DEAR ABBY: I have heard that your dessert recipes are fabulous and I'd like to have them. I saw a column in which you mentioned your cookbooklets. I hope I'm correct about this, because I'd be interested in getting them. I have your booklet of poems and essays, which I have read and enjoyed many times.
Would you print your personal favorite dessert recipe and let me know how to get your cookbooklets? Warmest wishes to you, Abby, and thank you for all your columns. -- ANITA B. IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR ANITA: You are welcome. It's hard for me to choose just one recipe because I have a notorious sweet tooth, and my cookbooklets contain more than a few that I have enjoyed many times. However, because you asked for my personal favorite, it would be one that not only I have enjoyed, but also one I have made for friends as gifts -- Regency Brownies With Chocolate Frosting. (Because the recipe yields 4 1/2 dozen, I confess I usually keep the "extra" six to munch on myself.)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line the bottom of an 18-by-12-by-2 (or 1)-inch baking pan with baking parchment paper and spray generously with butter-flavored cooking spray.
In the top of a double boiler, over medium heat, melt butter and 4 ounces chocolate. Reserve.
In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add flour and salt, mixing well. Add chocolate mixture, blending thoroughly. Stir in nuts and vanilla.
Pour into prepared baking pan. (Batter should be about 1/2 inch thick, not more.) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is crisp and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before pouring frosting over the top.
For the frosting: Bring cream to a boil, stirring constantly. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl; pour boiling cream over the chocolate and stir to blend well. Spread thin layer of warm frosting over top of brownies in pan. When cool, cut into 2-inch squares.
My cookbooklet set contains not only many easy-to-prepare crowd-pleasing recipes, but also tips on entertaining. It can be ordered by sending your name and address, plus check or money order for $14 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. If you're a serious chocolate lover, these brownies will make your toes curl, and that's a promise. With summer coming and families gathering for the holidays, now's the time to dust off your favorite picnic and barbecue recipes. My dessert recipes have started many a family tradition.