As you may have come to realize by the lack of dessert representation here at “Sly Rooster,” I am not much of a baker. This may be attributed to the fact that I don’t really love sweets or maybe it’s the “exactness” of it all. I enjoy a bit of wiggle room when I’m in the kitchen, a touch of this and a dash of that. Maybe the more experienced baker knows where rules can be broken, but I wouldn’t dare.
On the other hand, my mother has always been quite the baker. I am not exaggerating when I state that we always had home-baked goodies in our house–and still do when we go to visit. Growing up, I was able to pick out the friends that knew cookies as Oreos or Chip’s Ahoy or more dramatically, those who were denied sweets entirely. They were the ones that would walk into my house, take a left into the kitchen and head straight for the cookies. Hand in the jar before they could even muster a hello.
I always felt sorry for those friends (obviously there could be worse predicaments but in my 10-year-old world this was pretty bad), so I try to be more like my mom and bake. We don’t always have a treat in the jar or on the cake plate, and when we do it’s often a Pudding Pie or Seven Layer Cookies–something easy. But more than occasionally, I whip up some old reliables–Mulatto Cookies, Buffalo Chip Cookies, Mandelbrot–or my hand’s down favorite, DeeDee’s Brownies. I’m not sure where my mother originally found this recipe or if she tweaked it along the way (Mom?) but I do know that over 40+ years, it has appeared in many community cookbooks and is in the recipe file of almost every family friend and relative.
You’ll find these brownies to be less fudgy that those from a mix, slightly cakey but extremely moist. They should be soft and densely chocolate on the inside with a nice crust over the top. A friend who tried them this weekend said that they are not super sweet, which could explain why I love them. I consider the walnuts mandatory, a non-negotiable much to Gary’s dismay. My kind mother has been known to bake them with nuts in one half of the pan and without in the other–but only for Andrew.
So bakers and non-bakers alike, give these a go and your family will be thrilled. You might even be able to eek a little more mileage out of Mother’s Day.
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
4 squares unsweetened Baker’s chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9″x12″ baking pan.
Mix flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In a bowl of a mixer, mix butter and add eggs, one at a time. Once combined, add sugar. At a low-speed beat in melted chocolate, vanilla and flour mixture. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in nuts by hand.
Turn batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. A toothpick inserted into center should come out clean.
Cut while warm and allow to cool in baking pan. Enjoy with a glass of milk.