Every year at Christmas time, I like to give a little something to the teachers, bus drivers, coaches, and anyone else who has shared their time and talents with my children over the year. With 4 kids, this can be quite a long gift list. I usually end up making an ornament or sweet treat that I can make in large quantities and something that is easy for the kids to help with. These brownie bars have been a big hit over the years, so if I’m short on time or have trouble coming up with a new idea, this is my “go to.”
Essentially, this recipe is a quadruple batch of my regular brownie recipe and makes 20 of these large brownie bars, which are 3 inches x 5.5 inches. The bars fit nicely into Wilton 4×9 cello bags and you can easily add a ribbon and a tag. You can add nuts, chocolate chips, or toppings of any sort if you want to fancy these up. I usually make them plain to keep the process simple, since we make so many. In years past, I’ve tried to fancy them up, but end up running out of ingredients or overwhelming myself with the time commitment. So, I’ve decided to keep it simple and find that everyone enjoys the brownie in it’s simplicity.
Use a large stock-pot to make this batter in. Start by melting the butter.
Take the pot off the heat and stir in the cocoa and oil.
Then, stir in the sugar.
Add the eggs and vanilla. The eggs take a bit of stirring to get mixed in really well, but just keep at it and they’ll get mixed in.
Finally, add the flour.
Once the batter is all mixed well, divide the batter into two, well greased, 11″x15″ cake pans. Spread the batter out evenly.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes, rotating half way through so that both pans cook evenly. When the brownies are done, the batter should pull away from the sides of the pan just a bit. Do not under cook or the brownies will be mushy and hard to deal with, although they will still taste pretty darn good!
Cut into 10 bars. Start by making a cut straight down the middle, long wise. Then use a ruler to measure 3 inch increments. Run the knife around the edge to loosen them up and gently lift them out and place in cello bags. The first brownie is a little tough to get out, but just work at it gently and it should lift out. Worse case scenario, you can sacrifice the first one and eat it! 🙂
These can also be made ahead and put in the freezer. I usually get them all wrapped up and ready to go, then place them in a large freezer container.
- 3 cups unsweetened baking cocoa
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups (6 sticks) butter
- 8 cups sugar
- 12 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
- In a large stock pot, melt the butter.
- Remove from heat and stir in cocoa and oil.
- Stir in sugar.
- Stir in eggs and vanilla, making sure batter is well-combined.
- Stir in flour.
- Divide batter evenly between 2 11x15 cake pans that are well-greased.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, alternating pans half-way through.
- Cool completely.
- Slice into 3"x5.5" bars - 10 each pan.