I have been wanting to make this recipe ever since my September issue of Saveur arrived. It contains an article written by Dana Bowen that attempts to trace the history of brownies. I say attempt because there is no sure origin. It could be a fire in a Chicago hotel caused a harried cook to combine cookie batter with cake mix. Does anyone else see something wrong with this story? Or maybe it’s a New England housewife who forgets to add leavening to her chocolate sheet cake. Seems feasible. But no. It’s a home economics teacher in Maine that invented them, that’s why early versions are called Bangor Brownies. Sounds good. Except she was an infant at the time the recipe first appeared. It must be elves. Specifically brownies, like the ones in Palmer Cox’s famous children‘s books of the late 1800‘s. Brownies with a vicious sweet-tooth. I like this version the best!
By the early 1900’s brownie recipes were cropping up everywhere. The first brownie mix was made by Betty Crocker herself in 1954. Included with the article was a recipe for ‘Supernatural’ Brownies. Supernatural in this instance meaning extreme, over-the-top fudge. These are a ‘thinner’ brownie than any I’ve made before. But don’t let that fool you. They still do the trick. Very sweet, soft, moist, rich, chocolaty, and kind-of-buttery, these are fit to satisfy even the most nagging chocolate craving. How do I know? A brownie with a twinkle in his eye and chocolate on his breath whispered in my ear…
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup to 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Melt chocolate and butter together over low heat.
Pour into a medium sized mixing bowl and beat in powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Add confectioners’ or milk if needed to get the right consistency.