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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Best Brownie Recipe EVER!

This is the story of the Malarkey Brownie. In a neighborhood and on a quiet street lived a family. Ray, a man of totally Irish descent, and his wife Eddie, of Polish, raised a family. All with very Irish names like Brian, Kevin, and Shannon. They bore eight children, lost a toddler in a tragic accident, and raised the remaining seven the best they could. He worked for the postal service and she was a stay-at-home mom. There were easy times and there were hard times, but always, there was love, laughter and excitement in the Malarkey household.

Ray was a diabetic since childhood and Eddie had a penchant for making sweets. I don’t know if Ray was ever able to eat these delectable confections or just liked to hear the ooh’s and aah’s.  As next-door-neighbors, we anticipated a plate of Eddie’s special brownies at holidays and special occasions during the year. In time, they became known throughout the neighborhood as “Malarkey Brownies.” “Malarkey Brownies” also became a staple at the church’s bake sales and funerals.

Throughout their lives they were volunteers. During his working years, Ray volunteered at the Postal Service Credit Union and was a very regular blood donor. Eddie always managed to find time to help out at church and the children’s schools. As the children grew and moved away, her church volunteering activities also grew. Eddie became an integral part in organizing and running fundraisers and other church activities. When Ray retired he joined in helping his wife with many of these activities.

Ray and Eddie found in retirement that they loved to travel. They especially enjoyed traveling to Europe, Germany in particular. They also found peace in their retirement. They loved meeting and talking to people. When you talked with them they found you interesting and you found them interesting.

Several years ago, on Valentines Day, they spent a wonderful afternoon with their daughter and granddaughters. Talking, laughing, and looking over the Valentines the girls had brought home from school. On their way home later that afternoon, a speeding van encountered a section of black ice, lost control, and struck their car and killed them.

At their funeral Mass, the good father spoke of their involvement in the church, their many volunteer activities, what good people they were, and the tremendous loss the family and parish would feel with them gone. We then adjourned to the church basement for the traditional celebratory meal. Parish volunteers had assembled an amazing spread, meats, hot dishes, salads, cakes, and sweets. Eddie would have been proud. Only one thing was sadly missing . . .

Soon after, one of their sons moved into the family house and started on the long arduous task of putting things in order. Among other things, he found a fully stocked freezer. Complete meals ready to thaw, heat, and serve. And, the story goes, he found and served “Malarkey Brownies” for nearly two years after the funeral.

Malarkey Brownies.

Chocolate, chocolate, mint oh, my....
Make and bake a 13” x 9” pan of brownies. Any kind will do, Eddie preferred to use whatever was on sale at the time. When the brownies have cooled, prepare a reasonably firm butter cream frosting using powdered sugar, a little butter, a touch of milk, a few drops of green food coloring, and a teaspoon or two of mint flavoring.  Spread on the cooled brownies. 

Next, melt a bag of good quality chocolate chips (Nestle or Guittard) and spread over the minted frosting layer. Chill slightly to harden the chocolate, then cut into 1-inch squares. Oh, and by the way, these freeze really well.