Helen's Brownies

Lovely crusty, crackle-ish top.  Yum!

Yum is the word.  These brownies are the best I've yet to find, and they come from one of my cousin's, grandma dearest on the other side of the family.  Helen was her name and I remember visiting her raspberry patch when I was a little girl.   Helen made all sorts of good things, but these brownies are my fave.  

When James and I got married I remember Helen and Clyde coming to our reception.  She was such a pretty lady, and her gift to us was a cookie jar full of these homemade brownies.  What a treat!  James and I loved them and I love the recipe now too since Helen has passed.  My mom made a discovery a few years back about these brownies though.  When you make them don't mix the batter in a mixer or use a handheld mixer.  That makes the brownies more cake like and less fudgy.  My mother found that mixing by hand as little as possible produces a  fudgy wonderful brownie.  I love the addition of chocolate chips and a teaspoon of cinnamon.  Can't have enough Mexican influence in our lives now can we!   (Mexican chocolate has a hint of cinnamon to it if you're wondering where that last comment came from.) So Olson cousins, and anyone else who loved Helen,  let's all make these brownies this weekend for all of our different Labor Day activities and think of Helen :) You won't be sorry you did it!

Helen's Brownies
 (AKA Lovely Lisa Brownies for those of you who I have claimed these as my own:) So sorry, but I knew you didn't know Helen.  Now you do!)

I double the recipe and put it in a big silver cookies sheet.  It sometimes overflows, so now I have the perfect brownie pan.  It is 11x15x2 and it is wonderful.  It produces the best brownies yet.  A little thicker than the silver cookie sheet produces, but oh so perfect!

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. Crisco or shortening
2 c. sugar

Cream together.  Add:

4 eggs
1/2 c. cocoa
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon (optional)
1 c. chocolate chips

Mix together until barely combined.  Pour in a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan.  I like to top the brownies with more chocolate chips and chopped pecans now.  I like the nuts and chips inside the brownie, but they look so much prettier in the top.   Bake for 30 mins. in a 350'F preheated oven.  The center should slightly wobble, and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out pretty clean with maybe a few clumps on it.  When I doubled the recipe and made it in the larger pan it actually baked for 50 mins. They are great as brownie sundaes, or a great breakfast for your 1st  and 4th graders!


  1. Son-of-a-bitch! I just started to cry. I wish I could make these this weekend.

  2. Sounds delicious! Have you ever used Nestle Choco Bake? I have a great brownie recipe that calls for Choco Bake in the brownie and the frosting...that's right I said frosting! My Mom always makes the frsting the same thickness as the brownie.

  3. Great post Lisa it made me cry. They are the best brownies ever. I love to top them with tons of powdered sugar..thats how Helen did it...she would sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and then sprinkle the counter with powdered sugar and cut them up and put them on the counter so the top and bottoms had it! You couldn't help but cough
    every time you inhaled one :) Man I miss her and her great baking. I never knew she gave these to you for your wedding what a fun treat. Love, Lindi

  4. I love your post Lisa and your memories of Grandma. These brownies are the best and I think I'll go make a batch for book club tonight. Thanks for the fun reading!! Kami



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