Mom baked tons of goodies, but none more frequently than her brownies. She was the entire welcome wagon for the growing neighborhood back in the mid 1950’s and would bring a plate of brownies to every new family. We loved when she made brownies because the crisp edges had to be carved off before being given away. Though the pan was square and she hacked off an edge for each of us, we still managed to fight over them.
Thankfully, the recipe made its way into print in the 1964 Syracuse Hadassah Cookbook, and was called Ada’s Brownies – a riff on Ate a Brownie (my dad’s odd sense of humor). Otherwise, none of us would have ever known what went into her recipe because she never bothered to write them down. The book is long out of print, but I still have a copy tucked away.
Fortunately, her brownies live on. I’ve updated the recipe to be gluten free and to utilize better chocolate sources available today. But aside from that, some things deserve to be historic mom-uments, including recipes that have a history and taste really good.
There is nothing that says love more than a really good, gooey chocolate brownie. The beauty of these brownies is that they are at their best on day two, so baking them in advance is an advantage.
There are so many ways to serve these little chocolate brownies. Freeze them and serve ice-cold with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Make a puddle of fudge sauce or raspberry puree and sit the brownie on that topped with a tiny bit of whipped cream and a fresh raspberry or cherry. Line them up in a dish and turn them into a base for an ice cream sundae. Stand in the kitchen and eat them directly from the tin.
But bake them for Valentine’s Day and feel the swoon-worthy love.
- 3 oz. unsalted butter
- 2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1 0z. bittersweet chocolate
- 180 grams superfine sugar (scant 1 cup)
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 53 grams (1/2 cup) gluten free flour (I like superfine brown rice and oat but use your favorite blend)
- 1 tspn vanilla
- 1 tspn brewed coffee
- 1 tspn coffee liquor (or another favorite liquor)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8×8 baking pan and line the bottom with parchment and butter that, too. Dust with cocoa powder.
Melt butter and chocolate together and set aside to cool. Cream sugar and eggs in a bowl. Add vanilla, coffee, liquor, then flour, salt. Mix thoroughly. Add cooled butter and chocolate mixture and incorporate well. Pour into prepared pan. Slam the pan down on the counter top to remove any air bubbles.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then 300 degrees for about 25 minutes. You want a toothpick to come out with a few gooey crumbs. Cool (patience) and invert on to a wire rack lined with parchment. Flip back over on to a cutting board also lined in parchment – so the top is up. Cut into squares when very cool. For cleaner edges, dip the knife in hot water after each cut. Tastes best the 2nd day. Store in an airtight tin or container.