Saturday, July 23, 2005

How to Win Friends and Influence People

When I was in high school, my mother, the most creative parent I know, began to come up with new and innovative ways to discipline me. When I got busted for skipping school (with a boy), she didn't let me off restrictions until I read the book Why Wait, a very loooooonnnnggg discussion on why teenagers should wait until marriage to have sex. When she caught me being snotty to another kid in the church youth group, I was put on restrictions until I read the book How To Win Friends and Influence People. She is really good at what she does.

Naturally, though, creative parenting can lead to creative teenagers. There were a few times I bought my way off restrictions early by sharing my fresh-picked blueberries, for instance; or the time I made Creme De Menthe Brownies for her birthday to butter her up. Since then, I have learned that these chocolate mint brownies really can, in fact, win the chef many friends. I have brought these to countless potlucks; even one memorable one in which I received a marriage proposal.

Our family got this recipe from my Grandmother's friend Doris. I can't remember exactly the first time we had these, but I'm pretty sure it was one June when we were at the beach house in Nag's Head, North Carolina. I may have been in middle school at the time, or early high school. What I do remember is how we devoured these brownies and how Mom and I fought over the last ones. They are a three-layer concoction of pure sweetness and delight. At some point, Mom procured the recipe so that I could make them for her, and over the years I have made them many times over, once even for the wedding reception of one of my sisters. Usually, Mom and Grandma and I argue over who has the recipe, and there have been times when Grandma has had to call Doris and get us a new copy, but I have now put a copy in my personal recipe binder for safekeeping. I will publish it here for posterity, because it would be a sad day indeed if we ever lost the recipe for good.


  • 1 cup butter (yeah, that is a lot)
  • 2 cups sugar (call the dentist)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs (and a cardiac surgeon)
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 4 Tbs green Creme de Menthe (you will have to go to the liquor store for this, which I did even when I was pregnant - pretty embarrasing)
  • 6 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbs butter
  1. Cream margarine, sugar and vanilla.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. Blend in chocolate and stir in flour.
  4. Bake in greased cake pan for 30-40 minutes at 325 degrees (convection ovens work best).
  5. Cool brownies completely.
  6. Mix confectioners sugar, 1 stick butter and creme de menthe until smooth.
  7. Spread on cooled brownies and refrigerate until set.
  8. Melt chips and remaining butter and stir until smooth.
  9. Spread on top of brownies and refrigerate until set.

Yesterday was Mom's birthday, and for probably the fifth time, this is what she requested. I was happy to oblige. The Carnivore was thrilled to see what I was making, and Fat Baby helped lick all the mixing bowls, spoons, and even the mixer. He ate so much that I am actually starting to worry about the amount of liquer in the Creme de Menthe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So that's how you make them - yum!