Originally written on December 8, 2021 – Updated 2022
Brownies are rich, delicious, sweet blend of cake and cookie that leaves your taste buds craving more.
Despite the classic brownie still reigns supreme, now there are what seems like a million different version of how to make these delicious treats, but there’s one thing they all have in common: levels of chocolate so thick and rich they should be illegal!
In the United States, the classic chocolate brownie is a favorite, with the blonde brownie running a close second. A blonde brownie is made with brown sugar and no chocolate while, in some part of Europe, are made with white chocolate (yum!).
In any case, they are so popular that they can be found served as the foundation for sundaes, in milkshakes, or even made into a version of breakfast cereal.
National Brownie Day is the perfect chance to indulge in all that goodness that might be avoided the rest of the year, as well as the opportunity to go into some serious brownie overload, and not even feel bad about it.
Because today, December 8, is National Brownie Day!
The first brownies ever made set the bar for the grand production that was to follow.
It seems that the creation of brownies come from the Palmer House Hotel in 1893. As story goes Bertha Palmer, a prominent Chicago socialite whose husband owed the hotel, asked a pastry chef for a dessert suitable for ladies attending the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. She requested a cake-like delicacy small enough to be included in boxed lunches, and the result was the Palmer House Brownie with walnuts and an apricot glaze. The modern Palmer House Hotel serves a dessert to patrons made from the same recipe, but the name was given to the dessert sometime after 1893, as it was not used by cook books or journals at the time.
But there are also other three myths that have gained popularity over the years regarding the creation of the brownie: according to the first, in an accidental mixing of ingredients, a chef added melted chocolate to biscuit dough.
In other, a forgetful cook left out the flour when mixing the batter and, according to another story, when a housewife did not have baking powder, she improvised to create this new treat, and then decided to serve her guest her flattened cakes.
The earliest recipes for brownies we are familiar with 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 while, in 1906, Fannie Merritt Farmer published a recipe in an edition of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book.
But, in any case, by 1907 the brownie was well established in a recognizable form, appearing in Lowney’s Cook Book by Maria Willet Howard as an adaptation of the Boston Cooking School recipe for a “Bangor Brownie”.
It added an extra egg and an additional square of chocolate, creating a richer dessert. The name “Bangor Brownie” derives from the town of Bangor, Maine, which legend states was the hometown of the housewife who created the original brownie recipe.
National Brownie Day was established by the millions of fans of this chocolatey-cakey treat, and the recipes that have cropped up over the years have been legion. From Chocolate Mint brownies to those made with tasty swirls of caramel, the variations of brownies are really countless.
How to celebrate?
It doesn’t certainly require a lot of imagination to find ways to celebrate and enjoy this holiday.
Eating brownies, baking brownies and sharing brownies with others are all possible options.
But you can also try baking your brownies, as they are quick and easy to make. Along the same lines of cake, but without the need for a fork or plate, brownies are even easier to make than cookies because they don’t have to be individually placed on the pan.
Also, the fact that delicious brownie mixes can be found at grocery stores and supermarkets, makes it just that much simpler, and you have just to add in some goodies such as nuts, candies or frosting, and a basic brownie mix can become so much more.
Whether making them from scratch or embellishing a boxed mix, baking brownies at home is a fun event that can usually be accomplished in less than an hour. That just leaves more time for eating them!
Images from web – Google Research