There’s a page in my cookbook that’s tattered and torn, grease stained and smeared with chocolate. There are notes and exclamation marks in the margins, a few things crossed out here and there and some new additions penciled in. It’s the most worn out page in my “Best Recipes This Side of Heaven” Home-Tested Recipes from Anglican Church Ladies, cookbook. The cookbook itself is in poor condition. The pages are dog-eared and stained, the back cover is ripped in half, the front cover is worn, creased and faded and little sticky tabs pop out on every side. It was given to me by my husband’s aunt Mary in 1989, and reminds me fondly of her. For many years it was my most thumbed-through cookbook and as a new mom, helped me get a tasty, if not well-balanced meal on the table. Never underestimate the culinary power of a home-tested church-lady recipe. It can bring you fame, if only at your own kitchen table.
There must be a gazillion brownie recipes of various methods and ingredients and everyone seems to have their own personal favourite. Brownies are like perfume or cologne ~ you have to find the one that suits you. I’ve found one that suits me … perfectly. The surprising thing is, that it isn’t the one that’s all smeared and stained in my Anglican church ladies cookbook. It’s new.
But these brownies, are officially my new:
Do you want to know a secret about this recipe? It’s been directly above the one I’ve been using for the last 25 years. Sitting there all the time.
The one I’d never tried and it took all these years to find.
And do you know what my kids said when I asked them how they compared to the ones I had made them for the last quarter century.
“Oh, yeah, these are way better!
There’s something about brownies that make everything better and these brownies are no exception. Fudgy, moist and full of satisfying chocolate flavour, they rival my oldest tried and true go-to-brownie recipe.
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
10 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
milk chocolate/semi-sweet chocolate chips or slivered almonds, optional, to sprinkle on top
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Pour into your prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with optional chocolate chips and/or nuts. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove pan to a rack to cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.
Source: Best Recipes This Side of Heaven, St. Andrew’s church lady in Sidney, B.C.