Every quilter knows that chocolate is a staple in life.  It’s what keeps us sewing until midnight with our best quilting buds.  Like last night, for example.  I was wound up!  Don’t act so surprised.  OK, OK…. you who know me aren’t surprised at all.  But where was I……..oh, yeah – chocolate.  It’s definitely one of the basic food groups.  And an abundance of it yesterday was probably why I was up until 2:15 a.m.  That and the sugar….

It’s all these guys’ fault……

Don’t they just look yummy?  Don’t you want a bite right now?  Actually I think I want to dive into the pan.  All that icing goodness.  I like my icing almost as thick as my brownies.  And I want one for breakfast!  But alas, they are all gone.

So today is Recipe Day!  My first cooking post.  This brownie recipe has been a favorite in my family for years and years.  I’m pretty sure I got the recipe from my sister, but I have no idea where she got it.  I love it because it’s made with ingredients that I always have in my kitchen.  Always.  I’m never without these ingredients, they are so basic!  So it is my go-to recipe when I need a quick dessert.    Here’s what you need:

See?  Simple, basic stuff….. flour, sugar, cocoa, eggs, butter, vanilla.  And nuts – I forgot to put the nuts in the picture (and nearly forgot them in the brownies too.)  Horrors!  Unless you are my niece and her dear hubby who don’t eat nuts of any kind.  Who doesn’t eat nuts?  Where did these people come from?  Even his mother asks that question.  And I think she knows where he came from.  But back to the brownies.

You can’t go wrong with this recipe.  You basically put the butter in the microwave to melt and while that’s going, you dump everything else into a bowl.  By the way – can I just point out here that it is very difficult to take pictures of yourself putting things into a bowl?  The camera strap hangs in the way, your hand gets in the way and in the picture where it shouldn’t be – it’s a challenge!  But one I was apparently up for.  Just for you.  These are the dry ingredients in the bowl. 

Then add the eggs and vanilla and stir that up a bit before adding the butter.  Don’t the eggs look cute sitting in the bowl on top of the other stuff?  Alright, alright…… so I get a kick out of small things these days.

OOOOO – look at that melted butter!  By the way, the reason it’s important to stir it up a bit before pouring on the butter is because you don’t want that hot mass of butter to hit the eggs and cook them.  After all, nobody likes scrambled eggs in their brownies, right?  And I’d like to point out here that this recipe only calls for one stick of butter.  The Mocha Brownies recipe in Pioneer Woman’s cookbook calls for two sticks of butter in the brownies and two sticks in the mocha icing!  That’s a whole pound of butter people!  In an 8 inch square pan.  I started to make them once and talked myself out of it.  But the next time I might not be so disciplined.  (By the way – if you click on the link today and go to her cooking site, she’s giving away a really cool Le Creuset 7 1/2-Quart Round French Oven.  But don’t go there and enter.  Because you’ll hurt my chances of winning.  Or better yet, do enter!  Because I’ve made it a rule that if you enter her giveaways because I linked you to them, you have to give me the prize if you win.  I bet you didn’t know that blogs can have rules, did you?)

Now because I forgot the nuts in the ingredients pic – I’ve added a couple pics here for you to enjoy the nuts.  OK three pictures.  I’m playing with my camera after all.

See?  I can even chop them while taking a picture.  It was not easy!  And if I cut myself next time I’m sending you all the doctor’s bill…….

All chopped and ready for the batter….. I used walnuts this time, but I’ve also used pecans and they are equally good.  Depends on what flavor you’re going for.   Or in my case, what you happen to have in your pantry.

Add them to the batter, stir all together…….

…… and pour into a greased pan.  (I used shortening.  Just in case you were wondering.)

And here’s the important part……..


You cook them at 300 degrees – not 350, like most other baked goods – for 30 minutes.  It’s the trick for ooey, gooey, fabulous brownies.  At least with this recipe.

While they are cooking you make the icing.

Powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, vanilla, salt, milk.  This recipe is a tricky one to share.  I don’t have a clue how much of anything I use.  Well, I do know I use just a pinch of salt.  The other ingredients?  Not a clue.  It’s probably somewhere between 1 and 2 cups of the sugar (My Mom always writes “XX sugar” on the grocery list when powdered is what she wants.  I still do that to this day.  I guess the XX stands for powdered?  I think I remember boxes that said “10 x powdered sugar” in my life sometime, which I guess means how many times they powdered the sugar to get it extra super spectacularly fine?  One of the great mysteries of life.  Back to ingredients…..) About 3 tablespoons cocoa, about 2 tablespoons butter, about 1 teaspoon vanilla and a splash or two of milk.  You know how much a splash is, right?  Then you stir it up.

