Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist. But, in fitting with Mama Gump’s saying… each of these rich, dark chocolate brownies contains a different surprise filling! How is this possible without spending all day in the kitchen? A box of assorted chocolates of course! Simply layer the filled chocolates between two layers of extra-chocolatey Nutella and cocoa brownie batter.
We briefly touched on the history of boxed chocolates in Somebunny Loves Me Strawberry Frosting Bark as part of our Valentine’s Day research. During the 1840s in England, Richard Cadbury perfected his recipe for ‘eating chocolate. In 1861, Cadbury was said to have produced the first heart-shaped box of chocolates. He marketed the beautiful boxes (They weren’t made of cardboard back in the day!) as having a dual purpose. Once the chocolates were gone, the box could be used to store mementos from one’s lover. This idea was picked up by other chocolatiers and the boxes became more and more elaborate. But when sugar was rationed during WWII, both Valentine’s Day celebrations and candies were scaled back.
The box of chocolates used in this recipe is from Russell Stover so I decided to look into their company a little more. Russell and Clara Stover began a candy business in their Denver home in 1923 and became known in the region for their quality candy. In 1960, Louis Ward purchased the company which included 35 retail stores. In 2014, Lindt & Sprungli, owner of Lindt and Ghirardelli, purchased the company. Now the company is international and is the largest producer of boxed chocolates in the United States.
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Life’s Like a Box of Chocolates Brownies
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup Nutella
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 dozen assorted chocolates
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Cream together sugar, Nutella and butter.
Mix in eggs.
Mix in flour, cocoa and salt.
Spread half of batter in greased 9×13” pan.
Top with layer of evenly spaced chocolates.
Top with remaining batter.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Cut into 2 dozen squares. (Aim to get 1 whole chocolate in the middle of each brownie square.)