half the batter into the pan.  Place all of the chocolate bars in a single layer on top of the batter. Pour the rest of the batter on top and spread evenly. This concentrates all the candy bars in the middle of the brownies in a thick, rich layer. 
  • OPTION 2 is my method that King-Man and I prefer: Chop the candy bars into approx. 1/2" pieces. Pour half of the batter into the pan and sprinkle it with one chopped candy bar. Pour the remaining batter on top and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle with the 2nd chopped candy bar on top. This distributes the candy bar more evenly throughout the brownies.

Half of the brownie mix goes in the bottom. Then half of the candy bars (chopped).

mix in pan  candy bar on mix

Then pour on the remaining brownie mix. Then the remaining chopped candy bars.

mix on top  candy on top


Step 6. Bake for the amount of time indicated on the brownie mix box for a 9x9 pan, plus an extra 4 minutes. Let cool at room temperature before cutting. If they don't cool first, you may have to eat them with a spoon. But there are worse fates than eating melted, rich, gooey chocolate brownies with a spoon.

baked brownies

That's it. Done. Easy. Delicious. I'm so embarrassed.

Look at those chunks of candy bar mixed in with the brownie. Hard to beat that. Kinda makes you want to sing. A symphony maybe?

on plate

Do you have a favorite recipe that WOWs people so much that you'd rather not reveal how easy it is to make? Tell me about it. (I won't tell anyone else. Promise.)

Make it a yummy day!

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Symphony Bar Brownies
By Monica              Servings: Makes 16 brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 plain brownie mix for a 9x13 pan (I use Pillsbury Brownie Classics Traditional Fudge mix.)
  • Ingredients required for brownie mix (usually eggs, oil, water)
  • 1 pound Hershey's Symphony chocolate bars (I prefer the Symphony bars with almonds and toffee bits, but the plain chocolate Symphony bars are a better choice for people who do not like nuts.) Candy bars come in a variety of sizes; use whatever quantity adds up to 1 pound.
Directions
Preheat the oven and mix the brownie mix according to the directions on the box. Spray the bottom of a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.  (Even though you are using a mix for a 9x13 pan, you bake the brownies in a 9x9 pan.)  Next choose from two options using the candy bars either whole and concentrated in the center of the brownie or chopped up and distributed through the brownies.

OPTION 1: Pour half the batter into the pan.  Arrange all chocolate bars on top so that batter is covered.  Pour the rest of the batter on top and spread evenly. This concentrates the candy bars in the middle of the brownies in a single,thick layer.

OPTION 2: Chop the candy bars into approx. 1/2" pieces. Pour half of batter into the pan and sprinkle evenly with half of the chopped candy bar; pour on remaining batter, spread evenly, sprinkle with remaining chopped candy bar on top. This distributes the candy bar more evenly throughout the brownies.

BAKE for the amount of time indicated on the brownie mix box for a 9x9 pan, plus an extra 4 minutes. Let cool at room temperature before cutting.
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Posted on Monday, November 15th, 2010
Tags: Desserts








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