Here is my own recipe, based upon how we make brownies here at “Smitches.”
One box of brownie mix
1/2 cup of oil
1 dozen eggs plus 2 more
1/2 cup skim milk
Have 2nd oldest child take the brownie mix out of the cupboard at 8 p.m. one evening and parade it around the house, causing everyone to whine when you inform them that you are not going to bake them because it would be too late to feed small children brownies by the time they would be done.
Repeat the process the next night, having a small child rip the box open. Leave it on the counter for two days for maximum whine-effect.
Pick an afternoon when everyone is BOOOOORRRRREEEEEDDDDDD (translation: Mom won’t let us watch Star Wars or play Guitar Hero), open the inner wrapper of the brownie mix and dump contents into mixer bowl. Tell smallest child they are not brownies, they are just a special kind of bread. Insist that you simply stored the bread mix in the handy brownie box you found open on the counter and inform him that you have no idea what happened to the real brownie mix. Praise him for using deductive reasoning, including sense of sight, smell and taste, to figure out that you are pulling his leg.
Have smallest child take the dozen eggs out of the fridge, set them on the edge of the counter so that they are hanging half off and open the lid. Eggs will crash spectacularly to the floor, cracking simultaneously and splattering yolk over a good 2-3 square ft. of tile. Pick out shells and call dog.
Have 3rd oldest child take two more eggs out of the fridge and crack them into the mixing bowl. Help child painstakingly remove pieces of shell from brownie mix. Try not to look at the state of said child’s hands and suggest belatedly that she should wash them.
Pour oil into bowl and turn on mixer, grabbing child’s hair at the last second so it doesn’t get caught in the mixer blade. Turn off mixer and scrape sides (having learned from the last batch of brownies not to attempt scraping while the mixer is running). Restart mixer. Turn off mixer, remove bowl and stir the dang thing yourself with a wooden spoon since the mixer doesn’t seem to be getting the dry stuff at the bottom of the bowl.
Pour mix into a prepared pan and bake in oven at 350 for 26 minutes. Ask yourself repeatedly during the 26 minutes why you thought today was a good day to have the oven on for half an hour, considering the temperature is in the 80s and humidity is at 92%.
When timer goes off, pull brownies out of oven and set them on top of stove to cool. Use one hand per small child to stop them from bouncing up and down and explain that A) the brownies are too hot to eat and B) you want to save them for consumption during tonight’s showing of Star Wars. Prevent 3rd oldest child from poking holes in the brownies with a fork to “help them cool down.” Keep a straight face while explaining to youngest child that using a blowdryer on the brownies really won’t help much with the cooling process. Repeat reason B) six or seven times until said children have complete understanding of the fact that the brownies will not be eaten until after dinner. Praise 3rd oldest child for figuring out that it is mathematically possible to cut five pieces now and still have six left for later and reassure her that despite her stroke of genius, it just isn’t going to happen.
After dinner, cut brownies and then remember that you have a meeting to go to and have to leave that instant. Leave serving of brownies to 2nd oldest child. Inform ENTIRE family that the lid must be replaced tightly on the pan so that when you return from your meeting, you can have a non-stale brownie. Explain to oldest child on the way out the door that despite his stature, he will be permitted to eat only the same number of brownies as each other person in the family. Use Mother Glare to communicate the consequences that will ensue if he fails to follow these instructions.
Return home from meeting to find lid on brownie pan partially unsealed. Decide in best sour grapes fashion that you don’t need the calories anyway and retire to bed, feeling self-righteous.
Upon awakening in the morning, eat two brownies with coffee before anyone else awakens, carefully wiping up all crumbs and brushing teeth to remove evidence. When rest of family awakens, sanctimoniously eat lowfat granola with skim milk and a side of grapefruit juice.