In this week's live chat, a participant who calls herself "popovergirl" (a woman after my own heart) chimed in during a thread on the late, great Ediner.
"I have a recipe for Ediner brownies somewhere...." she wrote. Later that day, she generously forwarded it in an email.
"I don't think I've ever made them, but my friend Beth has," she wrote. "[It's] from a weird charity cookbook she had called 'Food for Show, Food on the Go!'"
Then she added a link; she had discovered a copy of the book for sale on Amazon.
Anyway, I baked them this morning. They're pretty swell. Not that I'm surprised, because in its heyday, the Ediner really had it going on.
The restaurant -- a retro-bathed tribute to short-order cooking, done up to resemble a railroad dining car and originally located in the Galleria -- was founded in 1982 by Susan and Jack Seltz. The concept (a diner, in Edina; get it?) quickly blossomed into a mini-chain with six locations, with additional outlets in Roseville, Minnetonka, Uptown Minneapolis, Detroit and Toronto.
Unfortunately, the growth was short-lived (after the Seltzes sold the company, it went through three different ownerships), and when the Calhoun Square location sputtered to a close in 1992, only the original Ediner in the Galleria remained standing; it shut down in 1995. But it was fun while it lasted, right? (The Galleria location has been home to Big Bowl for nearly 15 years, and the Calhoun Square location is now the site of Republic).
As for the recipe, it's one of many bonuses found inside our live chats. We conduct them on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. (the next one is Feb. 21st). Find them at startribune.com/taste, and the transcripts are archived here.
EDINER SUPER BROWNIES
Adapted from "Food for Show Food on the Go" by the Mt. Sinai Hospital Auxillary (1983).
Makes 12 to 24 bars.
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. (10 2/3 tbsp., or 1 stick plus 2 2/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
2 c. granulated sugar
4 eggs slightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
1/3 c. (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. hot coffee
To prepare brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and reserve. In a double boiler over gently simmering water, melt butter and chocolate and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and cool about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, using a rubber spatula, stir together butter-chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until well-combined. Stir in flour and mix and until well-combined. Stir in nuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula.
Bake until center has just set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to completely.
To prepare icing: In a double boiler over gently simmering water, melt butter and chocolate and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat, add powdered sugar and coffee and whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly before spreading evenly on cooled brownies. Allow icing to set before cutting brownies.