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DEAR HELOISE: A recipe for chocolate brownies appeared in your column years ago. Could you please reprint it?

  • Brenda H., via email

DEAR READER: Here is the recipe for Heloise’s brownies from a cake mix. These are more cake-like brownies, but they will do in a pinch and with things you usually have on hand. Grab the following ingredients:

1 egg

3/4 cup water plus more as needed

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 (18.25 ounces) box devil’s food cake mix

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13-by-9-inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the egg, water and nuts (if using). Add the cake mix and stir well. The batter will be thick. If it is too thick, add only a teaspoonful of water at a time to help thin it. Just be sure not to over mix. Pour into the greased pan and smooth the top.

Bake 20-25 minutes for chewy brownies. If you like them more of a cake consistency, then bake for a few minutes longer. You need to watch them and test for how “done” you like them. Be sure to let the brownies cool before cutting, and use a plastic knife to cut them with little or no sticking!

DEAR HELOISE: Some time ago, I think you wrote not to put eggshells down the garbage disposal. Please tell me why.

  • John in Colorado

DEAR READER: Some experts suggest that a lot of eggshells can damage a disposal, but I don’t see how. The real point is that in large amounts, they also can clog the drains further down in the pipes. This is why you must run a lot of water before, during and after a food item is put in the disposal. Instead of putting shells down the sink, try using them as compost.

DEAR HELOISE: When making cookies that call for oatmeal, what kind is the best to bake cookies with?

  • Sharon C. in Houston

DEAR READER: You can use the one-minute oatmeal or regular when baking. Both have the same flavor; the only difference is in the appearance of the cookies. The quicker-cooking oatmeal has a finer texture, so the oatmeal will be blended into the cookie. When using regular oatmeal, you will be able to see the oats in the cookie.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Food, Pages 36 on 09/18/2013

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS

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