Welcome to the first Foodie Friday post! Each week I’ll be highlighting a different food, cuisine, concept, technique…anything foodie related!
Dessert has always been my favorite course so why not start off with something I’ve been craving lately: brownies.
Whether you like them cakey or fudgy, brownies always seem to instill a nostalgic moment with us. We remember helping mom mix the batter and pulling the pan out of the hot oven. Or receiving one as a special treat in the school cafeteria. And whether they were made by Little Debbie, Duncan Hines or from scratch, we relished in the dense chocolatey goodness.
I must confess. Brownies had to grow on me. I was never a big fan of them growing up. But as I grew older and the more varieties I tried, the more I grew to love them.
And what’s not to love?
It’s one of the simpliest desserts to whip up when you have a hankering for chocolate. Mix together flour, butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt, bake in the oven and voila, you have your basic brownie. Easy peasy.
So where did this gem come from exactly? It’s said that in 1893 Bertha Palmer, wife of the builder of Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel, requested that the Palmer pastry chef create a dessert for ladies attending the Columbian Exposition World’s Fair.
She wanted it to be smaller than a piece of cake, but still have cake-like characteristics and easily eatten from lunch boxes. The chef came up with the first brownie, which had walnuts and an apricot glaze. Certainly not the typical brownie we’re used to. The first mention of the brownie was first published in the Sears Roebuck catalog in 1898, published in Chicago. Starting in the very early 1900s recipes for brownies started popping up that resembled more of the brownie that we’re used to today.
There are three types of brownies…fudge, chewy and cakelike.
Use less flour
No baking powder
Use an extra egg (or two)
Mix of unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate and cocoa
Use less butter, more flour
This website has more detail on how to create your ideal brownie.
And for those who want to think more outside of the box, there are many variations on the brownie. Cheesecake brownies, red velvet brownies, peanut butter brownies, brownies with nuts, white chocolate instead of dark…the list goes on. My opinion? There’s nothing like an old-fashioned fudgey brownie with a cold glass of milk. Plain and simple.
Here’s a few recipes I have my eye on…
Are you drooling yet? ‘Cause I am.
What’s your favorite kind of brownie?