My husband calls me the “eBay Queen.” And with good reason. I just love eBay. It’s that auction thing.
Before eBay, I used to drag BeeBop to the local weekend antique auction in our old hometown down in south Georgia. There would be everything from furniture to kitchenware to jewelry up for bid. I’d wander around picking out my “treasures” and when the bidding started I was ready! I even had my own personal signal that the auctioneer knew so not everyone in the room was aware of who was bidding against them.
It was so much fun. But Lawd Have Mercy…do. not. let. somebody. try. to. outbid. me. It could get ugly. And there were a few times when I spent waaayyyy more than I meant to on something. It was just a matter of principle. Plus I might be just a teensy bit competitive.
Anyway, back to eBay. I recently found this absolutely adorable old Betty Crocker advertising brochure up for bid. It was for their ®Softasilk cake flour and was copyright 1957 (thus, the recipe title “1957 Brownies” – I know, I’m so clever). I just love the graphic style from that era and I knew it was bound to have a few good recipes in it, so I jumped right into the bidding.
Of course I won the auction. And I am not telling what I paid :-)
Well, I was right about there being some fabulous recipes in this little booklet and I can’t wait to make every last one of them. But the one I started with, simply because I happened to have the ingredients on hand, is this brownie recipe. Just one word of warning – these are not cakey, light airy brownies. Nope. These are very dense, chocolately, rich, chewy and incredibly wonderful.
Why don’t you put on your best apron and make a pan of these brownies. You’ll feel ever so retro.
Start by heating the oven to 350 degrees. Then generously butter an 8×8-inch baking pan and set it aside.
Now melt the chocolate and shortening together in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. If you don’t have a proper double boiler, don’t despair. Put your chocolate and shortening in a heat-proof bowl, preferably glass, and set the bowl in the top of a saucepan containing simmering water. The bowl must be large enough to sit up high and out of the water. Stir the mixture constantly until the chocolate has completely melted.
Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the sugar and eggs.
Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture. Mix in the nuts and vanilla extract.
I’m going to tell y’all…this batter gave my arm a workout! It’s very, very stiff and dense. If you want to use a stand mixer for this, please do! Can you believe that wooden spoon stood up straight in the batter like that? I believe it would have stayed there until I pulled it out, too.
Spread the mixture in the prepared pan. Because the batter is so stiff, this is much easier to do if you just rub a little butter on your fingertips and press it into the corner and around the edges.
Bake the brownies for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top has a dull appearance. Remove from the oven. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.
For the chocolate drizzle:
Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a small microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir until all chocolate chips are melted. Thirty seconds is usually enough time to soften the chips so that they can be stirred to completely melt. If you need more time, proceed in 10 second increments.
Spoon the melted chocolate chip mixture into a small resealable bag. I find this easier to do if I put the bag into a coffee cup or bowl to hold it while I work.
Push the mixture down into one corner of the bag. Twist the top to secure and cut a very small opening in the tip of the bag.
Pipe the chocolate in a random pattern on top of the cooled brownies.
- 2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sifted cake flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tsp. butter
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Liberally grease an 8” square pan. Set aside for later.
- In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate and shortening together. Stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the sugar and eggs.
- Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture. Mix in the nuts and vanilla extract.
- Spread the mixture in the prepared pan using buttered fingers if necessary.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top has a dull appearance.
- Remove from the oven. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.
- Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a small microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir until all chocolate chips are melted.
- Scrape the melted chocolate chip mixture into a small resealable bag. Push the mixture down into one corner of the bag. Twist the top to secure and cut a very small opening in the tip of the bag. Pipe the chocolate in a random pattern on top of the cooled brownies.
Other brownie recipes you might enjoy from around the internet:
- Top 10 Best Brownie Recipes from Brown Eyed Baker
- Symphony Brownies from The Capitol Baker
- S’mores Brownies from The Cooking Actress
- Caramel Stuffed Brownies from Chocolate and Carrots
- Pecan Pie Brownies from Just a Taste
- Brownie Cupcakes from The Perfect Pantry
What I was up to…
- One year ago: Grilled Endive Salad
- Two years ago: Tomatoes Provencal
- Three years ago: Bacon-Cheddar Biscuits
- Four years ago: Crash Hot Potatoes