Actually these may be your great grandma’s brownies.
Recently I have wanted to make brownies.
Not the box kind.
And not the kind where the chocolate comes from cocoa powder.
I wanted to make brownies made with unsweetened baking chocolate.
Right off I need to confess that I am not a fan of cakes.
Brownies are another story though.
When I first got married, I thought I was Martha Stewart, that was before I knew who she was.
I thought I needed to make everything from scratch. I was a real-foods health-nut kind of person.
But, I liked my brownies. And cookies.
One of my favorite wedding gifts was a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. It was my cooking bible.
And then one day I discovered Duncan Hines.
Is he a famous chef?
Anyways…I started making brownies from a mix, because I thought it was faster, and they tasted almost a good as homemade, and all my friends convinced me I should.
These days I’m returning to my former days. Well, except for the Martha Stewart part.
I’m into real food. Real butter. The good stuff.
So, if my old cookbook hadn’t been in storage, I would have opened it up today to bake brownies from scratch.
Being a modern-day girl…I didn’t let a few hundred miles deter me from sinking my teething into some chocolaty goodness.
Nope. I opened up my laptop and went recipe hunting.
I found a brownie recipe that came from a 1951 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that used baking chocolate. Yes!
As I studied it, I realized that it was fairly close to the recipe I had used in a much more modern version of the same cookbook. Mine was undoubtedly tweaked by the test kitchens at BH&G over time. And since I don’t have a perfect memory to remember the recipe exactly, I made two changes to the 1951 recipe which may or may not make it like the recipe book in storage.
The important thing is that when I served it to the hungry guys….as I was putting supper in the oven…it got good reviews.
And then I bit into my brownie, and I agreed with them, it was good.
And then I had a thought. A small scoop of ice cream, would be the perfect accompaniment to my still warm brownie.
Instead, I had a couple swallows of cold milk, not quite the same, because dinner would be served in just a little more than an hour.
I love that I’m not dirtying a bunch of dishes to make a treat. It really could be considered a one pan dessert.
The texture is great. It’s dense like a brownie should be….chocolaty but not overpowering. And it’s not too sweet. Which is why a little ice cream would have been delightful.
I’m even thinking about having another piece before I go to bed.
Of course then I’ll need to hit the roads in my walking boots tomorrow. [wink]
Here’s the recipe with my tweaks….
Set your oven to 325 degrees…first thing.
- 1 and 1/4 stick of Butter
- 2 one ounce squares of Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
- 3/4 cup of Sugar (for a sweeter brownie add 1/4 cup Sugar)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 3/4 cup of Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 cup Pecans or Walnuts
- Butter a 9×9 Baking Dish.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and sea salt and set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium/low heat begin heating your butter. As some of the butter melts and covers the bottom of the pan, add in your unsweetened baking chocolate and stir. Keep an eye on the butter and chocolate and stir occasionally until both are melted.
- Remove from heat.
- Add sugar and stir in until well blended with a whisk.
- Whisk in your two eggs and vanilla to the sugary chocolate.
- Gradually add in your dry ingredients which you have prepared, stirring with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Add in the nuts.
- Pour the mixture in your prepared baking pan.
- Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes.
- Cool and Enjoy!
It’s super cold tonight….plus we’re expecting to wake up to wind chills of minus 30-35 in the morning.
Maybe I’ll make a cup of hot chocolate and indulge in another brownie, now.
Want to join me?
(If you’re gluten free….come on over anyway…I’ll serve something just right for you.)
Edited: One day later…I decided to experiment again. This time I made a change in the recipe….NO baking powder….which resulted in a “fudgier” brownie. I also added almond extract to the vanilla….1/2 tsp. of each. Yum. If I want to enjoy ice cream with my brownie….I’ll keep the baking powder in the recipe. I’d love to know which way you prefer your brownie.
- Do you have a favorite old recipe you want to try to find again?
- Which do you prefer…cake or brownies or cookies?
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