When I was growing up, my mother rarely let us help in the kitchen unless she was in a really good mood. My sister is 3 years older than I and she was allowed to make brownies when she was about 11. I loved Carole’s brownies and I couldn’t wait to be 11 so I could make them too.
On the day I turned 11 I asked if I could make the brownies only to be told that Carole did brownies and I’d have to learn something else. I wanted brownies! Finally I gave in and went for peanut butter cookies but I always
resented wished I could be the brownie baker.
When I left home I took Carole’s brownie recipe with me. It’s been in the family for 75 years and I’ve never seen a reason to change. Oh I’ve flirted with extra fudgy brownies but I always come back to these. The recipe I have is only ingredients. My mother never felt the need for instructions, she assumed everyone knew what to do.
My sister visited a couple of years ago and when we arrived home from the airport, I had a big plate of these brownies ready and told her they were HER brownies. She looked at me as if I were from another planet.
“What MY brownies are you talking about?” she asked.
“The ones you made as a kid. I copied the recipe before I left home,” I said.
I got the big eye roll and she said she’d found a much better recipe than that and had been using it for 40 years. I felt flattened. I’d been making THE BROWNIES all my adult life and now she says they weren’t the best?
Well, she took one bite and said, “I forgot how good these are. These are better than mine.”
“They ARE yours, you loon,” said in the only way siblings talk to one another without getting smacked around.
I’m quite sure these brownies originally came from the back of a chocolate box or a woman’s magazine but that doesn’t make them any less good. Normally I use butter rather than shortening but this batch was made exactly like my mother’s recipe was written with 4 tablespoons of shortening melted with the chocolate.
- 4 ounces (116 grams) of unsweetened chocolate (that's bitter chocolate with no sugar)
- 4 tbs shortening (butter will work just fine)
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1½ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
- pinch salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Melt shortening and chocolate together.
- When melted, add sugar and beat well with a wooden spoon.
- Add eggs and beat again.
- Add vanilla
- Stir baking powder and salt into flour and add to mixture and mix in nuts.
- Pour into a 9x13 baking pan and bake for exactly 25 minutes. These are not good if overcooked. (I don't think so anyway)
If you need a low dairy free, gluten free and a low FODMAP recipe for these brownies, Nataliya from Not From a Packet has changed this recipe. Now if you’ve got health issues, you can still eat an old fashioned brownie.