Friday, January 24, 2014

Brown sugar brownies

In keeping with my developing theory that wine is the best accompaniment to desserts, of which more later (wine or dessert? both), here are Brown Sugar Brownies. The recipe is handwritten on an index card, the front of the card in my grandmother's handwriting, the back in my mother's handwriting. Nana being an expert baker, I can only imagine the scene. Mom asked her mother for the recipe for those nice brown sugar brownies, and Nana wrote down the ingredients and either forgot the rest, or assumed that anyone would know how to make brownies from a list like that.

So, you will need (from the front of the card):
1 cup packed brown sugar; 1 stick soft butter; 2 eggs; 2 squares unsweetened chocolate; 1/2 cup flour; 1 cup chopped walnuts.

There, doesn't that tell you everything?

From the back of the card:
Preheat the oven to 325 F, and grease a 9 x 9 square pan. Cream the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time.

Beat in the melted chocolate, and then mix in the flour. Stir in the nuts.

Pour into the pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan.

They are a nice dessert for those who don't like sweets to be too sweet, and they might go well, as I am beginning to think all desserts do, with whatever wine you drank with dinner. My recent dessert and wine pairings have included pinot noir and apple pie, syrah and pecan pie bars, and yes, sauvignon blanc with roasted marshmallows. Now, years ago M.F.K. Fisher warned us that chocolate and red wine specifically was an abomination (see her essay "Pity the blind in palate," from Serve it Forth). So these brownies may present a wine pairing problem. Perhaps, when in doubt ...

...champagne? Nana would have said ice cream, but that's just her.

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