What is the history of Brownie?

Happy Brownie Day!

Born in the U.S., chocolate brownie is one of the most favourite desserts for those in America and the country is one of the highest consumers of this rich and chocolaty treat. The country celebrates National Brownie Day each year on December 8.

The birth of brownies

There are a few legends on the invention of the chocolate brownie. For instance, some believe the first brownie was invented by accident, when the home chef didn’t have enough flour.

A few say that a woman in Bangor, Maine, the U.S., forget to add baking powder to her chocolate cake and that resulted in the birth of the first brownie.

However, the most common story behind the origin of brownies lead to Bertha Palmer, owner of Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, the U.S. Palmer was the president of the Ladies Board for Managers for the World Columbian Exposition of 1893. Incharge of making desserts for the event, she instructed her chefs to create a dessert easier to eat than a piece of pie and ones that could be carried in boxes. Herchefs made fuddy cakes with chocolates, walnuts and apricot glaze. They became a huge hit at the event, and are believed to be the first-ever brownies to be made.

Palmer;s chocolate dessert was not known as brownies when they were made.

The very first mention of the word brownies was seen in the 1896 version of the “Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” by American culinary expert Fannie Farmer. However, this recepie reportedly did not include chocolate. Food historians suggest that the first evidence of chocolate brownies with a recepie similar to today’s can be found in a few American cookbooks in the early 1900s.

How is it different from a chocolate cake?

Brownies and chocolate cake are not the same. Change in proportions of sugar, flour and butter gives the variation between the two. Usually, cakes consist of twice the amount of flour required to make brownies. Another notable difference between cakes and fuddy brownies is the usage of leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda. These ingredients are hardly used in the preparation of brownies. This makes brownies denser than cakes. Most brownies also make use of more chocolate than a regular chocolate cake.

Brownies for all

Brownies can also be made without chocolate. These are known as blondies. These are several new adaptations of brownies for those with dietary restrictions. For instance, vegan brownie bars without eggs, glueten-free, keto, paleo and sugar-free brownies.

There are also many quirky varieties of brownies such as red velvet, pumpkins, sweet potato, salted caramel, ginger, peanut butter, mint and avocado.

So, what are brownie points?

You might have heard the phrase “brownie points”. This is an informal and a humorous idiom used to praise or approve something someone has done. Here’s an example: ‘I hoped to score brownie points by helping her compose her album.”


Picture Credit : Google