Gertrude Powers’s Raspberry Brownies

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Gertrude Powers’s Raspberry Brownies

When my mother, Nancy Powers Martin, was a child in West Medford, Massachusetts, she loved her mother’s desserts. Her favorite was chocolate brownies with homemade raspberry jam swirled into the batter. My grandmother, Gertrude Powers, served them on hand-painted porcelain plates.

Usually brownies are baked in a square metal pan, but I break with tradition and bake mine in a ten-inch glass pie plate and serve them in wedges. My mother, a retired dietitian, substitutes canola oil and cocoa for her mother’s butter and chocolate. My grandmother never put vanilla extract or salt in her brownies. She said they diminish the intensity of the chocolate flavor. I agree, but recently I stirred a tablespoon of raspberry liqueur into the batter before swirling in the jam. The brownies were delicious. My grandmother would have liked them.

Yield: 16 brownies


  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter,
  • softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam, lightly beaten


Melt chocolate. Cream the butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs and blend well. Gradually stir in cooled chocolate. Add flour. Stir to mix. Stir in walnuts. Put batter into a buttered 9-inch pan. Drop teaspoonfuls of jam at random on top of the batter. Then swirl the jam with a fork to incorporate it into the batter. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350° F until toothpick inserted comes out almost clean; do not overbake. Allow to cool completely before cutting
  • I can no longer find chocolate in 2oz squares . Now I have to buy it in a very THIN bar, and if I am figuring right, it takes the entire bar to make the recipe. I guess it is an end around by the company to sell more chocolate. However I find it really frustrating to use an entire package of chocolate for one recipe!!! I wish they still had those 2 oz squares for sale. I would gladly pay more for them. As it is I am making far fewer recipes that call for baking chocolate; it is now a holiday purchase.

    Oh well, better for my waistline I suppose.


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