I’ve discovered during this year of firsts that we sure love to celebrate our food! Many different days are dedicated to favorites such as ice cream, popcorn, pizza and pastries. Occasionally I’ll select a food day to recognize. Today is National Brownie Day and it seemed like a fun one to celebrate.
A chef at Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel created the confection after Bertha Palmer requested a dessert for ladies attending the Chicago 1893 World Fair. It should be, she said, smaller than a piece of cake, though still retaining cake-like characteristics and easily eaten from boxed lunches. These first brownies featured an apricot glaze and walnuts, and they are still being made at the hotel according to the original recipe.
The first person to put a recipe for “brownies” in a cookbook was Fanny Farmer, who adapted her cookie recipe to be baked in a rectangular pan, in the 1896 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook. But that recipe contained no chocolate! Farmer had basically made what we today call a Blondie.
There is a wide variety of brownie flavors available to bake and enjoy. To celebrate Brownie Day I decided to make a flavor I had never tried before. I settled on Cheesecake Brownies. These were not made from scratch but from a mix. Easy to do and I decorated my kitchen and listened to Christmas music while the brownies baked.
The brownies were delicious, light in texture, not too fudgy yet with a nice chocolate flavor. The cheesecake topping added a tasty contrast to the chocolate. I shared the brownies with my mom and sister after making an unexpected trip with Linda to the ER. This is a first for her, and we are waiting on results from a MRI and CAT scan to see what’s going on with her leg. Perhaps I’ll offer brownies to the medical staff while we are waiting!