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What’s better than a pan of rich homemade brownies on a snowy day? Hmm…I can’t think of anything. And below is the recipe for the yummy brownies pictured above!

This recipe has been part of my family’s cookbook for almost 40 years. My mom’s friend from Wisconsin made them for a party and my mom could not believe how incredibly delicious they were so she asked for the recipe.

We’ve since adapted it a little bit. Here are some of the variations we try throughout the year even when it isn’t snowing: (1) No semi-sweet chocolate chips on top, (2) Peppermint chocolate chips with semi-sweet chocolate chips on top, and (3) Tiny marshmallows with semi-sweet chocolate chips on top.

I enjoy these brownies when they are hot, but I actually think the chocolate flavor is more robust after they’ve been frozen and allowed to thaw just a bit (so you don’t break a tooth biting into them.) As an aside, my family freezes everything—literally—and I grew up knowing the virtues of spreading baked goods over days and weeks. I also loved the refreshing “coolness” of the slightly thawed baked goods! Some other great frozen then slightly thawed baked goods I ate growing up are molasses bar cookies, rolled gingerbread cookies, and drop sugar cookies.

We need a song to go with the recipe below so what is a good brownie song? And I don’t mean the camp songs for girl scouts. For me the brownie song would be “All the Things You Are” sung by Ella Fitzgerald since how can you not love “all the things” about homemade brownies, and Ella’s singing?

So enjoy the family recipe…and the jazz!



  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a metal 9"x13" baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, and eggs until smooth. Add milk and vanilla extract.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix until smooth.
  6. Spread batter into prepared lined pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the batter.
  7. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes. Brownie edges will pull away from sides of pan and be a little crispy. Center of brownies will be soft and gooey.
  8. Remove pan from oven. Let brownies cool in the pan.
  9. Once cooled, lift brownies out of pan by the parchment paper edges. If brownies are still too soft to cut, place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
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About Jillaine: As a professional jazz singer who also studies law, savoring daily nosh with family refreshes me. You are invited to my table to try great food, hear tasty music, and join in upbeat conversation!

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