Brownies. Just thinking about that chocolatey daydream is enough to make your taste buds tingle with delight. Ever wondered who came up with this tasty delight? After conducting some extensive research on Google and Wikipedia, we found the answer: No one really knows!
A gooey, chocolatey mystery?
Though it’s actually unclear exactly how the chocolate brownie came into existence, there is one credible origin story behind these choc-tastic delights…
A special kind of dessert
In 1893, Bertha Palmer, a famed Chicago socialite, ordered a pastry chef to create a special kind of dessert, fit for the ladies attending the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition; specifically requesting it to be small enough to fit inside a lunchbox. The chef came up with a cake-like dessert with walnuts and an apricot glaze, dubbed the Palmer House Brownie, named after the hotel owned by Bertha’s husband.
The introduction of chocolate
Soon after, the modern day brownie was introduced to the public around the turn of the century, with the recipe making its debut in the Boston Cooking-School Cookbook. It then appeared in several more cookbooks, increasing the brownie’s popularity even further. An updated recipe in 1905 featured the inclusion of chocolate, a now-iconic and key ingredient in the tasty treat.
If you somehow grow bored with the basic chocolate brownie (a difficult feat), you needn’t worry. Brownies come in many different shapes and sizes nowadays, including recipes that feature buttercream, cookie dough, salted caramel, marshmallows and our office favorite, peanut butter!
Different countries, different recipes
Take Finland (my home country), for example: we have a delectable concoction called “mokkapalat”, which roughly translates to “mocha bites” in English. Simply put, they’re brownies with a kick – we add a touch of strong coffee to the glazing. Unique? Check. Heavenly? Check. A mid-afternoon pick-me-up? Checkmate. Further down south, the French are renowned for their light and airy pastries – a quality which extends to their brownies too; they’re not the heavy gooey treat most of us are used to, though they’re equally as delicious.
Hands up, who’s craving a brownie right now?