I don't know whether you can correctly label a brownie a member of the cookie family or not. Webster's Collegiate says, "A kind of small chocolate cake containing nuts." Perhaps Noah is right. I have considerable confidence in the dictionary although I frequently feel Noah is unnecessarily chary of descriptive adjectives when defining certain things. Topflight, moist chewy brownies certainly deserve few enthusiastic adjectives and revelatory adverbs.
Second-rate brownies — dry, granular, and floury-tasting — are an egregious abomination. This recipe is a good variation for you to try once in a while. It from Better Rural Life, Extension Service, Rhode Island University.
You need one-third cup shortening, one cup sugar, two eggs, one half-cup sifted all-purpose flour, one-half teaspoon baking powder, one half-teaspoon salt, one cup chopped nutmeats, one teaspoon vanilla, and one and a half squares melted baking chocolate.
Melt the shortening and add sugar and eggs, mixing well. Mix flour, baking powder and salt, and add to the first mixture. Add nuts and vanilla.
Divide dough in half, and to one part add the melted chocolate. Spread chocolate mixture in an eight-inch square pan which has been well-greased. Spread remaining half of dough on top. Bake in a moderate oven of 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. While still warm, cut into squares before removing from the pan. This recipe will give 16 two-inch squares.
I am not one of those citizens who believes that a household should always have a supply of brownies on hand. Probably once or twice a week is enough. . . . But as a longtime booster for oatmeal, nut, and chocolate cookies, I will go so far as to say this: A home should always have on hand either first-class brownies or chewy, nutty, oatmeal cookies.