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Recipe Tin Project: Fudge Brownies

I’m so glad I found this old recipe card.

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Growing up, I baked with my mom all the time but we pretty much always made one of two things — chocolate chip cookies or brownies. To this day, they’re probably my two favorite baked goods because they’re just classic and, to me at least, a little bit nostalgic too. But! I am not the type of person who is married to making the same recipe over and over again because it’s what I know — I’m always game to try a new cookie or brownie recipe when one looks intriguing. So when I saw this old recipe card for Fudge Brownies, there was no question — it was time to get baking.

This card came to me through the Recipe Tin Project, which is a project where I cook my way through an old recipe tin full of vintage recipes. But you might have already guessed that. It’s chock full of old recipe cards, most of which seem to be from the ’60s and ’70s, though some are older. I love food history, and the idea is to breathe new life into these recipes from the past and maybe learn a technique or two from them along the way. The recipes come from different people with different handwriting; some have sweet illustrations while others are on plain (often smudged and stained) index cards.

This particular card is written in casual cursive in blue ink on a plain lined index card. In the top right it says what might be “Jones” in parentheses, though you could also convince me that it might be Janis or Janey. The ingredients and instructions are both reasonably thorough, which is always exciting because that’s not always the case with these old recipe cards!

First, you mix together white sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.

And then you stir in melted butter.

Eggs and vanilla extract complete the wet ingredients, and the dry is just flour, salt, and baking powder (abbreviated as B. P. on the card) sifted together. You don’t need a mixer, just a whisk or wooden spoon.

Once it’s smooth, you stir in a cup of chopped nuts. (Which is a pretty generous portion for a square pan of brownies!)

And then transfer it to a greased 8×8 baking pan.

They bake for just 25 minutes and then need to cool before you can slice them into servings. It’s a hard wait.

But worth it.

These live up to their name — they’re indeed fudgy, but they’re also punctuated with the nice chew of walnuts (or pecans if that’s what you choose to use).

My ideal brownie is one that’s so fudgy it’s on the edge of being under-baked. I don’t want a cakey brownie — I want something a little gooey with a crackly top. These definitely deliver. They could use maybe a touch more cocoa powder but that’s easy enough to experiment with in the next round.

My ideal brownie also comes together in one bowl. I love that about these! You don’t need a mixer, you only need one bowl, and they mix up in about five minutes. That’s my kind of brownie — the one that you can whip up on a moment’s notice when a chocolate craving strikes.

Yield(s): Serves 9

5m prep time

25m cook time

Rated 5.0 out of 5
Rated by 1 reviewers
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you're making mealtime meaningful.
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  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 unbeaten eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 8x8-inch baking pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sugar and cocoa powder. Add butter and mix well. Stir in eggs.
  3. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder, then add to the batter along with the vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  4. Fold in nuts, then spread out in prepared pan.
  5. Bake 25 minutes, then let cool, and cut into squares.