This Christmas, in the spirit of giving, I want to bless you by sharing our recipe for Brownie’s Brownies. You’ll find it at the end of this post.
About teachers and teaching
In the teaching profession, every day is a challenge. Delivering a rigorous curriculum while attempting to meet the learning, behavioural and social-emotional needs of students can leave teachers feeling exhausted. However, a reprieve often comes during lunchtimes when staff meet in a common room or staffroom and share stories, student misdemeanours, frustrations, jokes and food.
During my time as a teacher at St Peter’s Lutheran College, Indooroopilly (an inner western suburb of Brisbane), I had a colleague who regularly filled our staffroom with joy by sharing her home baked goodies with us. Even when there were no birthdays or special celebrations, she would bring to school her home baked biscuits, slices and cakes.
I’ve never forgotten her melt-in-the-mouth Brownies and her delicious Carrot Cake. Indeed, you’ll find her recipe for Carrot Cake on this blog (November 1, 2015). As an experienced teacher, she could “read” the room. She knew when we were exhausted from the constant pressures of the job and needed a lift to help get us through the next lesson. Her antidote: Irresistible food!
I loved this colleague. She was like a second mother to me. I was living with my brother, 700 kilometres from home. In place of my own mother, she offered a knowing hug or a shoulder to cry on when I needed it. But more importantly than that, she became my mentor. She would read through my lesson plans, share her Chemistry and Biology resources with me and assist me with marking student papers. She did all of this for me despite being a busy wife and mother herself, dedicating her life outside of school to her own family’s needs and activities. I survived my years of teaching at St Peter’s because of her love, kindness and generosity.
A lesson learnt
The most important lesson I learnt from her was just how much home baked goodies can bless and lift the spirits of exhausted teaching staff. Since my time at St Peter’s, my husband and I have taught at or been in charge of schools in five different localities in Queensland. At each school in which we’ve been placed, following my mentor’s example, we’ve baked slices and cakes to share with our colleagues, especially when we can see they are fatigued.
In 2014, the staff at my husband’s school encouraged him to enter a batch of Brownie’s Brownies, full of Turkish Delight, into the Stanthorpe Show’s Brownie baking section. When we finally got to attend the show, he was shocked to discover that his Brownies had won first prize!
On occasions we have been asked to bring Brownie’s Brownies to parties where the birthday girl or boy has another favourite chocolate bar. For one 40th birthday party, for example, we swapped the two Turkish Delights for two Cherry Ripe bars to please the birthday “boy”. Not surprisingly, he loved his custom-made Brownies.
We’ve tried other variations. One is to replace the Turkish Delight with milk and white chocolate bits to make triple choc Brownies. Another is to make gluten-free Brownies (some of my current colleagues are gluten intolerant), replacing the plain flour with rice flour. The result is just as amazing!
While we don’t usually give out our recipe for Brownie’s Brownies until we leave one school and go to another, this Christmas we are making an exception. In the spirit of giving, I want to bless you by sharing our recipe with you. I am writing this while soaking up the aroma of Turkish Delight Brownie’s Brownies baking in my mother’s kitchen. (Together with my husband and children, I am currently holidaying at my parents’ home in Brisbane.)
I’m making this special batch of Brownie’s Brownies to take to a dinner party tonight. It’s being held at the home of very dear friends whom we see only once a year, during the Christmas season, and who live (coincidentally) not far from St Peter’s Lutheran College.
Lovingly, Ruth Salecich-Brown xx
- Preheat oven to 1800C (1600C if fan forced).
- Line a 28 cm x 18 cm slab tin with greaseproof (baking) paper.
- Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave for 1 minute.
- Combine sugar, flour and cocoa.
- Cut the Turkish Delight into small pieces and place them individually into the flour mixture.
- Stir in the eggs.
- Stir in the melted chocolate and butter mix.
- Spread evenly in the prepared tin.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes (or until top looks crumbly).
- Cool completely in tin.
- Slice to serve.
- Use 150 g of chopped walnuts or macadamias in lieu of the Turkish Delight.
- Replace the Turkish Delight with chocolate bars of your choice.
- Use 150 g of milk and white chocolate bits in lieu of the Turkish Delight.