Funeral brownies

I was talking to a colleague about food (imagine that!) and he mentioned that he had recently whipped up a batch of gluten-free brownies, using one of Pamela's mixes. I mentioned a treasured brownie recipe, wondering aloud whether it could be freed from the thralls of gluten, and shared its origin:

Mitch and I were at a memorial gathering for a neighbor who had passed away. The buffet table was laden with all manner of treats, including the best brownies we'd ever tasted. We introduced ourselves to the author of these delights, a personable gentleman, JR, who immediately ran out to his car to retrieve xeroxed copies of the recipe. (He'd obviously been hounded for his secrets before.)

Since then, I've made J.R.'s brownies many times and they're incredible. JR has sinced passed away. But as I mentioned to my colleague, if you can be remembered for something as sweet and pleasureable as a brownie recipe, that's OK. A brownie afficionado, my colleague asked for the recipe, which I passed along to him yesterday. Today, I share it with you. One of these days I might try to veganize it, but here it is in it original form:

JR's Double Fudge Brownies

1 1/2 cups unsifted flour (bread flour preferred)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

One 12-oz. pkg (2 cups) chocolate chips (JR recommended Nestle's; I often used dark chocolate)

2 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, combine four, baking soda and salt, set aside. In small saucepan, combine butter, sugar and and water, bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until chips melt and mixture is smooth. Transfer to large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually blend in flour miture with a spoon. Stir in nuts. Bake 45-50 minutes. Cool. Cut into squares.


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