I don’t know what happened to brownies. I don’t know when Betty Crocker and all of the other makers of brownie mixes decided that brownies had to be loaded with “stuff.” I don’t want “stuff” in my brownies. Nuts, yeah, okay. I’ll go for some nuts. But sweet colored candies, toffee chips, chocolate chunks, and chocolate syrup packets need not be included. And when did we stop BAKING them? When I order a brownie in a restaurant these days it comes to me as a mass of wet ~ not moist ~ but WET, under cooked, chocolaty goo. Brownies used to be a cookie. Your mother packed them in your lunch box and you could eat them with your fingers without needing a fork or a sink to wash up afterwards. They were thick, moist, and chocolaty rich.
Okay, I get it. Most of you out there like those gooey, half baked confections. Probably just as much as you enjoy things like “Molten Lava Cake.” And you’re in good company. Most people do enjoy those desserts. That’s why they’ve taken over the market. If those desserts are for you, then this recipe probably isn’t. But I know there are a few of you out there. Like me, you aren’t impressed with overly sweet, gooey desserts. You just want a brownie that is an old fashioned bar cookie like the one Mom put in your lunchbox.
I finally gave up on the boxed brownie mix and went looking for the bar cookie. I searched through my collection of old 1950’s and 60’s cookbooks and there it was. The simple but delicious brownie recipe moms used to make before boxed mixes became a way of life. I don’t know if baking from scratch is any cheaper than buying a boxed mix. But the ingredients list was short and I had everything I needed to make the recipe already in my cupboard. Nice.
I whipped up a batch wondering if they’d be as good as I remembered. They were wonderful! The recipe made an 8″ square pan of brownies that were moist, chewy, and rich in chocolate. If you’re a fan of brownies the way they used to be, try these. Plain or with a thin coat of frosting–either way this retro recipe is a winner.
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. Cocoa
2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Thoroughly cream butter and sugar; add eggs and beat well. Blend in cocoa, oil, and vanilla. Add flour and mix just until blended. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into an 8″ square pan. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
I love this frosting recipe and I have used it for years for brownies, cookies, and cakes too. Nothing you can buy can compare to a homemade frosting and this one is fast and easy to make.
Mocha Chocolate Frosting
6 Tbsp. Cocoa
6 Tbsp. Hot Coffee
6 Tbsp. Softened Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 cups Sifted Powdered Sugar
Combine cocoa and coffee; add butter and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar gradually until spreadable.