Bar #35: Vanilla Bean Brownies

Since we celebrated Easter yesterday, I’ve moved my bar recipe to today and Meal Planning Monday to tomorrow!  We can meal plan on a Tuesday, right?  Sure we can!
I love vanilla.  I love vanilla more than chocolate (and you guys know how much I love chocolate!).  Since my Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake went down as one of your very favorite bundt cakes, I thought I’d do a bar version…you will love these babies too!  Simple, moist, and full of that yummy vanilla flavor…move over chocolate, there is a new brownie in town.
I scraped the seeds out of two vanilla beans but you could substitute a little good quality vanilla extract instead.  I would use 2 teaspoons in the brownie batter and 2 teaspoons in the frosting.  But I highly recommend using a vanilla bean if for nothing else, the little flecks of vanilla bean goodness. 
Shopping List
1 box of white cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 splashes of milk
2 vanilla beans, split down the middle and the seeds scraped out
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease (I use Pam) a 9×13 baking dish.  Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine first 4 ingredients with an electric mixer.  Stir in the seeds of one of your vanilla beans. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow bars to cool on the counter.
Once the bars are cool, start making your frosting.  Beat your butter, powdered sugar and splash of milk with an electric mixer.  If your frosting is too thin, add more sugar and if it’s too thick, add another splash of milk.  Once frosting reaches the desired consistency, stir in the seeds from your second vanilla bean.  
Frost cooled bars with vanilla bean frosting.
Slice into bars and serve.  Keep refrigerated when not serving.
I do love me some vanilla.  I also love me a simple little bar recipe.  Have a great Monday!
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  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} April 21, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Oh yeah baby. These look great!

  • Mindy April 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Looks very yummy! Where do you get Vanilla Beans? I can't seem to find them at the supermarket. Not sure if I am looking in the wrong area or not. Any suggestions would be great!! THanks

  • Mix and Match Mama April 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I always find them in jars on the spice aisle! Near the vanilla extract.

  • AmyRay April 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    First of all, YES! I love vanilla too! These sound so yummy. But what makes them more of a brownie than a cake? Is it the amount of liquid you add to the cake mix? (Since I don't have a box in front of me, I can't compare, and inquiring minds HAVE to know!)
    Thanks, I'm definitely going to make these!

  • Melanie April 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm


  • Mix and Match Mama April 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Less water and more oil create a brownie consistency instead of a cake consistency :).

  • Narci April 21, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Yum! One of my sweeties doesn't love chocolate so this is perfect! 🙂 Can't wait to try it!!

  • Mindy April 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you so much! I would of never guessed the spice aisle! I was looking everywhere else – produce section, organic section, where they sell Basil etc. I will look in the spice aisle! Thank you again! I will let you know if I have trouble. Also been wanting to pull out my ice cream maker and show my daughter how to make Vanilla Ice Cream. It will come out much better using Vanilla Beans vs. just extract.

  • Lora G April 22, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    These look great! I love vanilla too! Could you use vanilla bean paste?

  • Brittany Hisel June 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    I just made these to take to the last day of my pharmacy internship tomorrow….I'm about to die I want to eat them so bad!!!!

  • Ashley July 3, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Mindy, if you are local, I've purchased vanilla beans in the bulk section of central market before. I believe it was cheaper than my regular grocer as well. Hope that helps.