At the Pentagon Making Brownies Isn’t as Easy as Pie


Petagon's recipe for brownies is 26 pages long

When you consider that the Constitution of the United States, at 4,400 words and fitting comfortably on 11 pages, gives the instructions needed to govern a nation of over 300 million people, the following fact seems rather incredible — until you remember the tendency of government to make things more complex than they need to be.

The Pentagon’s brownie recipe, officially known as MIL-C-44072C , covers the cooking of brownies and chocolate-covered oatmeal cookies. Leaving nothing to chance, the recipe prints out at 26 pages in length and has over 9,500 words.

It isn’t enough to call for eggs in the ingredients. Instead, the recipes stresses that “Whole eggs may be liquid or frozen and shall have been processed and labeled in accordance with the Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs and Egg Products (7 CFR Part 59).”

The recipe states the brownies should not be cut larger than 3 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches by 5/8 inch, and each brownie should not be less than 46 grams.

While most cooks are concerned with the tastiness of their recipes, the Pentagon is concerned about durability. Brownies made according to the Pentagon recipe will last about three years.

Curiously, there does not appear to be any requirement that the brownies be at all tasty.

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