Each year on December 8, brownie lovers across the nation enjoy one of their favorite baked goods on National Brownie Day.
Brownies were created in the United States at the end of the 19th century. A cross between a cookie and cake, they soon became very popular across the country.
With the chocolate brownie being the favorite, the blonde brownie runs a close second. A blonde brownie is made with brown sugar and no chocolate and is often called a blondie.
There was a request for a dessert for a group of ladies that would be attending a fair in the late 1800s. They wanted a small cake-like dessert that could be eaten from a boxed lunch. A Chicago chef, working at the Palmer House Hotel, created the first brownie for the ladies, which featured an apricot glaze and walnuts. The Palmer House Hotel still serves their original recipe for brownies on their menu.
The earliest recipes for brownies comparable to those familiar to us today are found published in regional cookbooks and newspapers around the turn of the last century. The 1904 Laconia, NH Home Cookery, the 1904 Chicago, IL Service Club Cook Book, and an April 2, 1905, edition of The Boston Globe are three early examples. In 1906, Fannie Merritt Farmer published a recipe in an edition of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book.
Three myths that have gained popularity over the years, regarding the creation of the brownie:
- A chef accidentally added melted chocolate to biscuit dough.
- A cook forgot to add flour to the batter.
- A housewife did not have baking powder and improvised with this new treat. The story tells that she was baking for guests and decided she would serve them these flattened cakes.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Try one of the following brownie recipes: