Dear Abby: Brownie recipe hits the spot for chocolate lovers

DEAR ABBY: I have read that you have a sweet tooth. I do, too. That’s why I’m interested in your recipe booklets, particularly if you have included dessert recipes. Which ones do you particularly love? — LOVES IT SWEET IN ANNAPOLIS, MD

DEAR LOVES: That’s a tough question. It’s hard to choose just one recipe because I do have a sweet tooth as well as “a bit” of an addiction to chocolate, which is more information than you asked for.

The following recipe is one I have enjoyed many times and also have made as gifts for friends. It yields 4 1/2 dozen brownies (depending upon how large one decides to portion them out), and they freeze well. Warning: The first time I tasted them, they triggered a binge. After consuming my third brownie, I was ashamed to go back to the dessert table, so I sneaked to the kitchen and begged for the recipe.

This recipe is included in my cookbooklet set, which, in addition to desserts, includes many other delicious crowd-pleasing recipes for entertaining. To order it, send your name and address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mt. Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

If you are a serious chocolate lover, this recipe will make your toes curl, and that’s a promise. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I have.

REGENCY BROWNIES

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla

FROSTING

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of an 18-by-12-by-2 (or 1)-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray generously with butter-flavored cooking spray.

In the top of a double boiler, over medium heat, melt butter and 4 ounces chocolate. Reserve.

In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add flour and salt, mixing well. Add chocolate mixture, blending thoroughly. Stir in nuts and vanilla.

Pour into prepared baking pan. (Batter should be about 1/2-inch thick, not more.) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is crisp and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before pouring frosting over the top.

For the frosting: Bring cream to a boil, stirring constantly. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl; pour boiling cream over the chocolate and stir to blend well. Spread thin layer of warm frosting over top of brownies in pan. When cool, cut into 2-inch squares.

DEAR ABBY: I don’t know how to respond when someone I know socially says they have just come from a political event for a candidate I detest and can’t believe this person would favor. I don’t discuss politics, so why anyone mentions something like this disturbs me. I don’t want to say, “That’s nice,” and have them think I approve, but I don’t want to show my disgust and provoke an argument. Any ideas? — DISCREET GUY IN THE SOUTH

DEAR GUY: If you prefer to avoid the subject of politics, just say, “What ELSE are you doing these days?” Smile when you say it and it shouldn’t be offensive.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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