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National Brownie Day: Chocolate Lovers Dream

Quote for Today:  Brownie, you are doing heckuva a job! George Bush, Jr. 
Brownie Mix, Roadtrips R Us, National Brownie Day
Today is National Brownie Day.  This American desert and snack stable occupies the space between a cake and a cookie.  Brownies are a favorite dessert in restaurants across America served in countless varieties after dinner.  Created in the late 1800’s and popularized in the early 20th century, the brownie has many different accounts of how it came to be.  
Palmer House, Hilton Hotel, National Brownie Day, Roadtrips R UsOne such tale is that a Pâtissier mistakenly added melted chocolate to biscuit dough.  Another says that flour was forgotten to be added to a chocolate cake batter.  Finally, the most common story is that baking powder was not available and that these flattened chocolate gems were invented out of necessity.  The most credible story, in my opinion, is that a chef from the Palmer House in Chicago created the brownie at the request of Bertha Palmer for ladies to consume at the 1893 World’s Fair.  These brownie’s featured an apricot glaze with walnuts and were easily transported and consumed from boxed lunches.

Shortly thereafter, recipes for brownies arrived in print from the Home Cookery and Service Club Cookbooks in 1904.  Two years later they appeared in the 1906 edition of the Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Farmer.  In 1907, a new recipe that added an additional egg and more chocolate was written by Maria Howard in the Lowney’s Cookbook making it richer and more fudge-like.  This was named the Bangor Brownie after the town in Maine where it was born.  Today the Palmer House Hotel, a Hilton Hotel, still serves Bertha’s Famous Brownie with a glass of Chocolate Milk Mousse, Chocolate Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce and Almonds.

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