He had posted
I tweeted: @AngeloSurmelis Ooh, I think we should have a brownie summit! Embrace our respective brownies' differences. Then, bring about world peace.
(I have an archive of my tweets. Thank you, Twitter, for enabling my accuracy obsession.)
I don't have access to Angelo's responses, but he replied and I felt compelled to respond with:
@AngeloSurmelis Well, honey, my brownies don't *need* frosting. I just like to gild the chocolate lily, as it were. But I'll try one.
He remained unconvinced, and so I added: @AngeloSurmelis Well, the next time you're in Chicago, I'll be happy to supply frosted brownies for you. I'll even throw in ice-cold milk!
Last fall, I shipped a package of treats to him which contained his first-ever brownies from me.
Soon thereafter, this tweet appeared:
@beth4158 your brownies are my new drug and I hate/love you. Please never/always make them again. Thank you/curse you...— angelo surmelis (@AngeloSurmelis) November 24, 2014
Behold, the power of frosting.
Recently, he posted a link to Katharine Hepburn's brownies on his Facebook page.
"Kate and I are practically twins! Well, brownie twins. My recipe calls for a bit more flour, but everything else is the same. For the brownies.* Then I frost 'em, unlike Kate. I don't get why more folks frost brownies."
Angelo replied: "... as you know, I was not a fan of frosting on brownies. THEN, I had your frosted bits of crack brownies. Delightful! Share with the folks where they may find YOUR frosted brownie recipe, cause it's awesome!"
To which I replied:
"And I am delighted to count you among the fans of the brownies. But I never have posted the recipe. I shall do that one of these days."
And today is that day.
The brownie recipe is precise. The frosting recipe much less so. But frosting is a subjective thing. Make it as sweet as you like.
So now, Angelo, you can whip up a batch of brownie crack any time you please.
But I'll happily bake for you again. Just say the word.
Maybe we should remake "Citizen Kane" and open it with him saying "Frosting."
(No idea of the real source of the recipe; my family's been baking these forever.)
1 stick butter (I use salted)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
Walnuts (I toast mine first in a 350° oven for 13–15 minutes then let them cool)
Melt the butter, stir in sugar and cocoa. Add flour. Mix. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix. Stir in walnuts. (I dump some into a Ziplock bag and press on them to break them up a bit first.) Spoon mixture into greased 8x8 pan (I spray it with PAM).
Bake at 350° until done, about 25 minutes. (Start checking a little before then, as ovens vary. You may need to go to 30 minutes. It all depends.)
Cool on a rack until warm but not hot (15 minutes, maybe), then frost with:
Equal parts of butter and cocoa (For an 8x8 pan, you might use 3 tablespoons of each, maybe 4 tablespoons; depends on how much frosting you like)
It's hard to give people the recipe for the frosting, as it's just a taste thing. Melt the butter and stir in the cocoa until the mixture's smooth. Dump in some powdered sugar and a little milk and stir. Keep tweaking until you get desired sweetness and spreadability. Add the milk in smaller increments than seems reasonable. You can always add more. If you add too much, pour out a bit into the sink. If you thin the frosting too much by mistake, you'll have to add more powdered sugar to recover the consistency and you may end up with frosting that's too sweet for your tastes. So add milk in small amounts.
Double the brownie-proper recipe for a 9x13 pan. Frosting-wise, though, don't double the frosting. For a 9x13 pan, use 5 tablespoons to 6 tablespoons each of butter and cocoa and add powdered sugar and milk accordingly.
* (She used 1/4 cup. I use 3/4 cup. Hers are described as "gooey." Mine were once described as "cakelike yet fudgy, yet not so fudgy that they're not cakelike," which is spot on. Dan Santow conjured that fine description. Dan, if you happen across this post someday, I hope all's well in your world. Holler if you'd like a brownie.)