Down below is Anita/Musette’s Eleventy-Million Brownie recipe (she made a bunch o’ batches with different additives). She made every single kind, and then set them out on this ginormous platter at the Scentsation afterparty (if you look carefully you can see them in the photos). They were also magic because even though we each horked down 27, the pile never got smaller. They are really rich, so you can cut them small.
But first some unfinished biz:
1) For all of you who’ve asked me/commented about the morphing alien emoticon and I thought you were nuts, frankly: the alien definitely morphs! I discovered this when I used a browser I’d never visited the website with (IE as opposed to Firefox) when I was checking on our recent invisible-post problem in IE. Anyhoo, it only did it the first time I visited and I assume it has to do with cache-clearing or some other internetty thing I don’t understand (just ask Patty about everything I don’t understand) but the alien head starts off as a smiley face like the others and then becomes the alien and yes, it is creepy!
2) To the many people I hectored in Bigelow’s asking what is that song?!?, which they were playing on the store speakers and which I remembered from the bad old 80s — I have a page in my silly notebook on which I scrawled maclaren will pwers? And I knew that wasn’t quite right but I was in the neighborhood, so I concentrated some more on the voice in my head … okay, we have “earworm” for the song you are desperate to forget, but what is the word for the song you have a snippet of and are desperate to remember? I don’t think there is one. Taking my evening walk, there it was, out of the blue: Jon and Vangelis (sure, laugh, I don’t care.) I’d totally forgotten Jon Anderson was the singer for Yes, which is why the voice was so familiar — and State of Independence, which he did with Vangelis in 1981, is the song, and I had the 7″ single. People reading this who wonder what a 7″ single is, ask your parents. Thank you Wikipedia for your assistance. I downloaded the Jon & Vangelis and two other covers Wiki had noted: Donna Summer in 1982 (who knew?) and the fabulous Chrissie Hynde with the Moodswings in the 1992 version. I think that must have been the version Bigelow was playing, because they’ve picked up the beat (the Vangelis version is very electro-pop, and Donna Summer’s is kind of funk-reggae). And finally, I will note that buying my umpteenth Starbucks coffee in Chicago I noted their new CD: The Second Wave, songs of the 80s including XTC, Roxy Music, The Cure, and the one that caught my eye — the uber-mope song Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. When Joy Division is next to Harry Belafonte/Nancy Sinatra, I guess I am … really old. Gah. What’s next, Bauhaus’ Bela Lugosi’s Dead in a Saturn commercial?
3) It really did rain in Chicago on Saturday — 6.5 inches, a record for the day.
And now, drumroll please, the recipe, pasted directly from her email and I can practically hear Anita reading this to me, it sounds so like her:
Anita’s brownie recipe
here ’tis (this is so stupid-easy it makes sneezing look hard:-)
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa (for the dark ones I use 2T Dutch cocoa to 4T reg or 3/3- all 6 Dutch make it too chalky). Nothing precise about the Ts. Heaping okay. Level okay. Half heap/half level, okay!
1 stick of butter (8T – for max moistaliciousness I substitute 2T ‘spread’ – seriously. The 0 trans-fat kind, of course, but something in the spread, which allows for liquid suspension, makes for a moister brownie. My mother used ALL margarine (Imperial) but I have a rough time with that. When I do, though, folks go wild for ’em. Weird
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1t vanilla (I go as much as 2t if I’m in the mood, especially Mexican vanilla for the Firecrackers but that’s only if I remember)
3/4 cup flour (unsifted)
pinch of salt
mix cocoa and sugar together, add eggs/vanilla, stir. Stir in flour, add butter and pinch of salt.
That’s it. 350F for about 28 minutes.
Then you add your fixin’s. I do:
- a sea-salt brownie (requires a heavier moisture content, else they taste weird – go 3T margarine to 5T butter). Check brownies about 22 minutes into the baking – sprinkle some sea salt on them and let them finish up their stint in the oven (these require a heavy chocolate taste so I add a bit of melted bittersweet chocolate to the mix, about 2 squares, chopped (I usually just throw it in the butter after it melts). Some chocolate chips in the mix boost the chocolate taste as well.
- Firecrackers. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper and a dash of cinnamon and the aforementioned bittersweet chocolate. Chips are optional but appreciated.
- Traditional. Chop up some black walnuts, throw them in there.
- Dulce de leche. As you pour into the pan, swirl in some burnt caramel (I am afraid to give that recipe – the potential for 3rd degree burns is great – so folks who don’t make their own caramel can just buy a high-grade caramel at the store and cook it a bit). Add some marshmallow (store-bought is okay but chop them fine – if you make your own marshmallow (okay, I’m trippin’ 4 kids does NOT equal homemade marshmallow:-) when it comes to the soft-ball stage, add some cream and swirl it into the brownie mix – but gently! You’re looking for thick mallow streaks.
- Chocolatechocolatechocolate. Add semisweet chips, bittersweet chocolate and coarsely chopped unsweetened chocolate (about 2 squares). Add a touch of ground espresso beans (or any finely ground coffee bean) for a little zing! Sometimes I coarsely grind the beans which is really good, too, but I wouldn’t give those to kids unless you are okay with a little bouncing off the walls.
That’s it, I think. If I did anything else I swear I don’t remember but the master recipe hasn’t changed in 80 years, except for the butter-to-margarine-backtobutter. It was my mother’s mother’s recipe.
If any of this sounds odd or suspicious (or just plain stupid) holla back. It’s basically a one-bowl hit, I usually don’t even pre-beat the eggs because I am a lazy coot.
If I have time I freeze them for a day and then thaw…..let them come to room temp, they are really moist.