Pennsylvania Dutch make the best junk food

The well-used Brownie page

The well-used Brownie page

In the interest of full disclosure, I admit I was raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and I claim Pennsylvania Dutch heritage.

But my Michigan-born husband agrees that nobody does junk food better than the Pennsylvania Dutch.

My husband the saltaholic raves about Bickles chips and Snyders pretzels. I, with my sweet tooth would swim through crocodile infested water for a whoopie pie or a slice of shoo fly pie.

So when I’m looking for pure decadence, unencumbered by nutrients, I open the Mennonite Community Cookbook.

Usually, it falls open to page 281—Brownies.

I have modified this recipe, reducing the sugar slightly, and substituting cocoa for unsweetened chocolate (which isn’t easily available here), but I hate to mess too much with perfection…

Oh, and I ALWAYS make a double batch…here’s my doubled version

¾ c. cocoa powder

1 c. butter or shortening

1 ½ c. sugar

4 eggs

1 c. flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 c. chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or coconut

2 tsp vanilla

Melt cocoa and butter together. Beat eggs thoroughly and add sugar. Combine egg and chocolate mixtures and blend well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Blend wet and dry ingredients together, mixing until smooth. Add nuts and vanilla.

Spread dough in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30 minutes.