I Paid: $9.99 per 18-ounce box (prices may vary by region)
To a food writer, a $10 price tag on a box of frickin' brownie mix is a dare. The dare is this: "Buy me. If I don't produce the most amazing, luscious, mind-blowing brownies you've ever tasted, you can become outraged at how expensive I am and then subsequently rip me a new orifice of your choosing."
The brownies and blondies produced by the $10 boxes of Fat Witch Bakery mixes are among the most amazing, luscious, and mind-blowing brownies and blondies I've ever tasted.
It's difficult to step out and say "best ever," because there are a lot of good brownies to sort through, but the Fat Witch mixes produce an amazing product. The blondies tasted primarily of butter and brown sugar, and were substantial in terms of weight and texture. High-grade bittersweet chocolate chips (which come with the mix) dotted the almost butterscotchy cake. The brownies were neutron dense and insanely rich and fudgy, with an almost glasslike finish on the bottom where the brownies had touched the pan.
At least part of the secret to these mixes is that they are an extremely fine and consistent powder. When you mix that powder with melted butter (which you supply) and eggs (likewise), the resulting batter is dense, smooth, and firm. The brownie directions ask you to melt actual high-grade chocolate chips (which come in the box) along with the butter, meaning that the chocolate flavor is as real as it comes and it's also integrated into the brownies at a fundamental level.
Is $10 too much to pay for a pan of brownies you're required to make yourself? That's a personal question you'll have to wrestle with. But if any mix was worth the cost, this would be it.