Rich and Thin Brownies

chocolate-thin-browniesThat old adage, “you can never be too rich or too thin,” coined by Wallis Simpson – the scandalous divorcee who cost King Edward VIII the crown – applies to brownies as well as social climbers. This recipe for Thin Chocolate Bars from Home Cooks’ Easy Recipes (edited by Vivian Rothe, Paradise Press, 1993) bakes in a jelly roll pan.

Though the brownies turn out only about 1/8 inch thick, they keep the proportions of butter, chocolate, and flour skewed towards decadence. The frosting adds even more richness. Make a batch for Valentine’s Day, or freeze and pull out when your relationship flags and you need a bit of chocolate therapy.

Thin Chocolate Bars (1993)
Makes 25 bars (2×3 inches each)

2/3 cup flour, spooned lightly into a measuring cup
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 (1 ounce each) squares unsweetened chocolate
1/4 teaspoon dry instant coffee (optional) [I used Starbucks Via*]
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans [I omitted these because I didn’t have any!]

1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
3 tablespoons water or coffee (or dissolve 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee in the water)
1 cup unsifted confectioners’ sugar

chocolate - thin brownies glazed.png

To make the bars:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1 inch pan with either foil sprayed with pan release, parchment paper, or butter and flour.
  2. Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl; mix with a whisk or fork; set aside.
  3. Measure the butter or margarine into a medium (2 quart) saucepan. Set over low heat; add the chocolate and coffee crystals, if using. Stir until the chocolate melts; set off the heat.
  4. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla, and eggs, 1 at a time. Stir in the dry ingredients and nuts. Pour in a thin stream over the bottom of the prepared pan; spread evenly with a knife blade.
  5. Bake just until set, 12-15 minutes – do not overbake. Set the pan on a rack while you prepare the glaze.

To make the glaze:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate, butter, and water or coffee. Stir over extremely low heat with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the sugar. Add drops of hot tap water as needed to thin to a honey consistency.
  2. Pour the glaze over the bars while still warm; spread evenly with a knife blade.
  3. When the glazed bars are cooled, cut into 2×3 inch bars (or any other size). Wrap tightly and freeze for later use if desired.

*Starbucks Via is really my favorite brand!


About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers. Somehow I ended up with a cooking gene that I brought with me from Richmond, Virginia to my current home in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir and a novel. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and other American recipes with a past.
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