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I have always loved recipes with a good story. Finding handwritten recipe cards at a flea market always feels like finding a little piece of treasure from the past. Learning that “this was the chicken recipe that made Grandpa propose to Grandma” makes me smile.
Here is a sweet recipe with an even sweeter story.
Years ago, a mom named Barbara DeGroot made it her personal quest to create these incredible, decadent brownies. She had 10 children and made this recipe for her family every day, trying to get it just right (Boy– wouldn’t taste testing those be a labor of love? hehe). Over countless test recipes, she gradually tweaked her formula until it was perfect. One day, after her formula was perfected, she sent brownies in to her husband, Walter’s, workplace as a treat for his coworkers. Luckily my friend Jill was working there, and she tried one of the brownies that Walter had brought to share.
It was love at first bite.
She asked Walter if she could have the recipe, and a few days later, Barbara not only sent the recipe, but also included a bag of premium cocoa powder so that Jill could make these brownies at home.
The author of this recipe, like the recipe itself, is pure sweetness. 🙂
I have usually had a love/hate affair with brownies. When I taste one that is super fudgy and decadent, I am instantly in love. If I try to recreate that incredible taste, at home, it always falls flat. My brownies, historically, have either been raw in the middle (my desperate attempt to get the “fudginess” results in under baking), or crunchy as bricks (overcompensating for the underbaking).
I’m strictly a “brownie mix” kind of gal. And sometimes I can’t even get that right.
Mrs. DeGroot, wherever you may be, thank you. Your recipe is absolutely heavenly, and even I, the brownie nemesis, pulled off homemade brownies that were the best I have ever made. I’m done with mixes. And I’m done fearing the intimidating homemade brownie. This is it. This is perfection.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Decadent Fudge Brownie Recipe (Thanks Mrs. DeGroot 🙂
1 1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup canola oil
3 cups sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup add-ins of choice (chocolate chips, pecans, etc), optional
Directions: Mix melted butter, oil, cocoa, and sugar together. Add vanilla and egg and beat to combine. Stir in flour/salt. Stir in flour-coated add-ins, if desired. Pour into greased 13×9 pan and bake at 350 for roughly 50 minutes– do not overbake. A toothpick inserted into the center can have a few crumbs on it, but should not have any gooey batter on it.
Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Now, in pictures!
First, melt your butter. Yes. TWO sticks. Whoa. This is definitely not an “everyday” recipe. There are certain recipes in my file that I save for picnics and get togethers. That way, I can taste one, but I’m not tempted to eat the rest 😉 Yes. This recipe proudly joins those “eat one and done” recipes.
Melt your butter and add the 1/2 cup oil (as if there weren’t enough calories). Don’t worry. You are mixing together greatness, here. Keep telling yourself, “I’ll only eat one. I’ll only eat one. I’ll only eat one.”
Now, mix in your cocoa powder. Use the good stuff if you really want to make the flavor shine. If you only have the grocery store kinds, I’d go with Hershey– theirs tends to be richer tasting. Add 1 1/2 cups of this gorgeous chocolate gold.
Add in 3 cups of sugar. Oh my goodness. Yes. Three whole cups. Close your eyes and just do it. It will be so worth it.
Mix the butter, oil, cocoa, and sugar together until well blended.
Now, the eggs. I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but add FIVE of them. Clutch your heart for emphasis. Remember– this is a “treat” kind of thing, not an everyday food. And if it’s going to be a “once in a while” kind of food, it might as well be good. Oh . . . and they are. They are so, so good.
Go ahead and add your tbsp. vanilla, too. Mix well.
After beating the eggs, add in your 1 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 tsp. salt. Beat until no lumps remain. Your batter should be velvety and chocolatey. Ohhhhhh so chocolatey . . .
Don’t lick your spoon. There are raw eggs in it. (Just kidding. I am licking the spoon as I write this. I don’t know who came up with that “don’t lick the spoon” thing, but I think he was just trying to stop me from living my life).
At this point, add in some flour-coated chocolate chips or nuts, if you want. Basically, just toss your add-ins in about a tsp. of flour before you add them to the batter to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the brownies while you bake. We want to spread that love around!
Pour into a greased 13×9 pan and bake at 350 for roughly 50 minutes, but don’t overbake– that will kill all this glory you just almost had a heart attack to create. You will know they’re done when no “gooey” batter comes out when you stick a toothpick into the center. Moist crumbs are OK– the toothpick doesn’t have to be “sparkling clean.” Just make sure there isn’t anything liquid. We don’t want to overbake them.
Let them cool completely before cutting.
If you can bear to wait until they’re cool, slice them and share them. Beware: giving these brownies away may cause hugs, big, sloppy kisses, and spontaneous marriage proposals.
You’ve been warned.
And as far as having just one . . . who are we kidding, here? That’s the plus about cutting the brownies . . . you can scrape the pan, and those calories don’t count, right? Hehe.
I won’t tell if you won’t. 😉
Because you did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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