Many people complained about their school lunches, but there are actually quite a few wonderful recipes that the lunch ladies used to make. You may not have been wild about the canned green beans, but how about that square pizza? Or what about the peanut butter squares? There were some dishes that we really looked forward to in our cafeteria lunches.
Many of the most popular cafeteria recipes were chosen because they were easy to make and were always winners with the diners. Lunch lady brownies are one of those recipes and tasting these incredibly moist brownies again really brought back the memories of school.
They are impossibly tender with that frosting that just melts completely as soon as it hits your mouth. Who knew that one day we’d miss these lunchroom treats so much?
To make these tasty brownies you start by lining a 9″x9″ pan with foil so that it comes up over the sides in 2 pieces, one going each direction. Then it’s time to make a simple chocolate brownie batter, beginning with creaming together the butter and sugar, then adding in the eggs and vanilla.
Next add the cocoa powder and the flour, stirring to combine until the batter is uniform in color. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 20–25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. You don’t want a completely clean knife at this point because you want the brownies to be moist. The trick is to ever so sliglhty under-bake the brownies.
While the brownies are cooling off slightly is the time to work on the frosting. It’s a simple mixture of butter, milk, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. For ease and intensity of flavor you can use Dutch cocoa if you have it since it blends into liquids much easier than the natural cocoa. Either way, this frosting is so simple to make.
You want to apply the frosting while the brownies are still warm so that the frosting can soak into the brownies properly. Because of the butter in the frosting, even when these brownies are completely cooled off the topping still has that soft and silky texture.
These are just as good as you might remember from when you were in school. But, there’s only way to find out if these treats stack up to your memory of the lunch ladies: make these brownies and see for yourself!
Lunch Lady Brownies
Makes 9 brownies
15m prep time
3h 45m cook time
For the brownies:
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup all purpose flour
For the frosting:
- 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 9”x9” baking pan with foil, making sure that foil comes up over the sides somewhat.
- In mixing bowl cream together the sugar and butter for the batter, making sure to stir or blend until the mixture has lightened in both color and texture. Add in eggs and vanilla and stir until fully incorporated.
- Slowly add in flour and cocoa powder and mix just until color is uniform. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out mostly dry with only a few moist crumbs. For the best texture do not overbake.
- While brownies are cooling begin to make the frosting. In a medium bowl combine butter, milk, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar until a smooth frosting texture is reached. If mixture is too dry add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time. If too runny, add in one tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time.
- Once frosting is the right texture spread over brownies while they are still warm so that some of the icing melts into the brownies. Cut into squares and use the foil to help lift the brownies out of the pan.
Recipe adapted from Brownie Bites.