Black Walnut Brownies

BWBrowniesFrostedCutSprinkledbfLORich was coming in on the red-eye from San Francisco for a quick weekend visit before hopping on another plane and going right back the next afternoon, and I wanted to be sure there was some sort of a treat in the house. I was thinkin’ of doing a Dinette Spice Cake, but then I came across this recipe in the same “Dinner for Two” Betty Crocker Cookbook from 1958.

Rich’s travel schedule will only be hectic for a few weeks, but I think I’ll keep this recipe around for a while – good, basic, brownies!

•2 sq. (2 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
•1/3 cup shortening – I used Crisco
•1 cup sugar
•2 eggs
•3/4 cup sifted flour
•1/2 tsp baking powder
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/2 cup nuts – I used 1/4 cup black walnuts

ChocShortening3030bfLONote: Don’t have unsweetened baking chocolate? No problem! 3 level tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa and 1 tablespoon of oil or shortening equals 1 square (1 oz.) of baking chocolate.

Heat oven to 350º and grease an 8″ square baking pan.

ChocShorteningSmoothbfLOMelt the chocolate and shortening over water, or, better, in the ‘wave! Pop them into a bowl and cook on high for 30 seconds, then pull out and stir – it’ll look kind of disgusting – like this:

OK, back into the ‘wave for another 30 seconds, then pull the bowl out and stir again. Better, but still kind of skeevy-looking, if you ask me.

Here’s the trick – put the bowl back into the ‘wave for an additional 10 seconds – it will look a heckuva lot nicer, tho’ the chocolate may still have it’s shape. No worries, one more good stir and you’ll have something like this.

BWBrowniesAddNutsbfLONow, we’re getting somewhere!

Sift the flour together with the baking powder and salt and set aside.

Beat the sugar and the eggs into the melted chocolate, then stir in the sifted flour mixture – the batter will be quite thick.

BWBrowniesReadyToSpreadbfLOStir in the nuts – I love black walnuts, but find the flavor overpowering at times, that’s why I cut the amount back to 1/4 cup. If you really love black walnuts, or are using another kind of nut, go for the 1/2 cup called for in the original recipe.

Turn the batter into your well-greased pan (you can see how thick it’ll be) and spread to the edges.

BWBrowniesBakedbfLOThe good folk at Betty Crocker said to bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, but mine were well and truly done at 25 – mebbe because I was using a glass baking dish? I don’t know, I may need to pick up a small metal pan and test it out.

In any event, the brownies are done when they form a dull crust on the top (or, when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, I am flexible). Pull ’em out of the oven and set aside on a rack to cool a bit before cutting into them.

BWBrowniesCutIntobfLOYou can, of course, serve them just like that; but, as it happened, I had some vanilla frosting (scroll to the bottom of the post) in the fridge from another project and figured I’d spread a little vanilla love over the chocolate and walnut goodness.

Mmmm, frosted brownies.

Chocolate jimmies would’ve been more better, I think – but the red and green were still kind of festive.


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