Aunt Sally's Brownies

I first had these at a gathering hosted by my husband's Aunt Sally. She very kindly sent along the recipe at my very enthusiastic request. Over the years the recipe has changed some, both in the preparation process, and also ingredients. These brownies keep very well, and have been mailed successfully to quite a variety of locales. Also, with the processor method, they take about 15 minutes to prepare, and 22, or so, minutes to bake.


1 cup Oatmeal, Old Fashioned
1 cup Flour, All Purpose, Unbleached
¾ cup Dark Brown Sugar
¾ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
½ cup Walnuts
12 dry oz. Chocolate morselsPerhaps, a bit less, a good two cups
½ cup Half and Half CreamA proportion of this could be either heavy cream or sour cream.
1   Egg/s
tsp Vanilla
½ cup Unsalted Butter Softened to room temperature. If using lightly salted, decrease slightly added salt.
¼ cup Coconut, gratedOptional; if omitted, add 1/4 cup of flour. I use unsweetened coconut.


1 Prepare 9" square baking pan by greasing it sparingly with butter.
2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3 First, prepare the chocolate mixture: Pour the cream, morsels and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla in a heavy bottomed small-to-medium size saucepan. Heat it on the lowest possible setting, mixing just until creamy and well-blended. Set this mixture aside, hopefully for not too long, while you make the oatmeal brownie part.
4 With a food processor: Pour oats in processor fitted with steel blade. Process with on/off, or pulse mode, until the oatmeal looks a little more like "new-fashioned" oatmeal. Add flour, brown sugar, baking soda,salt, walnuts, and optional coconut, if using. Continue processing with on/off motion until the mixture is homogeneous and crumb-like. Add softened butter, cut into about eight pieces. Add the vanilla and egg. Process this mixture with on/off motions, just until the mixture begins to look like a cookie dough. The dry ingredients should be incorporated. Sometimes, I stop the processing after about five pulses, to make sure no dry ingredient mixture is lingering on the bottom. I use a rigid rubber spatula to do this.
5 Without a processor: It's best to use "new fashioned" oatmeal, in other words, oatmeal that has been cut some, and is often labeled Quick Cooking. Chop the walnuts so that they are somewhat crumb-like. In a separate small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda; you can do this by sifting or just whisking them together. In a good-sized mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and brown sugar together until they're well-incorporated. Add the egg and vanilla and mix together until they are incorporated. With a spoon, mix in the oatmeal, walnuts, and optional coconut, if using. This is the cookie dough.
6 Measure a good cup of the dough, and set it aside. Press the rest of the dough into the baking pan so that the dough is dispersed evenly. Pour the chocolate mixture over the dough, taking care to spread it evenly over the dough. Take the set-aside portion of the dough, and disperse it over the chocolate mixture so that, as much as possible, the dough covers the chocolate. It will be somewhat crumbly. Don't worry. As the brownies bake, the dough will tend to bake into a unified "cover."
7 Bake 20-22 minutes, until the top is just beginning to show touches of golden brown.