First things first: Yet another recipe of my grandmother’s. It’s a little involved, because this is from scratch—no pre-made blasphemies here—but it is quite simple. Leave your Betty Crocker brownie mixes on the grocery store shelf.
A caveat before we get started: The recipe calls for baking for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, which seemed a little short to me and sure enough the brownies weren’t even remotely done. So, I stuck them in for another 10 minutes and they were perfect. I guess time and temperature in the 1950’s was different than it is today. Also, these have more of a dense cake texture than a brownie texture—but they are still awesome.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Water
⅓ Cup Cocoa
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp. Salt
½ Cup Buttermilk
2 Eggs, beaten
1 ½ tsp. Vanilla
4 Tbsp. Butter
¼ Cup Cocoa
¼ Cup Buttermilk
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 ¼ Cups Powdered Sugar
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, water and cocoa and cook until boiling. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Stir batter into hot cocoa mix and
beat by hand use a mixer because this isn’t the Stone Age, beating until well combined. Stop mixer, lower the bowl, and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to loosen up all the stubborn bits of the buttermilk batter which are still stuck to the bowl. Lift the bowl and mix again until smooth.
Pour into a greased and floured 15” x 10” pan and bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
While brownies are baking, make the frosting. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook butter, cocoa and buttermilk until boiling. It may appear curdled—that’s normal.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and powdered sugar and whisk vigorously until smooth.
When brownies are removed from the oven, pour the frosting over the top. Using a rubber spatula, gently spread the frosting over the top of the brownies. The frosting will be thick when it lands on the brownies, but the heat of the brownies right out of the oven will thin the frosting enough to make it manageable. Usually, the brownies will develop a “heat dome” in the oven. This will settle as it cools, but in the meantime, while spreading the frosting, you’ll want to focus more on spreading the frosting that pools around the edges, rather than pulling from the middle because you won’t want it to be too thin in the middle and too thick around the edges. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting.
While the brownies are cooling, lick the spatula and the whisk which you used for the frosting and make sure you don’t waste any of it because it is kick ass.