Try Phyllis Grant’s recipe for Grandma’s Fudgy Icebox Brownies!

Roll, spin, quick flip, flour, exhale.

To celebrate the publication of Everything is Under Control we’re sharing this delicious recipe for Grandma’s Fudgy Icebox Brownies with you!



makes about 40 small servings

These are adapted from a recipe my grandmother always made. The main difference is she served them right out of the oven, while I undercook them and store them in the freezer so any-time you need some brownies, they are there for you. They can be served in numerous ways—in elegant slender slices with afternoon tea, as a thick square under a scoop of ice cream for a birthday party, as the base for a baked Alaska. You can leave out both the walnuts and the chocolate chips; the cinnamon will taste more pronounced without them.


1 cup (around 125g) walnut halves

1½ cups (340g) unsalted butter (plus a bit more for greasing the pan; I often use the remainder on the butter paper), cubed

1½ cups (around 192g) all- purpose flour

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

9 ounces (255g) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped

3 large eggs

cups (515g) white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

One 12- ounce bag (2 cups) (around 340g) of bittersweet chocolate chips

Powdered sugar, for serving


Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Toast the walnuts on a cookie sheet until golden brown (8 to 10 minutes). Set aside to cool.

Butter and flour an 8-by-8- inch metal or glass cake pan.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

Put the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over medium-high heat (or in a heatproof bowl placed on top of a pot of boiling water; make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). When the butter and chocolate are almost melted (about 8 to 10 minutes), remove from the heat, and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until the mixture is thick and creamy and has lightened in colour—around 4 minutes by hand or 2 minutes in a stand mixer on high with a whisk attachment.

Stir the cooled butter and chocolate mixture until smooth and then slowly whisk it into the egg mixture until combined. Switch to a wooden spoon or plastic spatula. Fold in the flour mixture until there are just a few remaining pockets of flour. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes. It will still be jiggly at the centre. Cool completely in the pan for 3 hours. Cover with wax paper or plastic wrap and freeze in the pan, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Once frozen solid, remove from the freezer. Set the pan over a gas flame or electric cooktop, sliding it continuously for about 15 seconds (or pop in a hot oven for 1 minute). Use a paring knife to separate the brownie from the sides of the pan. Carefully invert the brick of brownies out onto a cutting board. Using a very large and sharp knife, cut the square into four 2- inch- thick rectangles. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. Pull out a brick and slice off a few brownies as needed. Serve right away, or let them soften up a bit at room temperature (about 15 minutes), and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Keep any leftover thawed brownies in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days.


Everything is Under Control is full of the recipes that have accompanied Phyllis throughout the smooth and jagged stages of her life as she navigates the highs and lows of young adulthood, being a mother, and a career in the kitchen. Written with the transparency of a diarist and including tried-and-true recipes from her chef’s table, this book is a raw and riveting story about food, family, love and loss. Available here.

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