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Amazing Brownie Facts

Did You Know?...Amazing Brownie Facts

  • … that a chocolate brownie is a flat, baked square or bar introduced in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century and popularized in both the U.S. and Canada during the first half of the twentieth century?

  • … that the brownie is sliced from a type of dense, rich chocolate cake, which is, in texture, like a cross between a cake and a cookie?

  • … that they are either fudgy or cakey, depending on their density, and they may include nuts, frosting, whipped cream, chocolate chips, or other ingredients?

  • … that a variation that is made with brown sugar and no chocolate is called a blondie?

  • … that brownies are common lunchbox fare, typically eaten by hand, and often accompanied by milk or coffee; however, they are sometimes served warm with ice cream (à la mode) or topped with whipped cream?

  • … that the brownie first appeared in public during the 1893 Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, Illinois, when a chef at the city's Palmer House Hotel created the confection after Bertha Palmer requested a dessert for ladies attending the fair; it should be, she said, smaller than a piece of cake and easily eaten from boxed lunches?

  • … that the first Palmer House brownies featured an apricot glaze and walnuts, and they are still being made at the hotel according to the original recipe?

  • … that the earliest published recipes for a brownie like those of today appeared in the Home Cookery (1904, Laconia, NH), Service Club Cook Book (1904, Chicago, IL), The Boston Globe (April 2, 1905 p.34) and the 1906 edition of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer; however, these recipes produced a relatively mild and cake-like brownie?

  • ... that the name "brownie" first appeared in the 1896 version of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, but this was in reference to molasses cakes baked individually in tin molds, not true brownies?

  • …that in 1887, author Palmer Cox popularized the name “Brownie” with the publication of his book The Brownies, Their Book and with the rise in popularity of the book, commercial businesses developed advertising tie-ins to the name?

  • …that Kodak names its popular camera “Brownie,” and a range of candy companies use “brownie” in the name of their chocolate candy treats; also, Sears & Roebuck Co. used use the name for a cookie?

  • …that a second brownie recipe appeared in 1907 in Lowney’s Cook Book, by Maria Willet Howard and published by the Walter M. Lowney Company of Boston, Massachusetts and this recipe added an extra egg and an additional square of chocolate to the Boston Cooking School recipe, creating a richer, fudgier brownie.  She then added yet another square of chocolate and named the recipe Bangor Brownies and finally a rich, chocolaty brownies?



Did You Know?…

  • …that West Virginia is also known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and hunting?
    Read more Did You Know...US State Facts

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