We all have recipes for special foods that evoke memories of bygone kitchens and baking sessions with beloved family members. I kept track of our Christmas sessions for the past 20 years and I'm sharing it here. I also sprinkle in other cookie-related content and my current cookie obsession along the way.
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
1994 - Brownies Cockaigne
Lisa in her festive finery, 1994.
We started with Pumpkin Cookies today (Dec. 4) and yielded 13 dozen beauties. These soft "cake-ies" definitely need cooling racks, so we improvised with a spare oven rack. We used two cans of Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting to top them once they cooled but we forgot to add nutmeg this year. Lisa suggested we sprinkle it over the tops and they looked pretty.
Even though we loved Barb's Brownies, we decided to try the Brownies Cockaigne recipe in "Joy of Cooking" this year because we wanted a sturdier product that would hold frosting and pecans. They were fabulous!
"Cockaigne," explains editor Marion Rombauer Becker in the "Joy" foreword, signified a "mythical land of peace and plenty" in medieval times. So she designated some recipes as favorites with this label (which was also the name of her country home in Anderson Township, near Cincinnati, Ohio).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Melt in a double boiler (or microwave-safe bowl):
1/2 c butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
Set aside to cool (otherwise the brownies will be heavy and dry).
Beat until light in color and foamy in texture:
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
Add gradually and continue beating until well creamed:
2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
With a few swift strokes, combine the cooled chocolate mixture and the eggs and sugar.
Even if you normally use a mixer, do this manually.
Before the mixture becomes uniformly colored, fold in, again by hand:
1 c sifted all-purpose flour
And before the flour is uniformly colored, stir in gently:
1 c chopped pecan meats
Bake in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan about 25 minutes.
Cut when cool, as interiors are still moist when fresh from the oven.
One can of Betty Crocker chocolate frosting was plenty to cover a 9-by-13-inch aluminum pan (the disposable kind).