[Ed.: The Lovely S. is guest blogging today, after making us proud to admit our dirty secrets on National Fast Food Day. Enjoy!]

The humble brownie made its first appearance at the Columbian Exposition in 1893.  Apparently, according to wikipedia, a chef at the Palmer House Hotel created the confection after Bertha Palmer requested a dessert for ladies attending the fair that would be smaller than a piece of cake, and easily eaten from boxed lunches.

I remember brownies making several appearances in my lunch boxes as a child.  I also remember eating an entire pan (a small pan) of chocolate cream cheese brownies and that was the first time I had ever eaten myself sick.  Not a good feeling, but I didn’t let that stop me.  You hear stories about people eating an entire apple pie, getting sick and then never eating apple pie again.  Not so with me and brownies.  If anything, that little episode only made our relationship stronger.

I grew up with the standard chocolate brownie with icing.  My brother and I would have contests to see who could lift the icing off the brownie entirely intact so we could eat the sugary topping all by itself.  Heaven!  When D. asked me to do today’s entry, I promptly called my mom for her recipe.  She was driving home with my dad from a day of skiing and she easily recited the entire thing over the phone.  Here it is:

1 c. butter (melted)
1c. cocoa
2c. sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1c. walnuts (optional)

Mix together, pour into 13×9 pan, bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Let cool.  Then for the icing:

5tbsp. butter (melted)
1/4c cocoa

Mix the above.  Add 2 cups icing sugar and then 4-5 tsp. warmed milk.  Spread onto brownies and enjoy!

When I made this yesterday I rediscovered the joy of licking the beaters and just dipping a spoon into the batter and eating freely. Mmmmmm! I made the brownies first and then headed out to run some errands.  When I got home, A. had returned from work, found the brownies and happily helped himself.  Thus, the photo with the (very) large piece missing.

I recommend these brownies for the next get together where you need to bring something sweet and nibbley.  They are delicious comfort food and bring back happy memories of childhood.

[Ed.: Once you’re done trying to reach into the screen to score some of S’s delicious looking brownies, surf over to The Brownie Project where another blogger is making a list of the best brownies she’s ever had. Some sound AMAZING.]