Guest Marne Ann Kirk: Mildred Miller’s Buttermilk Brownies

Marne Ann Kirt

I have two words for you today, courtesy of our Guest Chicklet:  Buttermilk Brownies.  I’m so glad I can’t eat my computer.  Marne Ann Kirk grew up wild, exploring the vast high deserts and mountains of the West with her family as a child. She loved making up stories and, well, lied about just about everything. Thankfully, she grew out of the lying stage…now she calls it story-telling.

Her debut novel, “Love Chosen: Book One of The Fae Dragon Chronicles,” is available now. “Love Dared: Book Two of The Fae Dragon Chronicles,” is coming soon! “Goddess on the Run,” a paranormal romance series, will be available October 1, 2012. Visit her at: or

Comment for a chance to win her book.  And now, bring us back to Grandma’s Kitchen, Marne!

Thank you, Abigail, for having me on Chicklets. It’s such a fun place to hang out and I’ve learned some great recipes here.

With the 4th of July coming up, I started thinking about Independence and Patriotism, and where I first really began learning about the values inherent in the ideal of “loving, supporting, and defending one’s country.” (American Heritage Dictionary)

My grandma should be an honorary Chicklet. She would inspire many, I think. I remember sitting in her kitchen (as in many homes, it was where all of the important things happened), while she cooked family dinners, while she canned or dried food, while she made her famous chocolates and buttermilk brownies…well, famous in our family, anyway–or her amazing cookies and breads.

In fact, I have a difficult time remembering my grandma Not in the kitchen, Not working…

She was always busy, and yet she always had time to listen to a story or give a hug.

My grandparents had a large family:  In 1989, they had 11 children, 28 grand children, and 1 amazing great granddaughter, courtesy of me 🙂 (I tell you this because after that date, things changed up a bit and it gets confusing. But know I had a LOT of cousins at family gatherings). My grandma’s kitchen was the place we all went for comfort and love (as well as all of the family dinners).

Grandma’s kitchen was also the place to be on the 4th of July, for many years…it was a tradition. We always turned up at Grandma’s house on the 4th for dinner (you know, the 12:00 meal?). After dinner, all of the boys and men (and any of the women smart enough to get out of the kitchen) would go set up a game of base-ball in the front yard, while the women cleaned the kitchen.

I always got stuck in the kitchen.

I learned so much in that kitchen, though. I learned Grandma had a heart of gold. If someone in the neighborhood or church had a sick mother or husband, grandma was cooking a meal for the family. She was on the phone, calling the neighbors to make sure the next two weeks of meals were taken care of as well. She prayed for the family (which, to grandma, helped more than the food). I also learned how to be self-reliant because of my grandma. She taught me to cook, to clean, to organize, to preserve the food we grew in our garden or raised for butcher.

If I think about our country as a much, Much, MUCH larger version of my grandmother’s family– there is a comparison to be made there. And those values we all hold dear to be independent and patriotic are simply the values we apply to our families: we love, support, and defend them every day while teaching our young self-reliance in our own kitchens.

I hope my children and grandchildren look back on my kitchen when I’m “getting up there,” and remember lessons I taught them with love.

In honor of my grandma (though I should mention, she’s still alive), I’d like to donate her Buttermilk Brownies recipe to the Chicklets Kitchen.

So without further ado (and Happy Independence Day, everyone):

Mildred Miller’s Buttermilk Brownies

2c Sugar
2 Eggs
2c Flour
1t Soda
½ c Buttermilk
½ c Oil
3 ½ T Cocoa
1c Water
1 stick Oleo
1t Vanilla

Melt Oil, Cocoa, Water, and Oleo. Pour over dry ingredients. Add Buttermilk, Eggs, and Vanilla.

Bake 20 Minutes at 400 degrees in a jelly roll pan.


1 stick Oleo
½ c Buttermilk
3 ½ T Cocoa
1lb Powdered Sugar
1t Vanilla
1c Walnuts

Boil Oleo, Buttermilk, and Cocoa. Add Powdered Sugar, Vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add Walnuts and spread over Cooled Brownies.

Tell us, Chicklets – do you have memories of your grandmother’s kitchen?  Or the kitchen of your family?

