You know how in the idyllic neighborhood a new homeowner is greeted by freshly baked goods? I actually lived in a neighborhood that did that. While it was just a typical neighborhood, it had several of the nicest neighbors a person could want. One of these neighbors was a woman about my mom’s age whose name was Pat. Within a day or two of moving into the home, Pat arrived with a freshly baked cake, made completely from scratch.
During my years living in that neighborhood Pat became a great resource. When I decided to try my first large-scale attempt at making applesauce, she lent her corer/peeler/slicer to me. When I made Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper (from Blue’s Clues) as Halloween costumes for the kids, she helped me make the hats. For almost any craft or cooking activity, Pat was the best resource. Living directly across the street, it was easy to get a quick piece of advice.
One of the recipes for which Pat was best known was her homemade brownies. Until that point, I had made brownies from a box mix. For 99 cents how could you go wrong? Then I heard the ravings about her brownies and sampled one. Chewy and quite chocolatey, they are a favorite of my children.
Pat and her husband, Joe, retired to Florida a few years ago. I was saddened to learn that Pat passed away during the summer of 2009. She was much too young, and I know many mourn the loss of a mom, grandmother, and friend. I feel lucky to have known her, and every time I make these brownies, I remember her fondly.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1-1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 baking pan.
- Cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Add milk, and stir gently. Add flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla, and stir until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for 30-40 minutes. Test with a toothpick inserted near the center. The toothpick should not have wet batter but may have moist crumbs on it.