I made a mistake last night. I was trying to figure out whether or not to make chocolate pie or chocolate chip cookies today because we are planning an American Chooseok dinner tomorrow because my Korean son in law will be off work then. (I don’t know how to make the Korean Chooseok dinner, and none of the Koreans I have talked to know either.) My mistake was asking my daughter and son in law before they went to bed which one they preferred, chocolate pie or chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t expect the response I got. My son in law said chocolate chip cookies, but my daughter insisted on brownies. I hadn’t offered brownies, but I have a good recipe I have used for years and changed here and there to use the ingredients of where we live. She got the idea because our friend, Hanul’s dad, is a pilot. He is in Germany right now, and yesterday, Hanul told us that every time her dad goes to Germany, he brings back a German brownie mix and makes brownies for them when he gets home. I ended up agreeing to make brownies because my son in law was the nice giving guy he always is and said, “If she wants brownies, then make brownies,” so I am going to share with you how I made brownies today.
The first thing I did was set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (130 degrees Celsius).
Next, I got out a big mixing bowl. I put in two cups (450 grams) of sugar. Next, my original recipe says to put in one cup of part butter and part lard, but here in Korea, there is no lard. The nice thing about this recipe is that it takes substitutions well. Most of the recipes I have collected take substitutions well, and I have had to figure out what the substitutions are because I have traveled so much. At times, I just add one cup (225 grams) of butter and not worry about the lard. At times, I just use a cup of cooking oil. Today, I put some butter in a cup, and then I added some cooking oil to finish making the cup. I put it in the sugar, and I mix it into the sugar.
I added four eggs to the sugar, butter, and cooking oil.
Next, I got four eggs, cracked them open and added them to the sugar and butter/oil mixture, mixing them in. Next, I added a teaspoon of vanilla, and then 1/2 cup (113 grams) of cocoa powder. Here in Korea, vanilla comes in a powder form in a package, but in America, we have liquid vanilla. It is all the same. I happen to have a little of both, but I decided to use the American vanilla. I mixed all this around with a wire whip because I know the cocoa has a tendency to have lumps, and I want to make sure it doesn’t have any.
After that, I added a cup (225 grams) of flour and a teaspoon of baking powder. I mix it all around with a wire whip. You will notice that the batter has turned out to be thicker than a cake batter. At this point, if it were just me, I would add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, but my kids never liked it when I added nuts to things, so I leave the nuts out.
Next, you need a 9 inch by 12 inch baking pan. I used to have one of those, but here in Korea, I don’t have one. I have a big round pan, so I used it. You need to grease and flower the pan. In America, they use solid shortening and rub it all over the bottom and sides of the pan with a paper towel, but there is no solid shortening in Korea, so I use cooking oil, rubbing it all over the sides and bottom of my pan. Next, I dump some flour on the pan. I take the pan to my sink and begin tilting it and bumping it around so the flour covers the bottom and sides of the pan.
After the pan is greased and floured, it is time to pour the brownie batter in the pan. After you pour the batter into the pan, it will kind of sit in the middle and not go to the sides by itself, so use your spoon and gently push it to all the sides.
It is ready to go in the oven. Put it in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. After 25-30 minutes, take it out of the oven, but it is not time to eat it. If you try eating it right away, it isn’t finished. It will be too gooey. You have to let brownies cool before you eat them. They finish cooking while they are cooling.
These are delicious brownies! I have been using this recipe for more than 30 years because everyone loves it! There are no packaged mixes at my house. In fact, once, someone gave me one, and my daughter tried to use it and got confused because she had never used one. I had to show her how easy they are. Hanul’s dad may make good brownies, but he goes all the way to Germany to get a mix. We just go into the kitchen and put them together with very basic ingredients.