Yields 24 brownies.
Preparation time: 8 to 10 minutes
Baking time: 25 to 30 minutes
3/4 cup shortening, butter, or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup powdered cocoa
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (high-altitude 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts optional
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees (high-altitude 375 degrees).
2. Melt shortening, butter, or margarine; cool to room temperature.
3. Beat eggs with salt until light and foamy in texture. Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until well creamed.
4. With a few strokes of a wooden spoon, stir melted shortening into eggs and sugar. Sift powdered cocoa with flour; gently stir flour and cocoa into other ingredients; then stir in nuts.
5. Pour mixture into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan.
6. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes in the center of the oven. When cool cut into 24 pieces.
NOTE: For a chewier brownie bake for about 35 minutes. Be careful not to cook too long. It dries it out a little more when baked longer.
CREAM CHEESE FILLED BROWNIES
Yields 24 brownies.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30-40 minutes
Brownie recipe (above) + 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (high-altitude 375).
2. Make brownies as above, adding in an additional 1/4 cup flour (totaling 1 1/4 cups flour or 1 1/2 cups at high-altitude), keeping in mixing bowl; set aside.
3. In another small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, beat again until smooth; add sugar, cornstarch, cream of tartar, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
4. Place a small amount of brownie batter in lightly greased pan; spread filling mixture evenly over top.
Carefully spoon remaining brownie mixture over filling, being careful not to mix filling with brownie batter.
5. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. Be sure not to under-bake these brownies, or they will be soggy from the filling.
Brownie mix on left (with added flour) and cream cheese filling on right
Place a small amount of brownie batter in lightly greased pan-- basically just a thin, thin layer to cover the bottom of pan.
Add the cream cheese filling. Yummmm!
Don't drool in the pan.
Spread filling mixture evenly over top.
Be sure to wash spatula if you can't resist licking it at this point. ;)
Carefully spoon remaining brownie mixture over filling. It's thick. Take your time.
I like to use an off-set spatula to gently spread it out. Take your time with this step.
Be careful not to mix filling with brownie batter.
Let brownies cool completely before cutting.
Take a close-up of the brownies so you can remember its rich decadent smell.
P.S. These freeze well. I've done it twice. They also taste great frozen. ahem.