I grew up devouring the original version of Budge’s Brownies. They were known as “Carol Kaufman Brownies,” named for one of my mom’s closest friends who gave us the recipe. If memory serves me correctly, which is questionable at best, the recipe was actually created by someone else but as Carol shared it with us, in my eyes she deserves the kudos.
As I have mentioned in other postings, I did not cook when I first graduated from college and lived on my own. I owned a Cuisinart® and made tuna fish and brownies in it. Yup, that makes my stomach turn nowadays, too!
The brownies were always amazing, but I think my tastes changed a bit. I started finding that they were a tad too greasy for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the mushy center of the brownies, yet there was just too much mushy center.
I was stumped and not sure how to fix this problem. One day I was at Hoffman’s Chocolates and the founder and then owner, Paul Hoffman, was there. I explained the challenge I was having with Carol’s Brownies, and he suggested cutting back on the butter.
He knew of what he was speaking! The brownies were perfect. The outer brownies were a bit cakier (but not dry) while the inner brownies were the delicious, chocolatey mushy consistency I love.
These became my go-to brownies. I have been told that there is something almost magical about them. When friends of mine were going through chemotherapy, their taste buds changed and often it was hard for them to taste the foods brought over. I remember my girlfriend, Gina Boner (who was one of my bridesmaids) experienced this. Gina was one of those incredibly hip, cool and gorgeous ladies who had her stuff together.
When Gina was first diagnosed with cancer, I started taking brownies over to her house. I would often times just drop them off and go, knowing she would eat what she could and her kids would inhale the rest. You see, Gina loved them, but her kids loved them even more. Gina’s son, Justin, a/k/a Budge, was an extremely particular eater. Even though his dad is a gourmet cook, Budge wouldn’t touch the fabulous meals on the table, preferring plain pasta instead. Yet, once the tray of brownies came into the house, he would pounce faster than a lion pouncing on his prey.
Budge loved the outside, cakier brownies. His sister, Lia, loved the mushy inside ones. I learned that it was better to bake the recipe for a larger pan so both kids would be the recipients of the kind of brownie they wanted. They were in such demand that they quickly became known as, you guessed it, Budge’s Brownies.
As the years continued to race by, Budge’s Brownies have made their way into care packages for college students, lunch boxes for campers and trays for the teachers’ lounges at the schools my kids attend. I see the happiness on the faces of those who eat them and think perhaps there is something very special about them. After all, who doesn’t want a little magic now and then.
|Budge's Brownies|| || |
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) Land-O-Lakes lightly salted butter
- 4 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 300º. Grease and flour an 8” x 8” baking pan. Set aside.
- Microwave the chocolate and butter together until melted. Set aside.
- Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- Place eggs and pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed for 20 seconds. Add sugar. Mix on low until combined. While the mixer is on, add ½ of the chocolate mixture. Combine. Add ½ of the flour mixture. Alternate again until the remaining chocolate and flour mixture have been thoroughly incorporated. Add vanilla.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. Place on cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes. Take a very thin, sharp knife and cut into 16 or 20 brownies. Do not cut all the way through as the brownies are too hot, but if you do not partially cut at this point then you will have a crumbled top later on.
- Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Cool completely before cutting and serving.
- Betsy’s Tidbit:
- As the Boner household has a major conflict on what the true definition of the perfect brownie is (too mushy, too dry!) you will need to adjust the temperature accordingly. When I make the brownies for Budge I turn the oven to approximately 310º to 315º, which still allows his sister Lia to enjoy one or two mushy brownies from the center. When I make the brownies for Lia I turn the oven to approximately 285º to 290º which allows Budge to enjoy a couple of the outside brownies. May this be your biggest challenge on your search for perfection!!!