(Oops...corrected 7/12)

Back at Christmastime, our team spent the better part of a lunch-hour debating whether brownies had more or less calories before or after they were baked...is brownie batter better or worse for you?  Well, today, with the help of Bhanu, our teammate working hard on keeping the MSDN Forums a great place to get answers every day, I came up with an answer without debating endothermic/exothermic reactions and plowing into biochemistry.

Let's just count the calories.  A Betty Crocker brownie-mix box has two sets of nutrition facts on it--stats for just the powder inside of the box, and for the brownies after they are baked.  That's all we need!  It turns out that a box of brownies, after baked, has 3,200 calories.  How much do the ingredients have?

Well, first, there's the brownie mix itself.  It has 120 calories per serving, and there are 20 servings in the brownie box.  120 x 20 = 2,400 calories.  Now, Betty Crocker asks you to add three ingredients to your mix:  water, 2 eggs, and a 1/3 cup of vegetable oil.

Water = 0 calories

2 Eggs = 70 calories apiece x 2 = 140 calories

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil = 5 1/3 tablespoons of vegetable oil = 16/3 tablespoons * 120 calories/tablespoon = 640 calories

Grand Total = 3,180 calories

This is 20 calories less than the (delete: brownie batter)...err, I mean baked brownies.  Yes, it matters what kind of vegetable oil you have, and we have to trust that Betty Crocker actually measured the calories in a brownie after it was cooked, but based on these calculations, there's 20 calories (delete: less) MORE in a baked box of brownies than in the batter.  Given that a pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, if you ate 175 boxes of uncooked brownies, you'd save yourself an entire pound of body fat than if you ate the cooked brownies--a great tip if you're trying to lose weight!