Recipe from Elizabeth Bishop: Brownies! (from her papers at Vassar College)

“Since Brazilians are mad about anything chocolate … I have been requested to bring along 4 dozen brownies (something I’ve introduced to Brazil) and a large chocolate cake,” she writes to Lowell in the fall of 1957. “You see how innocent our lives are here—just making money and eating sweets.”

(Sourced from The Elizabeth Bishop Papers at Vassar College, courtesy of Vassar Special Collections and Sarah Stone)
4 squares bitter chocolate (or about a cup of cocoa)
4 eggs
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped nuts
Melt the chocolate and butter together – or, if you use cocoa, melt along with half the sugar and a little water. Cool slightly and beat in eggs and rest of sugar.
Sift in flour, add vanilla and nuts and beat. The batter is fairly stiff – doesn’t run much. Spread about <——————> this thick in square pan.
Bake in a slow oven – about 45 minutes to an hr., depending on pan, thickness, etc. They should be dry on top, just pulling away from edges, but still rather damp in the middle. Cut in squares in pan and remove with spatula.
This makes chewy brownies – for a harder kind, use brown sugar and an extra egg – or half brown sugar – Can be made thicker and used hot with whipped cream on top for a desert [sic] –

NOTE: I learned about this recipe from Paper & Salt blog by Nicole Villeneuve (Also-- go there to see her helpful hints when she made the brownies herself!)

You can follow her on Twitter here:

~ Kells
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  1. I've made brownies from many recipes, including my own, for close to 50 years. (Think how scary it is for me to consider that fact.) This is a terrible recipe.


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