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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Mother-in-Law's Recipes: Big Brownies

Big Brownies:  My family loves these better than any boxed mix.

In 2000, my Mother-in-Law typed up all of her favorite recipes and gave each cook in the family a copy of her cookbooks.  I received both volumes for my birthday that year.  In retrospect, it was one of the greatest gifts she could leave us with.  Soon after finishing her cookbooks, Alzheimer's took her away.
My Mother-in-Law's cookbooks.  Volumes I and II

In 2005, the day after we had a severe house fire, I went into my kitchen to rescue the books.  I couldn't let the restoration company take them away and possibly lose them.

Forgive the running ink.  I rescued these books from my house following a fire in 2005.   

I cherish my copies of both volumes, and we found an extra copy that I handed down to my daughter.  She has put them away in a safe place until she gets her own place.
Notice the notes she left on her recipes.
My Mother-in-Law was a perfectionist,  and no detail, big or small, was left out of the books.  I love the little notes she added to the recipes, just so we would know why each was important to her.

 Fran passed away last April, and my kids don't have a lot of memories of her before Alzheimer's, though they do remember cooking with her.  She was a teacher too, and she loved teaching her grandchildren how to cook.

Their favorite recipe is the Big Brownie recipe.  We make it all of the time.  I never buy boxed brownie
mix.  These brownies have spoiled me for any other kind.  Seriously, try them and you will never go back.  Truly, they are not much harder to make than boxed brownies. 

 Plus, people always seem to be impressed by them when I bring them with me to  potlucks, sports banquets, and Friday lunch at work.
Jim was my Father-in-Law.  I love the two sentence story telling.

Look how yummy they are.  This simple deliciousness is just a few steps away.

First, cream together the butter and sugar.

Once it is creamed, don't worry about making it fluffy, add in one egg at a time.

 To the egg, butter, sugar mixture;  add 1 1/2 cups chocolate syrup.

Then add 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of flour.

Place a sheet of parchment paper in a jelly roll plan.  You could just grease it, but I don't want my pans to get scratched up.  I just got them for Christmas from my dad.  They are fancy.  

 Pour the batter in and place it in a 325 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.
DO NOT cook the frosting until the brownies are cooked and cooled.

See, I used the old fork check method.  Twice.  Always check twice, or not.  I am just a bit paranoid.  I overcooked the edges just a little.  I should quit being paranoid.  I have never undercooked them.

Once the brownies have cooled, mix 6 T. of butter, 6 T of milk (We have fat free milk, so that's what I used.) and 1 cup of sugar.

Cook on med-high heat until the butter milk and sugar begin to boil.  Only let it boil for about 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of chocolate chips.  Combine until melted.

Work quickly now.  Don't stop and check the Weather Channel and  Facebook or the frosting will be ruined.  Don't ask me how I know.

Pour the frosting over the brownies.  The frosting begins to create a shell immediately.  It is like candy.  Allow to cool completely.  I put them in the fridge to cool.

Cut into whatever size pieces you like.  My MIL cut them into 5X7 pieces.  She used an index card as a template.  I just cut them willy nilly.
Enjoy with a jar of milk. Or a glass. I am going to take them to work to share.
These are not Weight Watchers friendly.  I am going to experiment with creating a healthier version..if possible.
Warning.  Once you try these you will never want a brownie from a mix ever again.

PS:  Don't forget the blog hop.  Mom's Monday Mingle continues.  See yesterday's post for more info!


  1. This recipe looks delicious. I can't wait to try it. Also, I'm interested in your healthy version when you can post it!

  2. I can't wait to try. Thanks for sharing something so precious!