1 package family size 13 x 9 brownie mix

1 / 2 semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup whole walnuts

1 / 2 cup chopped fine walnuts
1 / 4 brown sugar
1 / 2 tablespoon cinnamon

1. Oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
3. Prepare brownie mix according to directions but add 1 extra egg more than
required. Into the brownie mix add chocolate chips and walnuts.
Pour into greased baking pan evenly.
4. Mix walnuts, cinnamon and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Mix
together and set aside.
5. Sprinkle the walnut mixture over the top of the brownie mixture evenly.
6. Bake 30 – 35 minutes or according to instructions on brownie package. Check
with a toothpick for doneness. Cool for 30 minutes or more before cutting
into squares.
7. Optional – Before serving, sprinkle top with confectioner’s sugar for
8. ENJOY! – It’s a brownie, it’s a coffee cake, it’s two treats in one!

This is a very simple recipe because a box mix will be used for the brownies. It is acceptable that everything is not made from scratch! I could make the brownies from scratch, but some days I just don’t have that extra time. The same amount of love goes into both.

I remember when my son (my oldest) was very young, and I went to visit his classroom for a meeting. As part of the meeting, parents can walk around the classroom and try to find the pictures and stories that belong to your child. As I was searching the stories of happiness by the first grade, I came across a drawing by my son’s friend at the time. He wrote about the smell of toasted frozen waffles in the morning. Being the young, impressionable mom, I was very judgmental about that statement. This boy’s mother was very glamorous and very sophisticated but definitely not a cook. I was always a little envious because she could afford to stay home and raise her family and always look like she was a movie star. I, on the other hand, always looked messy, tired and confused because I worked nights and raised my kids during the day. I definitely was not classy or sophisticated, but I could cook! Through my cooking, I finally had something that would make me feel a little better about myself compared to someone else who was glamorous and wealthy. This was my son’s friend, not my friend, and she always made me feel that way. Later on I learned that this mom was more than ten years older than I was. Youth was something else that I had and she didn’t. When you are young, you are also very surface. In other words, it is the outer appearance that makes the impression on us and makes us feel inferior inside. But with age comes wisdom; with life comes some experiences, good and bad. These assets help us to grow into better people, I hope. Years later, I went to my daughter’s (my youngest) “Meet the Teacher” night, and I was happy to see her test score of 95 in math on the board along with scores from many of her fellow students. There are no funny little drawings or writing in high school, just the cold, hard facts of education. Suddenly, I was brought back to that day and that drawing of the waffles. I realized that you don’t have to be a good cook to make great memories for your children; you just have to love them. My son’s friend’s waffles smelled so good waking up in the morning because his mother loved him and that was enough.

We don’t have to be great cooks or glamorous, sophisticated women; we just have to love our children. Love them whichever way you can, either with frozen waffles or with brownies from a box (with added coffee cake topping!). Either way, they will love you because you are loving them back!


  1. Hi I felt a heart tug when you said that we all (including US) need a mom. I lost my dad as a teen and my mom 8 years ago to pancreatic cancer. I feel like there is a big hole in my heart missing both of them and my throat still closes when I think of her.
    One of the things that I wish I had done was to keep her recipes. My children still ask for some of her “specialties” and I can only come “close”. I would love to see your ingredients list for your eggplant meatballs – in the hopes that great cooks -my mom & you -are on the same wave length”. Maybe yours will taste close to mom’s because I can’t get it right yet.
    About 2 years ago through a soldier’s mom (who has now moved away) I sent hand lotion, chap sticks, and sunscreen to our soldiers. I never thought of baking…thanks for the address!

  2. Yesterday, I attended your cooking class at Macy’s.
    I loved your cake, brownies and your entire presentation. I would like to know what brownie mix do you use. Thank you.

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