So, though my house be disorganized, the laundry may sit in (clean) drifts on my bed and the paid work doesn’t get done, I returned from dropping my kids off for their first day of school and baked something for an afterschool treat.
To reinforce the housewifely image of perfection I seem to be trying for, I went to my mother’s blue three-ring binder of recipes she’d collected over the years for inspiration. In and amongst recipes written in my grandmother’s Edwardian longhand for Matzoh Charlotte, and ideas for onion soup mix clipped sometime in the early 1960s, I found the blond brownies my mother used to make. The recipe was from my father’s
assistant secretary, Helen Shulman, who had typed it out very neatly on what was known as a (say it with me) typewriter.
To bring it up to 2012 suburban standards and add that sanctimonious factor I enjoy so much, I improved the nutrition of the recipe, substituting whole wheat flour and then adding 2 whole tablespoons of flax seed. But I also doubled the amount of chocolate chips. I have to eat these things, after all.I even used a wooden spoon, instead of my fancy Kitchen-Aid mixer, for the old-fashioned echt-itude. Quaint, no?
I am pleased to say they came home from school and glormed them up with a nice cold glass of milk. And I will admit, I felt a little warm and fuzzy inside.
Recipe note: You can subsitute an equal amount of all-purpose white flour if you don’t have whole wheat on hand. And leave out the flax seed. Or substitute wheat germ to up the B-vitamin content.Brownies as tan and golden as any of us would wish to be at the end of the summer. That said, I am pale and chocolate-filled.
Back-to-School Blond Brownies
What You Need:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed or wheat germ
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 tsp real vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest (if you wish)
1 cup chocolate chips
What You Need to Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 9-inch square baking pan. (8 x 8 is fine too. Just bake them a little longer.)
2. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and the brown sugar until well-blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix. Add the vanilla and stir for 30 seconds.
3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and flaxseed/wheat germ and stir until blended. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the batter evenly.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
5. Cool. Slice. Pile on a plate. Place in middle of table and roll cameras. Probably time for a Calgon bath now.