Best Ever Brownies

Nothing suits casual summer entertaining better than an easy, passable dessert, and it’s hard to beat a brownie in that department. It is a shame that some brownies have given brownies a bad name. So I’m just going to cut to the chase here. The reason these are so good is the teentsiest hint of cinnamon and a thin layer of caramel and nuts in the middle. Need I say more.

Well maybe a little more. They are super moist and chewy, and not too sweet.

Best Ever Brownies, photo by Stephanie Valentine

This recipe is from my now almost vintage book Atlanta at Table which came out in 1996, when the Olympics came to Atlanta. I was on The Today Show and interviewed by Jack Ford, who was so cute. I had gotten home from the Opening Ceremonies at about 2 am and I think NBC picked me up around 3:15. Fortunately they had really good make-up people.


Best Ever Brownies
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) of salted butter
  2. 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  3. 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  4. 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  5. 3/4 cup regular white sugar
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  7. 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  9. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  10. 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  11. 4 eggs
  12. 1 8-ounce package caramels
  13. 1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
  14. 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  1. Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan and heat oven to 350 degrees. In large, heavy saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in sugars, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating about 30 seconds after each.
  4. Pour half the mixture in the pan and bake for 7 minutes. While it is baking, melt caramels in double boiler or microwave, and stir in milk.
  5. After 7 minutes remove partially baked brownies from oven and drizzle with the caramel, then sprinkle with nuts. Spoon remaining brownie mix over and bake another 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. As I mentioned, they are gooey. Best to refrigerate before cutting, if you can wait that long.
  7. Sprinkling with powdered sugar is optional.
Adapted from Atlanta at Table, 1996
Adapted from Atlanta at Table, 1996
Frances Schultz

If you’d like a personalized copy of Atlanta at Table, or a personalized bookplate for one you already have, let me know. Books are $40 plus $5 postage. And you can of course find used copies on the Internet. Funny I still use this cookbook all the time.

Happy Baking, FS

PS – THIS JUST IN – A gluten-free version one reader swears by. See the Comments for this post, near the end.


    1. Coming up Tanase, and thanks! I’d love to post one of your favorite recipes sometime. Readers, you can follow Tanase at He’s just getting started but his recipes are great and his presentation beautiful. You will love! xo Frances

    1. Oh Ginny I’m so glad! Gosh I haven’t done the shredded beef in a while. I’ll have to dust that one off. Thanks for writing 🙂

  1. Love this recipe and wondering what Tanase Popa was doing reading it at 2:33 am. And would also like to be on the book list!

    1. Thanks Laurette! … and I will be in touch about the book. Been loving your Instagrams from Shelter Island. xox F

  2. Oh dear heavens do these ever sound amazing! They are vegan…and gluten free, right? ;–) I second Randall’s request to be on the book list! xx

  3. Dear Frances, I now know how to spell teentsiest thanks to you. I am putting these brownies on my to do list and wanted you to know that I made the lemon pie when we were at Pawley’s a couple of weeks ago. I had raves and managed to serve the leftovers (I made two) for breakfast….a special summer at the beach treat.

    1. Yes Karon, “teentsiest” is in my own special private dictionary. I am so glad the pie was a hit, especially at breakfast. Missing you. Thank you for writing. Love, Frances

  4. I don’t know how I survived without your cookbook thus far! Put me on the list please. Don’t know whether to thank you or curse you for the brownies recipe. I also made the lemon pie for midwest guests last week who gobbled it up 🙂 xoxo

  5. Oh,oh,oh, I am SO in for the book, pretty please. Brownies are a specialty of mine, bake batches and batches, then pack in pretty tins as presents for the holidays. Looking forward to the book (have been looking for a new copy for a while, what perfect timing you have, Miss Frances!) and making this recipe while on mini-vacation coming up, yummmmm!

    1. OK Miss EB, you got it. And if you’d like to share your specialty brownie recipe I’m sure we’ll have some takers. Have a great mini-break, and thanks as ever for writing. xoxF

  6. Oh Frances, I have this book of yours. You had given it to my Granny. Mom gave me all the books you gave her. (I begged LOL) I also love, love, love this recipe. So do all my friends. 🙂
    Secretly I think that’s why I get invited to so many gatherings, with instructions to bring dessert.

    1. Aww, precious Julie, that makes me so happy. But I think you are invited so many places because you are wonderful. Mwaanh! back! Frances

  7. Frances, This looks and sounds fabulous, chocolate, nuts and caramel…no better combo. Thanks, Linda

  8. Frances
    Pulled out my autographed copy of ATLANTA AT TABLE and made Shredded Beef and Brownies…both to die for. Dick Ziglar thought I had been to Cordon Bleu!
    New favorite and think I’ll make frozen asset of some of beef as it should freeze beautifully, also some brownies. T-H-A-N-K so!

  9. Fran es. Soon as I get home it will be brownie baking time . Every dessert is best with addition of caramel. I have done brownies adding Rolo candy but this recipe sounds. best Kate

  10. Frances, while I always enjoy your blog, I am not one to comment. However, I had to weigh in (not on the scales after these brownies) on your brownies. They sounded too good to resist and they are. However, I decided to try making them gluten free since my son has had to join the multitudes of people who have become gluten free. I used Tom Sawyer All Purpose Gluten Free Flower and followed the recipe to the letter also being sure to use a gluten free baking powder. The brownies are fabulous. I remember all of Stephanie’s wonderful gluten free breads, maybe y’all can share more ideas for the gluten free lifestyle. Her food is the best ever. Take care. XxN.S.

    1. Wow Nancy I am o glad you liked them and so glad to hear your GLUTEN-FREE gambit was a success. Many out there will appreciate I am sure! Sooo glad to hear from you, and thank you so much for writing. Will bear in mind the gluten-free in future! xox Frances

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