The Prep/Stampede Connection

5 Jul


Another Stampede party dessert offering, this time from the venerable Ralph Lauren family.

America’s most tasteful and preppy clan would no doubt appreciate the western heritage of the Calgary Stampede — not so much the tacky daisy duke crowd in the beer and shooter soaked Nashville North/Cowboys tents.

After admiring the sprawling Double RL ranch here, we are loving the rugged cowboy and Indian theme — very Stampede in style.

It seems rather fitting, then, to offer Ralph Lauren’s favourite brownies during Stampede. These rich treats would be soothing with hot coffee on the occasionally cool night. But we’re pretty sure we’d have no problem downing them under the sun.

NANA’S RUM-LACED BROWNIES
Recipes from The Hamptons by Ricky Lauren
“Ralph loved Nana’s brownies so much that he offered to put a brownie department in his stores for her! That way he would not have to wait all the way until his October birthday when she would make another batch for him to savor and devour. David remembers how we treasured Nana’s brownies so much that we rationed them in small morsels over as many weeks as we could stretch them! When my mother stayed with us in the Hamptons, we were so happy that she made the brownies for us all summer long.”

For the Brownies
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1½ cups chopped walnuts

For the Glaze
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Rum or brandy to taste
Walnut halves

Preheat oven to 375°F.

To make the brownies: Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan. Melt the butter, chocolate, and sugar in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Beat the eggs with the vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix all the ingredients together and stir in walnuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, for about 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.

To make the glaze: Melt the butter and chocolate. Mix in all the other ingredients except the walnuts, then spread the frosting evenly on the cooled brownies. Cut into squares and decorate with the walnut halves. Refrigerate for one hour.

Makes 12 brownies

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