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Delicious Holiday Gift

I recently saw my aunt and uncle who live in D.C. when they visited my family in Georgia, and my aunt brought along a new (new to me anyway) treat for us to have after dinner.

My father's side of the family collectively calls them Bea's Brownies, after my grandma's sister. These brownies have two layers: one moist, almost cake-like bottom and a creamy chocolate frosting top. My grandma absolutely loves them, and they were a hit all around. Even my brother and dad, who aren't huge chocolate lovers, gobbled them down.

My aunt was kind enough to write down the recipe and give me a few tips, and now that my own stash is long gone, I decided to make a batch. This is the first time I've made these and I'm pretty sure I added too many chocolate chips to the frosting, so this batch had more of a fudgy frosting. I will be more careful next time!

Bea's Brownies

1 cup sugar

1 stick butter

4 eggs

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup Hershey's chocolate syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together sugar and butter with a mixer. Add the four eggs, one at a time, mixing slightly after you add each egg. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add to the wet mixture and mix well. Add the Hershey's syrup and vanilla extract; mix well. Pour the brownie mixture into a 9x13 aluminum pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

1 1/3 cup sugar

7 tablespoons butter (cut up)

6 tablespoons milk

4 ounces of chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix together sugar, butter, and milk in a small saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for exactly two minutes (a watch with a second hand comes in handy here). Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips and vanilla. Whip with a spoon until well blended. Pour over brownies and even out as much as you can.

This frosting sets up pretty quickly, and you should pop it into the fridge to set it.