Blue Ribbon Brownies – From Susan Spencer

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These Blue Ribbon Brownies are already a family favorite – just waiting for your family to try them!

I dearly love getting to hear about your treasured recipes and the wonderful people who made them for you. A few months back I sent out a call for submissions to Southern Plate subscribers with a special email address to submit these to. I’m not currently taking submissions but will send out another call to subscribers when I open it up again (I have so many I want to share already). Today Susan shares her dear mother’s recipe for Blue Ribbon Brownies along with some wonderful stories to go along with them. I feel as if I knew her now and I know you’ll enjoy meeting Pufky, too. Stay tuned because I’ll share more of Pufky’s recipes soon!



Let me begin by saying how much I enjoy reading your blog, and trying out your recipes.  I first discovered you when you appeared in Southern Living some months ago.  My current favorite recipes of yours are your cinnamon rolls, and your slow cooker chicken and wild rice.  YUM!  Then … when I read your cookbook, I felt like I was reading about my own family.  You cook like I like to cook, and like my family likes to eat.  No fancy ingredients, just good home cooking.  Reading your book made me miss my parents and grandparents desperately, but brought back so many wonderful memories of family meals shared.

I am pleased to share with you some family recipes from my Mom, Mary Catherine Nolan.  Known to her friends and neighbors as Mary Kay, Mom was lovingly known as “Pufky” to her family.  You see, when Mom was just a baby, her Uncle Jack decided that her cheeks were as plump as a cream puff!  “Cream Puff” eventually became “Pufky”, and the name stuck until she passed away almost four years ago, at the age of 79.

Pufky and her Blue Ribbon

Mom was an amazing cook and baker.  There were five of us kids at home, so with seven people around the dinner table every night, and grandparents every Sunday, she had plenty of people to practice on!  One favorite family tradition was that on your birthday, you were able to choose the menu.  My birthday dinner was always the same:  Picnic Chicken, Macaroni & Cheese, string beans, and Hot Milk Cake, with strawberries and Cool Whip!  Her Picnic Chicken is so delicious, and is wonderful served either hot or cold.

If you were lucky enough to know Mom, you were probably the recipient at some point in time of a plate of her “Blue Ribbon Brownies”.   If you were new to the neighborhood, just had a baby, suffered a death in the family, or were experiencing any other one of life’s moments, Mom baked you a batch of her brownies.  Most times, she even had a batch or two in the freezer “just in case”.  They are simple, chocolately, and oh-so-good!  And by the way … I re-named them “Blue Ribbon Brownies”.  To Mom, they were just brownies.  After she won a blue ribbon for them in a baking contest (photo attached), I decided they needed a new name!

I hope you are able to try a few of Pufky’s recipes in your own kitchen … I’m sure you and your family would enjoy them.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy 2011 to you and your family!  God Bless.

~Susan (Nolan) Spencer

Blue Ribbon Brownies – From Susan Spencer

Mom's famous Blue Ribbon Brownies. She often kept a batch in the freezer, just in case! They are simple, chocolately, and oh-so-good! 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brownies
Servings: 24
Calories: 250kcal


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 squares unsweetened baker's chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup nuts
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt


  • Melt shortening and chocolate together. Sift flour, salt and baking powder. Beat eggs, add sugar and beat until creamy. Add chocolate mixture and blend. Add flour mixture, vanilla and nuts. Bake in greased 9x13x2 pan. Bake at 350? for 25 to 30 minutes. Check with toothpick.


Calories: 250kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

*Susan was very generous in sharing Pufky’s recipes and after reading this I’m sure you’d like more of them! I’ll be sharing more in future posts. Be sure and subscribe to Southern Plate by email so you don’t miss them. Thank you so much Susan! What an honor to get to know your dear sweet mother. Gratefully, Christy

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  1. I make the desserts for everyone at work for my co-workers. I got a request for brownies, so I pulled up your site and knew I would find what I needed! I am so excited to try this recipe and know it will be amazing! Thanks to Susan for sharing and Christy for posting it!

  2. I LOVE this recipe! It’s the recipe we used as kids growing up in Maine. Just thinking about it brings back great memories. Thanks. I’m off to bake some now.

  3. when they were in the freezer -were they already baked or in the pan all ready to be bakes ?—thanks for sharing- love family handed down recipes

  4. Sharon and Paula – So glad your husbands loved Mom’s brownies! My hubby loves them too, but I need to omit the nuts. If not … he picks them out!

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