Friday, September 30, 2016

Brownies for a Crowd

Long, long ago, I did a column in The Hutchinson News called "Cook of the Week," which featured cooks and their favorite recipes. Even though it's literally been 25 years ago, I still get comments once in awhile from people who loved that newspaper feature and who religiously saved those tried-and-true recipes from good cooks. 

One of those Cooks of the Week was Minnye Weers. When I knew Minnye, she lived at Stafford's Leisure Homestead. She was known as the Cookie Lady. She used the kitchen in the activity room at the rest home and baked hundreds of cookies. She baked for other residents. She baked for special events. She baked just to bake.

Minnye has been gone for years, but I still use one of her recipes fairly regularly. Because it makes a large 11- by 15-inch sheet cake pan of brownies, it's one of my go-to recipes when I need a big batch  - whether it's for lunches to take to the field, a potluck or other event where chocolatey goodness is the flavor prescription! (We are planting wheat right now, so I am elbow-deep in taking meals to the field - some days, both noon and evening meals.)

Her Brownies for a Crowd recipe was included in one of the Stafford Oktoberfest cookbooks. And, speaking of Oktoberfest, it's this weekend in Stafford! This recipe from an Oktoberfest cookbook would be great for welcoming family back home or if you need a pick-me-up while decorating that class reunion float.

Photo from Oktoberfest Parade 2015

The last couple of times I've made them, I've added variety to the basic recipe by sprinkling different toppings on the batter before I bake. That way, it's like I'm getting two (or more!) different kinds with just one bake.

In the photo above, I used mini M&Ms on one portion of the batter and a praline crumble on the other half. But the possibilities are endless ... as are the taste variations!
Let me know what you come up with, too!

Brownies for A Crowd
Recipe from Minnye Weers,
Stafford Oktoberfest Cookbook
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups oil
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
5 eggs
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. water
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. cocoa

Cream together sugar and oil. Add vanilla, water and eggs, mixing well. Add dry ingredients, mixing well. Put into a prepared 11- by 15-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until brownies test done.

Optional:  If you'd like, you may add different "sprinkle on" ingredients to the top of the batter before baking - like mini M&Ms, Butterfinger bits, toffee bits, Andes Mint bits, peanut butter chips or other similar items. If I'm not adding a topping, I often throw in some mini chocolate chips to the batter before baking these brownies.

I also like using this Praline Topping to sprinkle on top before baking. 

Praline Topping (Optional)
1 1/2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar

Combine all the praline ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the brownies before baking. Note: This amount of topping covers only half of the 11- by 15-inch sheet cake pan. Leave the other half plain or use another add-on on the remainder.
Today, I'm linked to Weekend Potluck, hosted by these bloggers. Check out the tried-and-true recipes from them and other foodies!


  1. Looks yummy! Roughly how many squares does this make?

    1. I think I usually cut them into squares yielding about 30, but it's definitely flexible!

  2. Oh no the sorghum / milo is gone, but I do love this sky!

    1. I took this one at sunset the other night. Randy was planting wheat across the road.