The chocolaty goodness of warm brownies served with a glass of milk sends me back, as usual, to the 15-year-old foster child who shared our home 20 years ago. I decided one day to bake brownies but she was befuddled: "Where's the mix? You can't make brownies without a box!"
Clearly, the poor child's education had been neglected. I don't know of a homemade treat easier than brownies without a box. My recipe takes about five minutes and calls for only six ingredients, unless you want to get fancy and add nuts or coconut or dried cranberries or whatever. Here it is:
Brownies Without a Box
1 stick butter (no substitutes!)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (the real thing--and no skimping!)
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in cocoa and flour. Spread in greased 8x8x2 inch pan and bake at 325 for 30 to 35 minutes.
I like to sprinkle pecans or walnuts on the top before baking. This makes a substantial brownie with a slightly gooey center--and if you have children helping, it also makes a delicious mess.