Day 34 – Classic Chocolate Brownies   8 comments

My mother used to make these brownies for us growing up. They were a family favourite for me and my brothers and they continue to be a favourite for my kids now. I don’t have any other recipe that has stood such a test of time.

My mom’s version was made in a round tin and dressed with a simple white, vanilla icing. She’d often make two, serving one and freezing the other. Growing up, I always thought the brownie was pretty good, but the icing was wonderful. I would often eat them from the bottom up. Or I’d simply peel the icing off and set it aside, eat the brownie and then return for the icing. While I’ve grown out of that habit (mostly), I’m pleased to see that my kids carry on the tradition.

When I headed off to university, I would occasionally get a care package and it would inevitably include a brownie cake. Every time I have these, they take me back. They are the taste of home.

The beauty of these brownies is how easy they are to make. No three-hour prep time for this one. You can knock these together in 15 minutes plus cooking time.

I don’t know if my brothers still make these brownies, but for those of us who do, I think we’ve all evolved the recipe over time. I’ve added melted chocolate, dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and changed the icing to chocolate. Much to my children’s horror, I’ve even sometimes omitted the icing or just used icing sugar sprinkled over the top.

My idea for the photo was to shape the brownies into hearts, clubs, spades, and diamonds, but only the hearts and diamonds worked out. The clubs and spades were too fussy and delicate – they all broke. So instead of being an ode to poker, it’s apparently an early nod to Saint Valentine.

Technical details: ISO 200, 1/100s, f4.0, 100mm
Photoshop mods: Levels to fine tune lighting

Recipe

Brownies:
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 or 3 oz melted unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup flour
[optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans]
[optional: 1 cup white chocolate chips]
[optional: 1 cup dark chocolate chips]
[optional: 1 cup skor bits]

With a wooden spoon, cream together butter, sugar, cocoa powder and melted chocolate. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and stir. Fold in any other optional bits as you like.

Bake in a greased 9″ x 13″ pan for 30-40 minutes. Watch closely when you’re getting close, it should start to pull away from the sides. An inserted toothpick should come out clean.

Variation: Put a small amount in mini-muffin tins for “two-bite brownies”. Reduce cooking time to 10-12 minutes. Be careful not to overfill.

Icing:
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp vanilla
[optional: 2 tbsp cocoa powder]

While the brownies are in the oven, beat all ingredients together until smooth. Pour onto the brownies just as the brownies come out of the oven. This will melt the icing to form a shiny glaze.

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8 responses to “Day 34 – Classic Chocolate Brownies

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  1. ah, chocolate

    NOW you’ve got my attention. Mouth watering picture, and, um, I hear the kitchen calling 🙂

    Gorgeous, Mike.

  2. So nice to see you cooking up a (yummy) storm again! You know a food photo is good when you want to reach into your computer and take a bite.

  3. I soooo want one!!! I need a treat after my interview! Do you think there will be any left when I get home?

  4. I really miss these!! Will have to try baking them myself now that you’ve shared the recipe 🙂

  5. These look awesome, I’ll let you know what my family thinks after I make them. Thank you for sharing!

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