Mildred Miller’s Buttermilk Brownies
Recipe Type: Traditional
Cuisine: Dessert
Author: Marne Ann Kirk | Chicklets in the Kitchen
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 24 squares
  • 2c Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2c Flour
  • 1t Soda
  • ½ c Buttermilk
  • ½ c Oil
  • 3 ½ T Cocoa
  • 1c Water
  • 1 stick Oleo
  • 1t Vanilla
  • ICING:
  • 1 stick Oleo
  • ½ c Buttermilk
  • 3 ½ T Cocoa
  • 1lb Powdered Sugar
  • 1t Vanilla
  • 1c Walnuts
  1. BROWNIES: Melt Oil, Cocoa, Water, and Oleo. Pour over dry ingredients. Add Buttermilk, Eggs, and Vanilla.
  2. Bake 20 Minutes at 400 degrees in a jelly roll pan.
  3. ICING: Boil Oleo, Buttermilk, and Cocoa. Add Powdered Sugar, Vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add Walnuts and spread over Cooled Brownies.




9 thoughts on “Guest Marne Ann Kirk: Mildred Miller’s Buttermilk Brownies

  1. Thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe. They sound delicious! I want one. Now. Your grandma sounds like a fabulous person, too 🙂

    As for my memories of Grandma’s kitchen, I have a few. My great-grandmother used to bake these poppy seed cookies (i know, i know, sounds weird). They were wonderful – not too sweet, just the right amount of everything. My Grandma Stella was always cooking. You would show up at her house and the table would groan with food. From her I have a wonderful Turkish strudel recipe that I will one day make. If I can get over my fear of phyllo. And my other Grandma… I would go over to visit her once a week when my kids were little, and we’d cook dinner together. When she passed away just a few weeks ago, I got a big box of her cookbooks and loose recipes with her little notes in the margin. Can’t wait to use them!

    Thanks again for joining us and posting that recipe! Look forward to baking them! AND to reading your wonderful-sounding books 🙂

  2. Marne! Welcome to Chicklets and thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    I didn’t cook much with my Nana in the kitchen. Possibly because she had a pool table in the basement. 🙂 But I do have her recipes on index cards.

    I have to ask – is butter the equivalent of oleo? And is it 1:1? Or is it something else completely?

  3. Mary, thank you and it is a rich dessert; though the buttermilk gives it a unique flavor I really enjoy.
    Lizzie, I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard when we lose those we hold so dear; but it’s neat she left you her recipes. That is a pretty amazing gift. And I DO hope you read and enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy writing them 😉
    And Abigail, Oleo was, I believe a brand of margarine, back in the day. I substitute that with butter (because I like to the flavor of real butter more than the taste of margarine and tend to make that switch a lot), but you can use either.

  4. These sound luscious! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    My Nana’s kitchen was a tiny space, but it was full of love. It took a 6 hour drive to get there so Nana always prepared something to eat when we got there. More often than not, I prayed she made her vegetable soup with dumplings in it. I still have no idea what was in those dumplings but they were SO good, I think I’d have been happy with dumplings for Christmas in lieu of toys.

    Nana used to cook or knit in the kitchen; when the cooking was done, she’d sit and knit a spell, watching me do whatever kids did back in the 70’s. Now I knit, and when I see I’m using her needles, it takes me back.

    • I totally hear ya on the tiny kitchen, I always felt like I was going to be smashed in my grandmother’s kitchen and believe you me there was no kind of order at those dinners, everyone would make a B line for gramma’s cooking (as if there wasn’t enough to eat on for days lol) but it was always love and laughter. It’s so great you have something that you can see and all those great memories come back 🙂

      I hope you find the brownies as luscious as they sound and as luscious as my hero Tyler is in “Love Chosen” 😉

  5. Oh my goodness! Those look delicious! “*scribbles down to make*

    My grandma and I didn’t cook together but she taught me how to sew, everything from clothing to costumes to making slipcovers and reupholstering furniture in fabric. Definitively handy.

    Thank you so much for sharing, I’ll keep a look out for your books.

  6. Sorry I’m so late to the party, Marne. Congratulations on your debut novel and upcoming releases! They sound positively intriguing! I’m putting them on my TBR list.

    I miss my grandma, grandpa, and great-grandma. Their kitchen was the center of our family’s universe. The happiest memories of my life occurred there. 🙂

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