And of course, it’s too runny………

So you have to dump in more XX sugar…….. then it’s too thick, so you splash in more milk……then too runny….. then too thick……until pretty soon you have enough icing to frost 10 pans of brownies.  That’s when you know you have just enough for the one pan of brownies you made, which have since come out of the oven while you were playing in the icing.

Aaaaaahhhhhhhh, just right.  So then you do something that you are never supposed to do.  But I was in a hurry, you say.  The quilt gals are waiting for these brownies.

So you pour the icing on the hot brownies.  Horrors!  You’re supposed to let the brownies cool!  So of course the icing begins to melt.  And they look so yummy that you want to eat the whole pan….. right now……

But you are good after all……

………and you take only one.  And you wish you had some vanilla ice cream…..

But you eat it anyway with your morning coffee….

……. in your favorite mug.  (It’s a quilter’s motto.  Never mind about the irony here.)

Aaaaaahhhhhhhh….. and you want another one, or two……. or ten – but you refrain and take them to share with your Quilting Bee.

Where they turn up on quilts being basted for quilting…….

And look at the other quilting projects that turned up!!!!  Where did this fabric come from???

And at the end of the day, only one tiny, smidgen of a brownie remained which I gobbled up when I got home.

And that’s the tale of Brownies on Quilting Bee Day.  The End.

Now if I knew how to stick a “handy dandy printable recipe” here, I would do it for you!  But I don’t, so I can’t.  So you’ll just have to find a pencil and paper now and write this down.  Remember, it’s super simple.

Barb’s Brownies
1 c sugar
3/4 c flour
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 – 1 c chopped nuts, depending on how much you like nuts! (optional)

Mix all together and bake in an 8-inch greased square pan at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.

Somewhere between 1 & 2 cups powdered sugar (give or take 10 cups)
About 2 Tbsp butter, softened
About 3 Tbsp cocoa
pinch of salt
About 1 tsp vanilla
Splash or two of milk (more for consistency sake depending on your sugar)


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7 Responses to Chocolate

  1. Patti says:

    Love your post. the pictures are fabulous. It makes you hungry for those brownies all over again. I will refrain from making them today as I went somewhere that they had Butter bars this morning. Do not even ask.

  2. Peggy says:

    The brownies were extra special good and so was I…………..I only had one!
    But can you make them again so I can come have some more today??? They would be worth coming out in the rain to get, but then again, I may just have to find some chocolate at home so I can have a quilting day and take advantage of the wonderful rain they’ve been predicting all week and that has finally arrived!

  3. Susan says:

    Omigosh, those brownies look SO good in the pics. I am dying to make some NOW! Just one question…in that second photo, where you have a picture of the ingredients needed, will I need a trivet and a container of kitchen utensils, too? Just checking….blonde, you know. (I loved the brownie in the middle of Madelyn’s quilt top yesterday–LOL!)

  4. Kaye says:

    Hey! I’m famous!
    Alas, I don’t know what happened when the “don’t love nuts” gene attacked my son, but at least he married another one with that gene.
    MMMM….I’m going to have to make some of these. Your blog looks just like PW’s – and is just as tempting!

  5. Janna says:

    This may shock you and leave you speachless: I like peanuts and cashews- by themselves… not mixed in anything. Oh, and peanut M&M’s are ok too. Paul however doesn’t like any nuts at all (unless they are the peanut butter type). I think I gained 5 lbs just reading about the brownies… or maybe that’s all the food I ate while we were in College Station yesterday and this morning for Philip’s graduation (he’s officially a Dr. now!). I think the recipe is from Galye (or maybe Gaye?) King… I haven’t looked at the recipe in so long since I have it memorized, but I think that’s the name by “Brownies” on mom’s recipe card. I’m still enjoying reading your blog, especially when I’m mentioned in it! 🙂

  6. Cindy Smith says:

    I love the step-by-step pictures! You are the bomb.

  7. Barb says:

    Thanks, Cindy! More step-by-step to come…..

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