Saturday, April 8, 2017

Damned Good Food - "Lunch Lady" Brownies

The batter is super thick and a little crumbly looking.  No worries!
So if you're just "tuning in", I'm on a mission to cook more at home and eat less take-out (which, as a busy writer, is my go-to much too often) So each week, I'm planing on trying a couple of new recipes and see if I can find some damned good food to add to our family cookbook.

I didn't post a new recipe last week because a) I was lazy, ) didn't try any new recipes, and c) fell back on bad habits.  This week hasn't been much better, but I did attempt a new brownie recipe a friend posted, so I figured I'd share.

I am ashamed to admit that after years and years of professional baking experience, I've never made scratch brownies before.  When I bake, it's often breads, rolls, and quick breads, so I tended to just go for a box brownie mix if the hankering ever came, which isn't often. Sweets aren't typically my thing.  I'm a bread, pasta, and potato freak.

Not sure how this recipe got the name.  None of my lunch ladies ever made brownies this good at any school I ever attended. A fellow TEP author, Aliyah Burke, shared this recipe on her FB wall, so it's all her fault I broke my attempt at eating better and made a batch. (We all need a scapegoat from time to time!)  Also doesn't help that I had all the ingredients in my pantry and I was jonsing for chocolate like a crack addict for some reason.

Or that I was procrastinating over the book I'm working on. Sigh.

Anywho... these were super easy to make.  It only took about 15 minutes of active work, the rest was just waiting while they baked/cooled. (And mouth watering, waiting for CHOCOLATE!!)

Note: The site that had the recipe only showed a finished brownie with the icing on top and I'm sure I know why.  The batter is super thick (see photo above) and once baked, they still didn't look so pretty.  Once the icing goes on and smooths out the top, they're much more camera ready.  So don't worry if your brownies come out looking a hot mess.  The icing will cover it all up and no one will be the wiser.

Once iced, no one can see the flaws!
Also, I didn't use foil to line my pan as I'm sure it was done as an easy method of cleaning up.  I prefer to use Baker's Secret (a spray that also has flour in it, so it oils/flours your cake pan at the same time -- there are other versions of this, but I prefer the original my mama always used.)

I set my timer for 20 mins, as my oven runs a bit on the warmer side AND you can always add more time, but can never take it away.  Glad I did, as my brownies were done in 20.

I almost made these in an 11x7 pan I had instead of the 9x13 -- I like a bit of a thicker brownie, but I opted to stick to the guidelines here to see how they turned out.  Wish I had gone with my gut and will try it the next time I make these -- if you have a slightly smaller pan and like a thicker brownie, I say go for it.  Just watch your time, as you'll likely need to add a few more minutes until your toothpick comes out clean. And it might result in a slightly cakier brownie.  Too much smaller than the 9x13 and you also might want to drop the temp to 325 and cook a while longer to avoid the outside getting dry. (Although, as sweet as they are, perhaps thin is better!)

Lastly -- while really, really good, these are super sweet.  As in, I ate one and I'm fairly certain I immediately developed type 2 diabetes.

But if you like sweet and are craving some mad sugar and chocolate, then these are definitely your way into a sugar induced coma. Make sure you have plenty of milk to wash them down with.

The most incredible and fudgy brownies. This is the only brownie recipe you'll ever need.

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 30 min


1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract


1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup milk ( I use 2%)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with foil and spray foil with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand-mixer, add the melted butter and cocoa powder. Using the paddle attachment, blend until smooth.

Add the flour and sugar. Beat together then add eggs and vanilla. Mix just until combined. Don't over mix. (Batter will be thick)

Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove brownies from oven and let stand 15 minutes before frosting. You want the brownies still warm when you frost them!

FOR CHOCOLATE FROSTING: Beat together all the frosting ingredients until smooth. Pour and spread over warm brownies. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Yields: 12 large brownies or 24 small brownies

By Holly @
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