Rachel’s Brownies

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

     One of the rewards of participating in this challenge is the opportunity to learn from other slicers – to gather ideas, formats, craft. Sometimes an idea bounces off in a random way generating other ideas and thoughts, and that’s how I found my slice for today. Way back in the beginning of the month Sally Donnelly used an exercise from Kate Messner’s 59 Reasons to Write for her post She used the randomly generated word “edge” to inspire her writing. Sally ended the piece with this question: What do you like best – edges or interiors? Someone commented that the question made her think of brownies – some people like the edges, others the interiors, and that made me think of “Rachel’s Brownies.”

Back in the ‘70’s  local resident Rachel Slater and her husband, Jeff, started a bakery in my home town of Malvern, PA. Rachel started selling the brownies out of her home, but the business quickly grew and they moved into a store front in a shopping center not far from my house. People would line up to buy them or bring their kids to watch the production line. The brownies were the best, to this day, that I have ever tasted. They were mainly sold locally in specialty stores, and I recall that they were also sold to a few airlines (back when the airlines provided a meal). There may have been other flavors, but the ones I remember most were Chocolate Walnut and Butterscotch (my favorite). I fondly remember that when my daughter was born, my husband brought me a Rachel’s Butterscotch Brownie in the hospital.

Each brownie was individually wrapped for sale, but if you went to the bakery you could buy a bag of “edges” for a dollar or two. These were the best – mostly because my kids preferred the middles, not the edges, so they were all mine. The edges had just enough of the soft middle combined with the crunchy outside to create a texture and taste explosion when you bit into them.

Thanks, Sally, for the inspiration and the memory. And thanks, Rachel and Jeff, for your wonderful brownies.

Rachel's Brownies

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21 Responses to Rachel’s Brownies

  1. dianeandlynne says:

    I like the edges–crunchy and sweet. A few years ago Boscov’s had an “As seen on TV” display. One of the products was a brownie pan with an insert so that every brownie had four edges. I was sold, but my family not so much. I need to see if I can dig that out again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dana Murphy says:

    Oh, I love the edges. They are the best part of almost anything – brownies, pizza, a loaf of bread.

    Great Slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. arjeha says:

    Edges are the best…crunchy and chewy at the same time. Yo made me hungry, Rose.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a delightful post! I have never been known to refuse any brownie that has come my way (edges or middle both garner equal amounts of adoration from me), but I must say, Rachel’s brownies sound especially divine!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. elsie says:

    I like the idea of a “texture and taste explosion.” Those brownies sound delicious. I’m not too picky on my brownies, but with bakery sheet cakes, I’m all about the interior. Can’t stand all that frosting on the sides.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ms. Pesta says:

    The ends/edges are the best. I used to visit a bakery that did that & found myself buying the edges rather than the insides.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved reading about Rachel’s brownies!!! Loved the picture at the end too! Butterscotch sounds like it would be my favorite too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love hearing how people find topics. When you commit to writing for 31 days you realize it really is about leading a writerly life. I think about everything differently. I see the potential in each moment, each experience and each flight of thought. It shifts the way I live. I too love the edges…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. travelinma says:

    Can I like both-the edges and the soft slightly chewy, slightly crumbly center? This was a delightful post.


  10. lynnedorfman says:

    What a great post – love the “author’s note” in the beginning of your slice that talks about how you came to write about these special brownies.

    I think there’s nothing better than the smell of brownies baking in the oven! Walnut and butterscotch brownies – what a treat! Only…now I’m really hungry for a brownie! I like the edges, too!


  11. jjoplinfan says:

    I LOVED Rachel’s Brownies. I haven’t had a brownie since that compared to hers. I used to work in the shopping center in Malvern where their bakery was located. I would also buy the bags of edges and, if you were lucky and got there at the right time, they would have bags of ‘crumbs’ on the counter that were free! I would love to have her recipe!


    • rosecappelli says:

      Not sure how you got to this slice – it’s from March 13 of last year. But anyway, you might be a neighbor or a former neighbor of mine. I live about a mile up the road from that shopping center.


      • jjoplinfan says:

        I found your blog by googling Rachel’s Brownies. Oh, how I miss them! I never lived in Malvern but worked at 2 companies there in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I’ve been working in Great Valley Corporate Center the last 20 years.


  12. Melissa Hill says:

    I found your blog by googling Rachel’s Brownies too. I used to work for Piedmont Airlines, and we used to serve those on the flights. I spent quite some time today trying to remember their name. I am sad to hear that they are no longer available. They were the best brownie ever! I wish I could find the recipe.


  13. sharon beebe says:

    Rachel’s Brownies were sold in select grocery stores in North Carolina back in the 90s I believe. The best brownies in the world and then they were never sold again. I still remember !


    • jjoplinfan says:

      Only those of us who’ve had Rachel’s Brownies can understand the feelings that are evoked when we remember them. I’ve had many brownies since and not one of them compares. There are people today who just don’t understand when I say “This brownie is good, but it’s NOT a Rachel’s Brownie.”. 😊


  14. Patti says:

    For some odd reason, while driving to work today, Rachel’s Brownies came to mind. I particularly loved Rachel’s Husband’s (aka Butterscotch) Brownies. I lived in Valley Forge in the late 80’s and lived in an apartment complex almost right next door to their original bakery – not including their kitchen. I lived in the same apartment building where they formerly lived. Additionally, my ex-husband, who was attending University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business at the time was one of Rachel and Jeff’s neighbors. He helped them in their kitchen when they firt started baking them at home! As for the airline that carried Rachel’s Brownies – it was United Airlines. I found the Ina Garten mentioned recipe and can’t wait to try it! Now, if I can find the butterscotch version …

    Liked by 1 person

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