I started baking brownies in the late 1950’s when my mother would sometimes allow me to use Duncan Hines brownie mix. I got a copy of Joy of Cooking in 1965 and the boxed mixes were quickly superseded. Brownies Cockaigne are so easy to make and the brownies so delicious that I keep coming back to this basic recipe, despite flirtations with other brownies. From Joy of Cooking (1964), Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker.
These brownies are our traditional dessert on Thanksgiving Eve for the Shrimp Boiled in Beer dinner.
Happily, our family’s brownie traditions continue with a new cook in the rotation. She is cooking from the old loose-leaf recipe collection.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt in a glass measuring cup in microwave:
½ cup butter (1 stick)
4 ounces of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate
It was recently brought to my attention that the Baker’s unsweetened chocolate box no longer contains 1-ounce wrapped squares of chocolate. Instead their chocolate is in smaller pieces of 1/4 ounce. So 4 of the new little pieces equal one of the old-fashioned wrapped squares. You will need 16 of these little pieces for the brownies.
Beat until light in color and foamy in texture:
4 eggs (best if at room temperature)
½ teaspoon salt
Add gradually and continue beating until well creamed:
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
With a few swift strokes, combine the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar. Before the mixture becomes uniformly colored, fold in:
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (if you don’t sift, use 15/16 cup)
Bake in a 9 x 13 inch pan for about 25 minutes. Cut when cool.
If you are feeling fancy, you can sift powdered sugar over the brownies as our cook above has done. We even have stencils for powdery holiday decorations on the brownies.