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Best Brownies 9/16/11

Brownies can put a smile on most anyone's face - but it takes a true professional to determine which one is top rated.

Adam Kaplan, "It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it!"

Adam Kaplan and the team at Consumer Reports had the sweet job of prepping and baking hundreds of brownies from 13 different mixes. Then sensory panelists evaluated them for texture as well as flavor. Included in the tests: two gluten-free mixes.

"If you have to go gluten-free, it's nice to know that you have options. But the two gluten-free mixes we tested were at the bottom of the ratings. They were both kind of gritty, and one had an almost bacon-like flavor."


For regular brownies, Barefoot Contessa Outrageous Brownie Mix rated excellent. The brownies are chewy and dense, with intense chocolate and buttery flavors. But you pay dearly at ten dollars a box. And with its larger, suggested serving size, Barefoot Contessa gives you twice as many calories as most of the other brownies. Outrageous indeed!

For less than two dollars a box, consider ones that rated very good, including Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge brownies, which are sweet and chocolaty. And Target's Market Pantry Fudge brownies are dense and fudgy. Either is sure to deliver miles of chocolate smiles.

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