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May 27, 2005



Wow, these look marvellous - I can't wait to try them! Wonderful story too. Brownies are really 'en vogue' in Scotland at the moment, but they usually taste like someone has made a dry chocolate cake and left out the baking powder. They also never add salt, which makes me want to shake them by the lapels. If only they knew what obsessive quest we Americans are on to find the perfect recipe!


I'm once again thrilled to be the recipient of Julie's generosity with her work colleagues. The brownie I had after lunch still lingers on my tongue, despite the intervention of super-sweet watermelon and a quite passable sugar-free pecan sandie. The brownies win, though, and the molasses & honey combo embellishes the silky & chewy texture with a mystery scent. Now, all I need to do is wait for an occasion to make these myself. I don't bake much myself (I'm more of a saucer) but I do fine with uncomplicated recipes like this one.


Once again I got to partake of Julie's cooking creations. As always, it was a wonderful treat. The perfect sweet end to a light meal, I ate one "almost perfect brownie" thoroughly enjoying the rich sweetness. I could taste the molasses and the cocoa too (although I didn't realize it was cocoa until I read the recipe). Of course it was a dessert made from all forbidden foods - sugar, flour, nuts. But I only needed one and I was satisfied.

Zarah Maria

Oooooh, brownies! And I'm with you on the "my year starts in August" - but that's because I'm a student, as you know!:-) Now, if only our teachers could be like you Julie!


Melissa, I'm so glad you like the look of these. Even here, brownies are so often disappointing -- cakey when you want fudgie or chewy. By the way, I love your super blog!

Gina and Felicia, thanks for the kudos. I'll keep those Friday treats coming...

Zarah, you would love these, I think. Give them a shot. Thanks for your kind words about my teaching -- I do work hard at it. Believe me, the university system needs as much reform here as the primary and secondary schools do!


i judge time by the school year too, but i never had a teacher bring homemade goodies! your students are lucky-not just for the brownies, but for having a great teacher like yourself (ive had many of the "its your job to learn this" variety in my science courses...too many!)


Julie, you are a goddess. Ain't no two ways about it.

We really need to go have our pastry afternoon and compare brownie recipes.

mary g

Also a teacher, also measure the year by the school schedule. And I also never make brownies the same way twice. I'm working now on a version of the Joy of Cooking brownies that involves extra baking chocolate and less sugar. The last batch was, of course, almost perfect!
I can't wait to try yours--molasses sounds intriguing.


Hi Tanvi,

I find it helps to "sweeten the learning" in as many ways as I can, tee hee. However, I wouldn't want anyone to think that I don't require students to take responsibility for their own learning -- I do. They have to work pretty hard in my courses. But it's more of a collaborative learning environment as opposed to everyone lost and isolated and struggling through the material without any brownies...

Thanks as always, Jen -- your kind words mean so much. Can't wait to get together -- let's do it soon.

Mary, thanks for visiting. Let me know how your experiment turns out...

Joe C

Okay, a couple of points. First, your mother taught you to make brownies, although yours are probably closer to perfection (at least she never used any nasty corn syrup). Second, grueling only has one "L." Third, I gave you that Maida Heatter cookbook, didn't I? And finally, where's mines?


Now, now. Criticize somebody, why don't you. Actually, I made brownies as a schoolkid before Mom got in the habit -- she was inspired by a recipe she found on the Droste's box. That's why she made them with cocoa instead of chocolate. Now I use both.

Although I thank you for the editing tip, I have to break it to you that numerous dictionaries acknowledge that both spellings, grueling and gruelling, are correct.

And yes, let me publicly acknowledge that my darling brother bestowed the Maida Heatter cookbook upon me, and thus deserves his share of the brownies...


Julie, those brownies sound scrumptious! Looks as though they've got a picture-perfect crackly-shattery top crust, too...mmmm. What lucky students you have, in many ways. Lovely post.


Have you tried using condensed milk in your brownies? The best brownies I've made I've put condensed milk in. Of course all they were were Ghirardhelli brownies from a mix + butter instead of oil + condensed milk. I have to try these and see how they are (today! I'm a brownieholic).

Very fun blog, by the way.

brian w

Have you ever tried Barefoot Contessa's brownie recipe? She uses something like 30 ounces of chocolate in a half-sheet pan--that much solid chocolate might seriously up your "chewiness" quotient. Her recipe is also very butter-heavy, which makes them firmer when chilled. If you want to search for it online, I'm pretty sure she calls them "outrageous brownies"...

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