On a recent Friday I was running on very little sleep, the house was a mess, and the kids came home from school fighting. I was frustrated and grumpy and just about to give my kids a piece of my mind, when I happened to glance at a picture of Jesus that we have hanging in our family room. The thought came to me that I could choose between feeling grumpy and feeling love. I realized that in my current state of mind I wasn’t going to be a very loving mother, but that a loving mother is exactly what my kids needed at the end of a stressful week. Not knowing how to escape my sour mood I instinctively went to the kitchen and pulled out graham crackers, sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate chips, the ingredients needed to make my grandmother’s graham cracker brownies.
Five minutes before the brownies were supposed to come out of the oven, our electricity went out, and with it, the timer that had been keeping track of the cooking time. Not to be deterred, I estimated how much time was left, and the brownies came out perfect. These brownies won’t win any beauty awards—they are messy and gooey—but they will bring a smile to a frowny face because they are oh-so-good. I watched the anticipation on the faces of my children as I cut the brownies into squares and my heart filled with love.
The act of doing something out of love for someone else had finally chased away the grumpy cloud I had been walking under. Even the electricity going out couldn’t dampen the sunshine in my heart. An act of love is a powerful balm for a troubled heart—both the doer’s and the receiver’s.
Graham Cracker Brownies
Makes approximately 9 servings
22 graham cracker squares (11 rectangles)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the graham crackers in a gallon-size ziploc bag, pressing out any extra air, then sealing the bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs.
3. Carefully transfer the graham cracker crumbs into a medium-size mixing bowl, then add the sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Stir thoroughly until everything is well combined.
4. Pour the mixture into a well-greased 8 x 8-inch baking pan, then bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
5. Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool for 30 minutes, then cut and remove from the pan.