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.
Certified Master Baker
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.