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Grandma Flake’s Brownies

Family recipes hold such a nostalgic feeling, don’t they? Grandma Flake is my Great-Grandma. I never had the chance to meet her, but I grew up with her brownies! I think that it’s lovely that we can feel the presence of our loved ones when we make recipes that we associate with them. I frequently imagine what my great-grandma must have been like- she obviously loved her family to make such tasty treats for them! Whenever I make these brownies, I have great memories of making them with my family. While these brownies might not make you nostalgic, I hope you enjoy their flavor and texture.

Not only are these brownies delicious, but they can be dairy-free and are simple to make! Simple, budget-friendly ingredients (and a whole lotta love) are all that are in these bites of heaven.

Whenever someone says they have the best brownie recipe, there is generally a divide between cakey and fudgy brownies. Some people swear by adding melted dark chocolate, and others say you shouldn’t use butter. Others require frosting on top, and to others, that is complete lunacy.

Not gonna lie, these brownies aren’t fudgy or cakey. They are a wonderful blend of a crackly top and a soft inside with a chewy texture… so I guess they have their own category?

I am usually a person who insists on throwing a couple of chocolate chips into the brownie batter, but they don’t work in these brownies and the delicate texture. I know you might be tempted to throw a couple in on a whim- but try to resist! (I do however, suggest eating a handful of chocolate chips while waiting for the brownies to bake- priorities people. Priorities.)

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup shortening or vegan butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T milk of your choice (Note that nut milks are thinner and you won’t need as much)
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbs Cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and then add in the egg, milk and shortening.

2. The mixture will look dry to begin. Don’t add extra milk and keep mixing! I promise it will come together. It should be a sticky, thick batter.

3. After mixing it just enough that you don’t see any chunks of flour or shortening, press into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the brownies after the 25 minute mark since all ovens bake differently. The brownies will puff up in the oven and then sink when they are almost done.

4. The crust will be crunchy while underneath will be gooey and soft. This is the part of the recipe that I differ from my mom. I like to eat the brownies about 30-45 minutes after they come out of the oven when they are still slightly warm and gooey while my mom prefers them to be completely cooled. Either way, they have a wonderful chewy texture and crispy edges. (In case you like brownies right out of the oven, I suggest you resist with this recipe. The flavors don’t settle until they are mostly cooled- they just don’t taste as good hot.)

Look at these gorgeous bites of chocolatey goodness! Is your mouth watering yet? (It’s a little embarrassing how much I am drooling while writing this post…)

Keep in an air-tight container (Like this Snapware!) for up to a week.

Side notes:

  • If you decide to use non-dairy milk in these brownies, be careful to watch the consistency. Milk is more viscous than non-dairy milks, so dairy-free alternatives affect the texture of baked goods. The brownie batter should be thick and sticky and spread into a thin layer. I would suggest starting with only one tablespoon of non-dairy milk and going from there to make sure you don’t thin the brownie batter out too much.
  • If you choose to use a vegan butter, you will need to add an extra tablespoon or two of it to get the correct water to fat ratio.
  • If you decide to use a flax egg or a vegan egg replacement, you might want to make a test batch as I haven’t tried that before. If you happen to, let me know how it goes in the comments!

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