Spice in the Kitchen: Vintage Triple Decker Brownies

I found this cookbook in a thrift store. It looked really familiar, so I opened it up and found the picture below.

Wow! I remembered that picture! I used to study it when I was little. How happy they looked! How big are those cookies! And look at that girl--getting to decorate her own cookies! How fancy! I wish I was her! I wish I had those little silver balls to decorate cookies with! Yes, even as a 6-year-old I was a cooking nerd. I liked to pretend I was Julia Childs and I would put on my own cooking shows in my kitchen. I never knew what I was doing, but I did make up my own recipes... much like today. All this nostalgia, I had to buy the book.

I wanted to practice making bar cookies, so I was flipping through some of my cookbooks. Nothing stood out to me. I found this book (I forgot that I had bought it) and saw this recipe. Wow! Another memory--I loved these as a kid. I have a distinct memory of my sister helping my brother make these in a dimly lit kitchen. He had to make them for a "home ec" class.  It's fate that I found these because I would often think back to the "home ec brownies." 

I de-egged the recipe and made a batch for my husband's office (love to bake, but hate to put on the pounds!). I will make more changes the next time I make them and the recipe below notes those changes. It may seem like there are lots of ingredients and that it is a complicated recipe, but it's not. Just three different steps.

Triple Decker Brownies Recipe (eggless, vegan-izable)

Ingredients and Directions
Step One
  • 1 cup of quick-cooking rolled oats (if using old-fashinoned--pulse a couple of times in food processor)
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup backed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 TB melted butter or Earth Balance
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix dry ingredients, then add wet.  Mix.
  3. Press mixture into a brownie pan (8"x 8") lined with parchment paper and bake for 5 minutes. Take out and let cool.
Step Two
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or Earth Balance
  • 3 ounces melted unsweetened (or semi-sweet chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (use vegan if making vegan)
  • 2 TB cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
  • 1 1/3 cup sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup milk (use almond or coconut milk if vegan)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Beat sugar, butter and chocolate. Add yogurt and cornstarch, mix well. 
  2. Sift together dry ingredients.
  3. Mix vanilla and milk.
  4. Add dry mix to butter mixture alternately with milk. Mix well. (This is easy enough to do without a mixer--use your arm power! Brownies, muffins, etc. are better the less you beat them. Something about gluten strands or something... Just don't over beat it.)
  5. Fold in walnuts.
  6. Press mixture on top of oatmeal layer. Bake for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it since oven temperature vary.
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely. 
Step Three
  • 1 ounce of unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 TB butter or Earth Balance
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 TB hot water
  1. While the brownies are almost cool, make the frosting.
  2. On low heat, melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  3. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir.
  4. Add water, 1 TB at a time, to make an almost pourable consistency.
  5. Frost top of cooled brownies. Let cool completely before cutting. These brownies are better the 2nd day so be patient!
My brownies. I thought the 2nd level should be thicker, so I doubled the ingredients for my version of the recipe (and tripled the chocolate!). Also, I cut down on the baking time since they were a little too well done on the bottom.

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