We have tried brownie recipes that require melting chocolate squares (they turned out dry). We have tried cookie brownies and no-bake brownies (both of which are good in their own ways). But we always come back to the Cocoa Brownies recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook (red paperback edition from the '80's). The Squirrelings like them. My brother-in-law likes them. Mr. Fixit, who does not like sweets much, has been known to enlarge his "little sliver" into a decent-size piece. He even got creative on the weekend and made "Googly Men" (otherwise known as happy faces in a bowl) with two squares of brownie for eyes, a scoop of ice cream for a nose, and a piece of banana for a mouth.
So this is the recipe, for no reason in particular except that my mamma taught me that sharing's nice.
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter (softened if necessary. I just use the tub kind)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs (or just 1 if you want them fudgier or are short on eggs)
2/3 cup all-purpose or unbleached flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional, we leave them out)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Chocolate chips for topping (optional--our addition)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix sugar, margarine, vanilla, and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in greased 8-inch square pan. Top with a handful of chocolate chips if you want. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (don't overbake), 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and cut in squares.
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