The All-American Brownie

This classic dessert is easy and fun to make.

It seems as though everyone loves brownies, but few can decide which is best. Is it the cocoa brownie, the fudge brownie or the cake brownie? Some recipes are a combination of all three. But we do know they are an American classic with New England roots. The first brownie recipe was traced back to 1896 and the “Fannie Merritt Farmer, Boston Cooking-School Cookbook.” What’s interesting is that the first brownie wasn’t chocolate. It was small little molasses cookie/cake type confections. But by the 1920s, chocolate brownies were all the rage.

Do you use brown sugar in your brownies? The flavor of molasses goes very well with the chocolate and walnuts. The recipe here uses half white sugar and half brown sugar for the amount needed. You’ll never know it’s in there, just helping to build great flavors.

The cocoa used must be natural cocoa, not the Dutched process type. A classic brownie always contains walnuts. Just like its cousin, the chocolate chip cookie, which, by the way, also uses brown sugar. Nuts are being used less and less in baking because of allergies, but brownies just don’t have the same height and texture without walnuts. The half cup cocoa in the recipe is not overpowering so the addition of some added chocolate chips provides more texture and chocolatey gooeyness.

Good for any holiday get together, parade or picnic, a few ingredients can make a lot of brownies and a lot of people happy.

Happy Baking!

Steve James

Certified Master Baker

Managing Partner

Popovers on the Square


BrowniesHeat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Yield: 24 to 36 brownies, depending on how you cut them.

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unsalted butter (melted) (2 sticks)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole eggs

( 4 to 5 depending on egg size)

1/2 cup natural Hershey's cocoa

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup walnut pieces

1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Melt the butter over a low heat. When butter is melted, using a whisk, mix in the two sugars and the vanilla.

Add the eggs one at a time to the butter/sugar mixture. After all the eggs are added, scrape the bowl well.

Add the cocoa and mix until well blended. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, add and mix till smooth.

Add the walnuts and chocolate chips until well combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 38 minutes, depending on your oven.

Tip: Don't open oven door before 35 minutes. Bake until brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

For adults, the brownies are great served as they are, but for kids, you’ve got to frost the top with either a fudge icing or a classic ganache, and then cut into 2-inch squares.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. 2015 It List
    Our 2015 It List is the who’s who of New Hampshire. Meet 14 influential Granite Staters who...
  2. Miracle on Beech Street
    At the Manchester Police Athletic League, officers change the lives of local youth for the better.
  3. 28 Ways to Have Fun This Winter
    This year, why not resolve to make the best of the snow and ice? Here are 28 things to do...
  4. Challenge Yourself with Snowshoe Racing
    Put on your snowshoes and run! If you enjoy regular races, you just might like the added...
  5. Understanding and Alleviating Dry Eye
    The syndrome puts comfort and eye health at risk.
  6. Holiday Shopping in Concord
    Concord’s Main Street is back and beautiful. The recent downtown renovation has made for a...
  7. Alexander Heffner Host of “The Open Mind”
    "The Open Mind,” which turns 60 this year, got a new lease on life when Alexander Heffner,...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags