Lunch Lady Brownies

It is with total certainty that I can say that my "Freshman Fifteen," that extra bit of weight one gains at college, came from these brownies. Being allowed to fill my plate with anything I wanted for the very first time in my life was a revelation. After making my way through the cafeteria line (mac & cheese! creamy chicken! buttered vegetables!), I'd joyfully serve myself one, two, maybe three of these puppies before wandering off with a Thanksgiving-like satiety.

Something about the cakey brownie with the smooth frosting tickled my fancy then, as it does now. It's down-home baking at it's finest. I swear, I love trying any kind of savory cuisine, but I will hands down choose an All-American dessert (apple pie, chocolate cake, brownies, you get the idea) over eclairs or flan anyday.

Life is busy lately. Like, really busy. When I need to slow down a little, my brain does me this kindness of recalling a recipe I wanted to try or drumming up an old food memory that leads me to the kitchen. That culinary college memory was the inspiration here. Well, that and my daughter's teacher asked who would bake brownies to sell at the talent show tonight.

This recipe seems to go a little out of order. So many recipes go "mix wet ingredients, mix dry ingredients and then combine them," but this one throws in a few curve balls. Maybe this is where the magic happens.

Also, it makes a thick batch of batter. Like, almost cookie-dough-like and you may have to spread it across your pan.

That said, these are rich, gooey, and delightfully sweet. I think they'll do okay at the talent show. I'll let you know!

xox,

A.



Lunch Lady Brownies*
1 C butter, melted
1/2 C cocoa
2 C flour
2 C sugar
4 large eggs, at room temp
4 t vanilla

Chocolate Frosting
1/4 C butter, softened
1/4 C milk
1/4 C cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9x13­inch baking dish with parchment and butter that. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand­ mixer, add the melted butter and cocoa powder. Using the paddle attachment, blend until smooth.
3. Add the flour and sugar. Beat together then add eggs and vanilla. Mix just until combined. Don't over mix. The batter will be thick.
4. Pour or spread your batter into the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly.
5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
6. Remove brownies from oven and let stand 15 minutes before frosting.  The brownies should be warm (but not hot) when you frost them.
7. Beat together all the frosting ingredients until smooth.
8. Pour and spread over warm brownies.

Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

*Makes 15 2-1/2"x2-1/2" brownies

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