Wikipedia defines comfort foods as ‘familiar, simple foods that are usually home-cooked….foods that are often emotionally significant to a person or group of people and are sometimes related to pleasant associations of childhood’.
I would take that definition one step further, and add that comfort foods can also be related to pleasant associations of people, or of people and situations, such as a grown-up daughter sharing a cup of coffee and a homemade brownie with her mother.
Today’s recipe, Brownies for a Crowd, is one that I actually gave to mom, instead of the usual other way around. If I remember correctly I copied this recipe from one of my cousins after I had sampled the squares at her cottage. Once I shared the recipe with mom it became a favourite of hers as well, and she enjoyed making these brownies for friends and family.
Sometimes mom iced the brownies with thick, creamy, chocolate icing, or with chocolate icing with a few drops of peppermint flavouring added to the buttery mixture, but often she didn’t ice them at all—she simply sprinkled a dusting of white confectioner’s sugar over them while they were still warm from the oven. For a special effect mom would cover the squares with a paper doily before dusting them with sifted sugar; when she lifted the doily a lacy design was revealed, transforming the brownies into edible works of art.
Do you have a favourite ‘comfort food’ that you associate with childhood or with memories of a special person who has travelled through your life? Why not send me an email or post a comment on my blog and share your story. I’d love to read it.
Brownies for a Crowd
1 ½ cup flour
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
8 Tbsp. cocoa
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup water
½ cup chopped walnuts
Mix together and pour into greased 9” x 13” pan. Bake 30 minutes at 350° F oven.
Note: These brownies are so rich they really don’t need icing; I like to add just a light dusting of icing sugar over them while still warm from the oven. Yum…