When I saw that National Chocolate Brownie Day was December 8, I knew right away that brownies would be Kel’s Food of the Month.* It didn’t take me long to decide which recipe to use. My friend Dale makes the best brownies I’ve ever, ever had, hands down. Dale and I worked together at Duke’s main library for several years and those of us in the Tech Services Department (OK, the entire library) liked to celebrate just about anything – birthdays, work successes, end of the semester, holidays, etc. A few of things about the library world:
- There’s usually not much money, if any, to spend on staff parties, celebrations, etc., which seem to occur at least monthly if not more.
- The majority of librarians I know are good cooks.
- Most librarians are more than happy to bring something homemade and delicious to these celebrations.
Luckily for those of us who worked at Perkins Library, Dale’s signature dish was his homemade brownies. Words really can’t do these heavenly things justice – they are truly a chocolate lover’s delight. They were always the first thing to disappear whenever he brought them to a party. Dale and I moved on to different careers more than a decade ago, but I still dream about his brownies. Here’s his recipe – the only change I’ve made is to add pecans.
- 3 sticks butter
- 8 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
- 3 ½ cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 11.5 ounces Nestlé’s semisweet chunks
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flout
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups pecans, crumbled small (optional)
- 1 jigger Chambord or other raspberry liqueur (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 4 glass baking dish. I used Pam Baking spray for this step.
Melt the butter and chocolate squares over low heat.
Transfer to a large bowl and add the sugar, mixing thoroughly.
Turn on the mixer to low speed and add eggs 2 at a time. Beat thoroughly. Add vanilla and Chambord and mix well.
Add flour, first stirring by hand. Then use the mixer for 1 to 2 minutes to distribute flour evenly.
Fold in the chocolate morsels using a wooden spoon.
Add the pecans and mix thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.
These are not for people watching their calories, for sure. My suggestion is to make a batch to take to an upcoming holiday party — people will show you the love. Save a few for your family, though – especially the kids. And don’t forget to thank Dale when you savor a slice of paradise!
*Note – this is the last post under the category “Food of The Month.” It and its sister “Drink of the Month” are going away at the end of the year, but don’t despair. It’s just the categories that are disappearing, not the actual food and drink posts.
Eat, drink and be merry!
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