Rich and fudgy, fancy without being fussy, these brownies are a snap to make. Using the classic Hodgson Mill Brownie Mix with Whole Wheat Flour & Milled Flax Seed and adding cinnamony chunks of pear and crunchy slivered almonds creates a chocolaty fruity last-minute gift. The pears lighten up the finished product and add a mildly sweet and festive flavor, too.
A mix is the perfect thing to reach for when you’re feeling time-crunched but still want to bake something personal. This variation was born of convenience—I just looked around my kitchen, noticed my fruit bowl full of pears and a half-bag of slivered almonds leftover from a stir-fry experiment. Pear and almond have a longstanding history with each other, too—like in a French pear frangipane tart.
The beauty is these brownies can be a last-minute party offering, a quick way to make a low-cost but thoughtful gifts for friends, or something quick to whip up when unexpected guests drop by for a visit. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m reasonably sure these could be made in individual mini-muffin tins (for more giftability and pop-into-mouth-ability). I’ll try to get some in the oven, but if any of you make them, let us know cooking time and any tips and tricks in the comments section of the blog!
Start with a pear. I used D’Anjou—I would’ve liked to try the Bosc (the brown one, above) but D’Anjou won the coin toss.
Peel the pear and core it. Cut half into small chunks (1/2” or so) for the batter. Cut the other half into long, thin strips to lay on top of the brownies before baking.
In a medium bowl, mix up the brownie mix with melted butter, almond extract, cinnamon and eggs. The mix will seem a bit dry, but don’t worry, the pear chunks will help to moisten things up.
Add the almonds and pear chunks, mixing until both are incorporated throughout the batter.
Spread the mixture into a pan and smooth out the top. Lay the long pear slices on top, pressing them into the batter slightly. Sprinkle with a light dusting of cinnamon (not pictured).
Bake, enjoy, gift! Repeat as needed.
Last-Minute Pear Almond Whole Wheat Brownies
- 1 box Hodgson Mill Brownie Mix with Whole Wheat Flour & Milled Flax Seed
- ½ stick (4 Tablespoons) butter or margarine, melted
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 pear (divided–half cut into half-inch or smaller chunks, half sliced in long, thin strips for top of brownies)
- 1/3 cup almonds, sliced (or slivered if you prefer)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon; more for sprinkling on top of batter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in microwave or on stovetop. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, brownie mix, cinnamon and almond extract. Mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon or spatula. Add eggs and continue to mix until eggs are incorporated. Add in chopped pear and almonds and mix until combined.
Spread into an ungreased 8 x 8” pan and smooth out top of batter. Lay long strips of pear across the top of the batter, pressing lightly, and sprinkle entire top lightly with cinnamon. Bake for 20-24 minutes (mine took 24) or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Makes one 8 x 8” pan (16 2 x 2” brownies). Keep in sealed container in a cool location for up to three days.