Recipe of The Week: Brownies Are Best In Big Batches!

Putting together the dry ingredients for brownies means you are always ready to bake when chocolate cravings hit! Below, you’ll find a traditional pan brownie. (But if you’re in a hurry, check out this micro-brownie version that you can make at work!)

The tight plastic seal on these jars keeps anything fresh.  See them at Lehmans.com or Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio.

The tight plastic seal on these jars keeps anything fresh. That’s why we call them Anything Jars! See them at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

On-Hand Brownie Mix
This is another one of those recipes that my mom used forever. In the early days, things were tight. My father worked two jobs, and my brother and I were born 18 months apart, so there wasn’t a penny to spare. But as we grew up, she kept this mix on hand in a big, clear, airtight jar because we liked it better than the box stuff. At holidays, we would put brownie mix into jars, tie with pretty ribbon and give as gifts.

Ingredients
4 cups sugar
2 cups flour
11/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup vegetable shortening

Make the mix
Put everything but the shortening in a big mixing bowl. Whisk it all together until well blended. Add in the shortening as you would cut shortening into biscuits or dumplings. The end result will look granular, and should be the texture of cornmeal. Put into an airtight container. It can be kept at room temperature.

Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio.

Genuine Mexican vanilla adds wonderful depth of flavor.  Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

Ingredients to add to bake a batch of brownies
1/4 stick butter (4 tablespoons), melted and cooled
2 eggs
1-2 teaspoons flavoring (vanilla, orange or your preference)
2 cups brownie mix (do not pack down, just scoop and measure; level cup)
9x9x2 pan, greased and floured

Preheat oven to 350° while you make the brownies.

Make the brownies
Crack eggs into mixing bowl, add vanilla. Whip  lightly with fork until eggs are slightly beaten. Stir in the butter. Stir in the brownie mix. Stir gently until batter smooths out. If you whip it hard, you’ll get lots of air in, and your brownies will be cake-like. (We prefer fudgy at my house.)

Transfer batter to a prepared 9x9x2 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes; your tester should come out clean.

NOTES

  • Not just for brownies--bake quick breads, cobblers, more! In stock now at Lehmans.com or Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio.

    Not just for brownies–bake quick breads, cobblers, more! In stock now at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

    The brownie mix should give you about 4 batches of brownies. Double it if you need to make them more often, so you aren’t short on mix.

  • My husband and I are big fans of orange and chocolate. I usually use double-strength orange flavoring, and make orange frosting to go on top of the brownies. You can top yours with powdered sugar after they cool completely, and they’ll be really pretty.
  • Add nuts if you wish, but you’ll want to make sure the pieces are uniform so the brownies bake evenly.
  • Should you choose to use butter as the fat in this recipe, you’ll have to store the brownie mix in the refrigerator, and use it before the expiration date of the butter.
  • Like brownie ‘edges’? Bake your brownies in this nifty pan from Lehman’s!