June 22, 2010

Barbara’s Brownies for the Beach {Powernap}

Cuisinart Brownies | The Naptime Chef

What’s Going on Today: Morning at the Beach!
Naptime Goals: De-sand beach bag, wash beach towels, prep Chinese Chicken Salad for dinner.
Tonight’s Menu: Char’s Chinese Chicken Salad, leftover Brownies from the beach.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Sometimes kids panic when crabs pinch their toes!

We love living in a beach town. When the weather is hot and sunny, like it has been for the past few days, we walk a short six blocks to a beautiful stretch of sand on the Long Island Sound. Though we miss our friends in NYC, it is hard to beat spending mornings poking around tidal pools and eating picnic lunches with the sandpipers. For our beach picnic just the other day I brought classic peanut butter sandwiches – for some reason I’ve always felt the peanut butter and saltwater go well together – pretzels, mint lemonade, and a fresh batch of Barbara’s brownies.

This recipe was given to me by Uncle Kevin’s wife, Barbara. She adapted it from the manual that came with her food processor almost 30 years ago! I love these brownies because they are absolutely delicious and extremely straightforward to make. I whipped these up during my daughter’s afternoon naptime the day before our picnic. It is remarkable that they lasted through the night since my husband is a bit of a brownie maniac, but they did.

I love the taste and texture of these brownies. They are soft and chewy with a deep chocolate flavor reminiscent of a chocolate wafer cookie. Their strong taste makes them wonderful for ice-cream brownie sundaes or, alternatively, chopped up and added to homemade ice-cream. Since they are so dense and fudgy I choose to cut them up into smallish squares, I don’t need a huge portion to enjoy huge taste. I should note that instead of walnuts I used chocolate chips, but you can certainly go ahead and add the nuts if you’d prefer. Either way, they are great served warm, or cold, or at a beach picnic down the street.


Barbara’s Brownies


1 c. sugar
½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 6-8 pieces
2 eggs
1/8 t. Kosher salt
½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
½ c. all-purpose flour, sifted
½ c. semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 9×9 square baking dish, set aside.
2. Fit the food processor with a metal blade and add the sugar and butter. Pulse until the butter is thoroughly combined. Then, add the eggs and salt. Process continuously until mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Do not overbeat. Then, add the cocoa and flour, pulse until there is no visible cocoa or flour remaining. Stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

3. Spread batter into baking dishes and spread to make sure top is even. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is set. Cool on rack and cut into bars.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Feel free to omit the chocolate chips or add in walnuts. These would also be great baked in individual tart dishes if you want to hand them out to friends!

Naptime Stopwatch

Making this batter takes about 8 minutes!

Naptime Reviews

My daughter loves brownies and happily ate hers at the picnic. She even remarked that she liked that they were warm – which was from the sun, not the oven!