1957 Brownies

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.

1957 Betty Crocker advertisement for Softasilk

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.

Melt the chocolate and shortening for 1957 Brownies

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.

Beat sugar and eggs into 1957 Brownies

Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the sugar and eggs.

Add flour and vanilla to 1957 Brownies

Sift the flour,  salt, and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture. Mix in the nuts and vanilla extract.

Pat the batter into the pan for 1957 Brownies

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.

1957-brownies-pat-in-pan

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.

Baked 1957 Brownies

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:

Melted chocolate chips for 1957 Brownies

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.

Bag for chocolate drizzle

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.

Homemade piping bag for chocolate drizzle

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.

Finished 1957 Brownies

Pipe the chocolate in a random pattern on top of the cooled brownies.

Enjoy!

1957 Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe for densely chocolatey chewy brownies from a Betty Crocker 1957 advertising pamphlet.
Serves: 16 2-inch squares
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Liberally grease an 8” square pan. Set aside for later.
  2. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate and shortening together. Stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the sugar and eggs.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture. Mix in the nuts and vanilla extract.
  5. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan using buttered fingers if necessary.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top has a dull appearance.
  7. Remove from the oven. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.
For the chocolate drizzle:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
Notes
All text and photographs on Never Enough Thyme are copyright protected. Please do not use any material from this site without obtaining prior permission. If you'd like to post this recipe on your site, please create your own original photographs and either re-write the recipe in your own words or link to this post.

 

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Comments

  1. Miss P says

    Hot diggity dog! That’s right up my alley. Just need a glass of cold milk and I will be all set for a night of chocolate delight.

    Miss P

    ps – I know exactly how old you were in 1957.

  2. Judy says

    I had a booklet just like that listed on eBay the last year or so. I LOVE old recipes, the older the better. Pioneer type ones are wonderful. I have these kinds of booklets and recipe books for listing all the time. :D Nothing better than the old time recipes. I have to try this recipe too. It looks great. Have you got Aunt Bea’s recipe books? They are wonderful. There is always some listed on eBay it seems like. The one recipe that I keep going back too in those books is a brownie recipe. They are one of the best I’ve ever made. The old chuck wagon recipes are pretty neat too. :)

  3. says

    Finding old publication like that is so much fun. And if you’re ever looking for an antiquing buddy, give me a holler!

    These sound delish! I can just imagine my grandmothers using this recipe for us when we were little.

    • says

      I do love my little antiquing trips, Amy! We have some great places around us and it’s so much fun to spend an afternoon poking around and finding “treasures.” If you were just a little closer, we’d definitely get together for a shopping spree!

    • Judy says

      I own a “junk” store downtown. I have people coming in “antiquing” all of the time it seems. I also love to go out and look around when I can, which isn’t much any more. Maybe someday.

    • says

      I love the old recipes too, Drick, and I try to take every opportunity to keep them alive and introduce them to younger cooks. And you’re right – this one is definitely a keeper!

    • says

      Mama – these are some of the best brownies I’ve ever made. I especially like that they’re really dense and chewy – nothing cakey about them. They’re actually slightly softer and even better the second day.

  4. says

    I love that you are featuring “retro” recipes Lana – and like you I love perusing old cookbooks!! Cake flour and shortening… oh yeah, those are definitely killer brownies…. hiding recipe from my family otherwise I won’t get out of the kitchen today!!

  5. tyla says

    I was wondering, could you use bitter dark chocolate (like a bitter dark lindt chocolate bar) in stead of the baking chocolate? I have some I’d like to use up but I wasn’t sure if it would be ok to exchange. Thanks!

    • says

      Probably. But I haven’t tried that so I can’t say for sure. Why don’t you give it a try and let me know how it turns out.

    • says

      These brownies are really great, Cheryl. And they’re even better the next day after baking. I’m going to be trying lots of the other recipes in this pretty little booklet. Hope they all turn out as well as the brownies!

    • says

      Kelly – I do really enjoy finding great old recipes like these. I think we sometimes forget that things don’t always have to be the ‘latest and greatest’ to be enjoyable.

  6. says

    What a great, fun, yummy post, Lana. I love those kind of cookbooks. A few years ago, my husband got pretty hooked on eBay. We decided he needed to stop because it really became a lot more of him just wanting to beat someone else out of the thing. I’m dying to know how much you got this book for. ;) I just might have to try this “old” recipe to compare it to my favorite fudgy brownies.

    • says

      I know what you mean about eBay. I actually have two vintage cookbooks on their way to me right now ;-) I bet you’d like these brownies, Katrina! They’re a little different with their dense, very chewy texture, but so delicious!

  7. Candee Bradbury says

    I think I may have located my mother’s brownie recipe after years of searching!!!!!! I cannot explain how much this means to me. She was a fabulous cook, and she made untold pans of these brownies. I was usually given the task of stirring the shortening and baking chocolate while they melted in a small iron skillet – my mother did not “do” double boilers. I miss her so, and if this is her recipe (we’ll find out tonight when I get home from work!!!) I will be over the moon happy. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your website! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing.

    On a serious note – get your family recipes from your family members. I’m making a recipe booklet for my kids so that they don’t have this particular hole in their heart after I’m gone.

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