September 3, 2014

Nana Dots' Deep Dish Brownies

Last week felt sort of special for me. It felt different. It felt like I was being reminded of how much I am loved and thought about.  It was like this funky epiphany that I had, yet the wild idea was never put into place. Everything I came across, however, felt necessary at that exact time.  

First was her ring.  I've had this ring since she passed away a mere 18 years ago. I have no clue why I have it. I don't remember who gave it to me or why they gave it to me.  I was only 14 years old when she passed. I was still very young.  Maybe I liked the ring?  Maybe I loved it? Maybe when she wasn't looking I played dress up with it?  I'll never really quite know the actual answer as to why I was given this ring. And that's okay.

It's a gorgeous silver lattice band with an emerald cut diamond.  When I remembered that it was in my jewelry box for a long time now, I don't know what it was but I felt happy to see it.  I couldn't wait to put it on.  I love the way it looks and feels on my finger.  I now wear it almost everyday.

A day later, I came across a photo-copied page of her brownie recipe when I was organizing paperwork.

It was kindly mailed to me by a cousin who couldn't make my bridal shower but noted that "I thought I'd enjoy a few of Nana Dots' recipes."  I smiled when I saw this and just knew I had to make them!  I wasted no time and went into the kitchen to begin.  And what felt even more right that day?  I had every single ingredient on hand. Again, it seems none of us really recall much of her stuff. Or even these delicious brownies that were her own.  I reminded that very cousin about them after I made them because they were a success even though I had nothing to compare them to.  Even one of Dots' daughters, my aunt, questioned them and then told me to send the recipe her way.

Clearly they had to be amazing to be typed up, photo-copied and snail-mailed to me.

And they were.  They were actually the best brownie I've eaten to date.

That's saying a lot for me.  I get pretty serious when it comes to a good brownie.

I like to think that Nana Dot was with me last week.  Maybe I needed to be reminded of her just because. Maybe she wanted to be with me. She was such a sharp woman; witty, smart, funny and sweet. I may not have recalled these here brownies of hers, but I will forever remember her laugh, her amazing potato pancakes, her Go Fish card games that we played for hours on end in her tic-tac-toe wallpapered kitchen at the kitchen table, and her scent.  She had a grandmotherly scent, but in a good way.  For whatever reason I was reminded of her last week, I sure am glad I was.  

I'm also really glad I made these brownies.  I know she's proud.

Miss you, Dot. {my favorite photo of us in sunny Ft. Lauderdale}

My Nana Dots' Deep Dish Brownies

You'll need:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted {1 stick}
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa  {I only had unsweetened, which is fine}
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips {a little more than a cup is no problem!}

Make them:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square pan, 8x8 inch with cooking spray or butter. Blend melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl.  Add eggs and then beat well. {a whisk worked best}. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and gradually add to egg mixture; beating until well blended.  Stir in chips. Spread evenly in prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely. Cut into squares. Makes about 16 brownies.

Just as she wrote at the end, "Good luck."

1 comment:

  1. Dana. You have me in tears. She loved you so much. I remember the brownies. She loved to bake. Great Cook. She was definitely with you. Love you. Mom