My mom is not a baker. She makes a mean curry and a fabulous chicken noodle casserole, but baking is not her cup of tea.
That’s the amazing thing about moms, though, they do all sorts of stuff they hate, just because they love you. Did she enjoy watching the endless hours of soccer games in which I rarely left the bench? Not likely. Did she complain during the year I got really into Kurt Cobain and blared Nirvana at all hours of the day? Nope.
So when my brother and I were in college, and she sent care packages full of homemade brownies and spiced raisin bread, I shouldn’t have been surprised. When I first moved to St. Louis, the care packages came from my grandmother. But as baking got harder for her, Mom took over, believing that dorm-dwelling students can’t subsist without home-baked treats. My brownies would arrive, mangled and smashed, and my roommates and I would dive into them, devouring the batch in minutes.
With my college days long gone, I can’t remember the last time I received baked goods in the mail. Squished, crushed, or crumbled, it doesn’t matter. There is something so heartwarming about a shoebox full of homemade goodness. And if, like me, you haven’t seen a brownie-filled care package on your doorstep in a few years, just imagine how many years it’s been for your mom!
So make your mom a batch of these decadent, old-school brownies. And pretend that you’re back in college, in the days when you could eat pizza at midnight and drink beer all weekend without gaining an ounce! If your mom lives far away, wrap these babies up and send ’em overnight mail! And if she’s close by, tuck them in a cute, parchment-lined shoebox anyway, for old times sake.
Happy Mother’s Day!
For the brownies:
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
2 cups crushed Oreo cookies (or other sandwich cookies), divided
For the frosting:
3 tablespoons butter, soft
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 inch baking pan. To make the brownies, put the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on low heat, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Stir in the sugar, eggs and flour to combine. fold in half of the cookie crumbs. Spread the batter into the pan and bake for about 35 minutes. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. Whip the butter with an electric mixer. Beat in the sugar, then add the vanilla, cocoa, and milk and beat until fluffy and combined.
Spread the cooled brownies with the frosting and sprinkle with the remaining Oreo crumbs. Slice the brownies into bars and serve with a tall glass of milk!