Fern’s Brownies ~ Another Brownie Post


Photo of Fern, taken 1915

If you’ve been following my brownie story, you know I’ve posted family recipes for brownies. What I thought was the recipe for His Mother’s Brownies, then the actual recipe for His Mother’s Brownies Part II ~ MaryAnne’s Brownies.

While I’m posting links for brownie recipes I might as well add links to my prior gluten free brownie posts, Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies and Another Brownie Post ~ Gluten Free (which is actually the recipe for MaryAnne’s Brownies made gluten free). Confused yet? Well hold on to your brownies, it’s about to get even more crowded in here!

When my Sister-In-Law gave me the recipe for her Mother’s brownies, her Grandmother’s brownies were on the page as well. So I knew I would have to test this recipe too. The recipe is almost identical to MaryAnne’s Brownies, with all ingredients pretty much halved…except for the butter. Fern’s recipe calls for more and uses margarine.

I do not eat margarine, so I used unsalted butter. Even so, with an increased fat ratio, the brownies are fudgier and taste more chocolatey (even though the chocolate ratio is the same). Interesting.

I will confess when I tested these I made them gluten free so the whole family could enjoy them. I don’t believe that changed the texture of these brownies as I used a mix of light gluten free flours. The recipe as printed below has both versions.

Fern’s Brownies


2 squares unsweetened chocolate (that is 2 ounces, I used half a package of Baker’s Unsweetened)

1 stick of unsalted butter


2 eggs

1 cup sugar


1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch salt

Blend all ingredients thoroughly.


1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped nuts*


350 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven for 20-25 minutes

Gluten Free:

Substitute 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1 tablespoon potato starch, 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour and 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum for the all-purpose flour in the recipe.

I baked these in a parchment lined 8 x 11 baking pan and baked my brownies for 18 minutes. A smaller pan will take longer, a bigger pan will bake more quickly. If you are baking in a 9 x 13 inch pan, I recommend doubling the batter and baking for 30-40 minutes.

Mixing Tip: Make sure the melted butter and chocolate have cooled before adding the rest of the ingredients, or you’ll cook the eggs when you combine them and end up with scrambled eggs in your brownies!

*Nut Note: I didn’t use nuts when I tested as no one in my family will eat them, except me! The oils in the nuts would make for a denser, fudgier brownie and I would recommend cutting the amount of butter down to 4-5 tablespoons instead of a whole stick. A neat, healthier fat swap!


Fern’s Brownies on a Haviland Limoges plate from 1915