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Aunt Mal’s Brownies

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    4 People
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Family Story

If it was Monday, it had to be meatloaf at Aunt Marilyn’s house. With soup, some form of potatoes and a vegetable, followed by dessert. If dessert was pudding, fruit cup or cookies, I might as well eat at home. If, on the other hand, Aunt Marilyn had baked brownies that day, there was nowhere else a kid wanted to go. Aunt Marilyn’s brownies were the gold standard. No one else on the block even came close. Perfect was perfect. Aunt Marilyn’s daughter Randy was my friend. “Jan, come in, we’re having meatloaf - would you like to stay for dinner?” I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay for dinner until I knew what was for dessert. So I’d saunter to Randy's house very late in the afternoon to check things out. “What’s for dessert?” I asked. Much depended on the answer. Aunt Marilyn made us eat everything on our plates, so dessert was crucial. “Fruit cup.” “Um, no thanks - I gotta go - I think my mother is calling me.” Tact was tough to master at age eight. On Saturdays, Aunt Marilyn made steak sandwiches with tomato sauce. If there were brownies for dessert, an invitation to that dinner was gold. I sat in that narrow, fragrant blue kitchen waiting for heaven. I got the opposite. When Aunt Marilyn turned away from the stove where she was heating the tomato sauce, her apron string caught on fire. And no one did anything. It was one of those moments that happens in regular time, but seems like it’s happening in slow motion. "Gosh, this is interesting. I’ve never seen anyone catch on fire. I wonder what will happen next?” A combination of youth, ignorance and curiosity kept me in that chair. We all just sat there, waiting. The fire crept up the string. Aunt Marilyn’s husband, Uncle Herbie, jumped up, grabbed something, filled it with water, threw it at her and replaced the fire with a wet, smoky mess. I was told that it might be a good idea for me to go home. The next day, a small plate covered in tin foil appeared in our kitchen. There was no mistaking the aroma. “Mom, did Aunt Marilyn leave me some brownies?” “Yes. Call and thank her.” I spent the next fifty years thanking Aunt Marilyn for brownies. We were friends until she died. She brought me brownies almost every time I saw her. In later years, my husband and son sometimes scarfed up the brownies before I even got to taste them. So Aunt Marilyn did something wonderful. She gave me the recipe.


1 Step

Beat eggs and sugar

2 Step

Add dry ingredients

3 Step

Add vanilla, chocolate, butter, and nuts

4 Step

Mix well after each addition

5 Step

Pour into 9x12 greased pan. Bake 350 degree oven 30 minutes

6 Step

This recipe may be frozen. May be cut in half. Enjoy!


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