Ga’s Brownies

Warning: Super-fudgy, super-delicious, super-photogenic brownie recipe coming up in 3…2…1…

Grandma Ga's Brownies ~ by My Utensil Crock
Boom. Ga’s Brownies. You are welcome.

Ga, for those unfamiliar, is the nickname given by my brother to my mom’s mom. I honestly never saw anything amiss with this nickname. It’s short for “Grandma.” My brother was a kid when this happened. It worked. Ga and I have been sharing our love of food and cooking over the past ten years or so; you can read more about that wonderfulness in this post that I wrote for her 90th birthday in November. There, I speak to “the Brownies,” including the incredibly (adorably) regimented cutting-off of the crusts, to make more uniformly shaped brownies. And the eating of said crusts.

These brownies are a staple at family events and also present themselves with some frequency at short-notice visits {spoiler alert: they freeze and defrost very well!}.

Ga's Brownies-6

One reason I started this blog was to organize my growing stacks and binders and folders full of recipes. I mean, original recipes have their stains and histories and hand-written notes, but they can also be difficult to decipher at times. See, e.g.:

Brownies - Ga's recipe

What? You wouldn’t have guessed that the brackets around “1 cuwp [sic] sifted flan [sic]” meant to add the flour at the end, because it was written in the wrong place? Good thing for this blog post. Oh, and it is written on the back of a boarding pass. Aren’t all of your family recipes?

Ga's Brownies-4

This recipe makes a 9″ x 13″ pan full of crazy goodness, but if you don’t trust yourself, it halves quite easily, in a 9″ x 9″ or 8″ x 8″ pan. It even quarters easily, in a loaf pan, but the brownies were harder to get out when I tried, so maybe that’s best reserved for yoga pant non-company nights. {They’re actually just as delicious with a glass of cabernet sauvignon as they are with milk, if you catch my drift.}

Ga's Brownies-7Yeah, I’m heading to the freezer now to get one. Lest I fail to mention: these brownies do not freeze all the way through, and can be eaten directly from the freezer. I repeat: CAN BE EATEN DIRECTLY FROM THE FREEZER. They just taste more fudgy that way – hope that’s ok with you. If you prefer room temp brownies, just leave them on the kitchen counter, wrapped, for an hour or so.

Ga's Brownies-8

 

As a reminder/incentive: you get to eat all the crusts yourself.  After the brownies are completely cooled (I know – I’m sorry), using a bench scraper or knife, cut off the edges, keeping as much brownie in the pan as you can before cutting in to columns and rows. In the photo below, note that I have removed the thin row of edges. I will NOT judge you – in fact, I will respect you more – if you decide the edges/part-you-get-to-keep-for-yourself-and-eat-sooner should be a little thicker.

Ga's Brownies-5

I recommend freezing a batch or half-batch thusly: wrap with layers of parchment or wax paper in between, then wrap tightly in foil, then further insulate in a freezer-safe zip-top baggie. Or, if you want to be very authentic and Ga-approved, use a non-freezer-safe large baggie sealed with a twist tie, with a scrap of paper that says “Brownies” in cursive, in pencil, tucked inside.

Ga's Brownies-9

The powdered sugar will stay just where you sifted it, I promise. I never understood this growing up, and frankly can’t explain the science now – it’s so delicate – how does it not move? At all? But I will just appreciate it and move on.

Ga's Brownies-3

Ga's Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A family classic. Prepare the milk!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9 x 13 pan
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (Baker's preferred by Ga), very roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 c flour, sifted
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350.
  2. Grease a 9" x 13" pan with butter. You can use a bit from the 2 sticks you are about to melt - just smush it on to the butter wrapper and coat the pan.
  3. In a small or medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate together, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, and stir in the sugar and vanilla.
  5. Slowly add the chocolate and butter {note: I am unable to do this slowly, and my brownies still turn out delicious}.
  6. Stir in the flour all at once.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  8. When you remove from the oven, let them cool completely.
  9. Sift powdered sugar liberally over the top of the entire batch. Note: this step is KEY for Ga's Brownies.
  10. To cut as Ga desires, using a knife (or, I find a bench scraper works well), trim the edges off as thinly as possible, and remove them from the pan.
  11. Snack on said edges at your leisure. NEVER tell the grandkids where the edges went, until they are adults.
  12. Cut the brownies in half down the middle, and continue successively cutting the halves in half again until the brownies are the size you want them, cleaning off the knife as you go so you can continue to get straight lines. Repeat for the other direction until you have beautiful squares.
Notes
This recipe makes a 9" x 13" pan full of crazy goodness, but if you don't trust yourself, it halves quite easily, in a 9" x 9" or 8" x 8" pan. It even quarters easily, in a loaf pan, but the brownies were harder to get out when I tried, so maybe that's best reserved for yoga-pant, errr... non-company nights.

They also freeze quite well! Wrap tight!

Ga's Brownies-2Ga's BrowniesNew first photo added July 2017

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