Nana Recipe Wednesday–Sister Marie’s Brownies

by Sarah on May 30, 2012

Oh my gosh you guys, I am so tired as I type this, but I swore that I’d have a new Nana for you this week and by gum I’m gonna get this recipe written if it’s the last thing I do!  Well, the last thing for tonight that is.

I found this recipe for “Marie’s Brownies” in Nana’s file recently and realized that I should’ve made these while Marie was still living.  She probably would have gotten a kick out of it.  Hopefully, Readers, you all will get a kick out of it for her.  I mean really, who knew nuns were into baking?

This is a pretty straight-forward homemade brownie recipe with a sweet, almost crackly chocolate frosting on top.  There’s nuts inside too.  Leave ‘em out if you’re allergic, or if you’re just one of those poor people who doesn’t like nuts in your baked goods.

I haven’t made homemade brownies in so long!  I’ll admit it, I use a box most of the time.  You know why?  Because I don’t really like brownies all that much.  Though I made some once, a long long time ago that had toffee peanuts on top.  Back in the early stages of my blog.  Boy, I bet there are some terrible pictures over there.  But the brownies were good.

You realize of course, that this recipe probably originates from the mid-’50’s or so and there was no fancy chocolate to be found anywhere in the Midwest.  At least not baking chocolate.  So this recipe calls for that weird Baker’s Chocolate, the unsweetened kind.  It said 2 squares but I thought the brownies truthfully could’ve been MORE CHOCOLATEY.  When I make these again, I’m going to throw in a third square.  LIVING ON THE EDGE, am I right?

So when you melt the butter and chocolate together it looks and smells really great.  Don’t taste it.  It doesn’t really taste that great.

Mix the melted chocolate mixture in with the other creamed batter ingredients and there you have it.  Brownie batter.  Now it tastes good.  Pour into a greased pan.  I just used the spray oil.  I love that stuff.  Then bake.  Marie says 30 minutes.  I think mine took closer to 45 minutes.

Frosting time.  Melt an obscene amount of sugar and chocolate chips together with a bit of milk and more butter.  Stir, stir, stir.  Then pour it into the mixer and whip it till it looks like frosting.

Old-school brownies deserve old-school bakeware, don’t you agree?  This is the classic “cornflower” design from Corningware.  I’m sure everyone’s mother and/or grandmother has at least one piece of this.

While the brownies and the frosting are both still warm, pour frosting on top of brownies and spread it around.  It’s helpful that it melts a little and makes it easier to spread.

Now let them cool a bit.  Just a bit.

Because you seriously want to eat one of these while it is still a little bit warm, garnished with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Sister Marie’s Brownies


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 heaping cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate (or 3, if you want to really chocolate it up)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease a 9x11 or 10x10 baking dish and set aside.
  • With a mixer, combine the sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour and salt.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter together over low heat.
  • Add chocolate mixture to the batter and combine.
  • Add nuts and combine.
  • Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until done. Set aside while you make frosting.
  • Mix together the sugar, milk and butter for frosting in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil one minute.
  • Remove the frosting from heat and add chocolate chips and vanilla.
  • Mix with electric mixer until the frosting is spreading consistency.
  • Pour warm frosting onto warm brownies and spread.
  • Serve slightly warm with vanilla ice cream.

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