A brownie is a cross between a soft cookie and rich cake. It can be cakey or fudge texture. A brownie may be enhanced by adding:
- white and/or chocolate chips
- cherries, raspberries or apricot
- coconut flakes
- peanut butter
- cream cheese
- other type of ingredients
Brownies can be eaten as is, and typically by hand. It can also be served with ice cream or cut into small pieces and blended into ice cream. Brownies can also be topped with whipped cream.
The first known published recipe for brownie appeared in the 1896 “Boston Cooking-School Cook Book” by Fannie Farmer. It contained no chocolate and was basically a thick molasses cake. It read:
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup Porto Rico molasses
- 1 egg well beaten
- 7/8 cup bread flour
- 1 cup pecan meat cut in pieces
Mix ingredients in order given. Bake in small, shallow fancy cake tins, garnishing top of each cake with one-half pecan.”
In 1905, on page 34 of the Boston Daily Globe, it published Maria Willet Howard’s “Bangor Brownie” recipe. It consisted adding an extra egg and chocolate square (replacing the molasses). This provided a richer fudge dessert. The Bangor Brownie, got its name from Howard’s hometown of Bangor, Maine.
“BANGOR BROWNIES. Cream 1/2 cup butter, add 2 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 2 squares of chocolate (melted), 1/2 cup broken walnuts meats, 1/2 cup flour. Spread thin in buttered pans. Bake in moderate oven, and cut before cold”
The following year, in 1906, Fannie Farmer published her revised brownie in her “Boston Cooking-School Cook Book”. It was more cake-like, chocolatey and mild flavored. It was very similar to Maria Willet Howard’s brownie recipe, with the Bangor reference removed.
During the early 20th century, the brownie was known as either a Boston Brownie or Bangor Brownie, since both women took credit with creating this dessert.
The basic ingredients for a brownie are:
In the video, I accidentally added the flour before the sugar to the batter. You actually see me hesitate for a second, realizing the mistake. I continued with the filming and rectify my error during the mixing process. It is highly recommended to add the sugar first to the melted butter and cocoa, then blend well to become creamy smooth before adding the flour. This prevents having a grainy texture that would require more mixing, afterwards. It is fixable if the sugar is added after the flour. It just it takes more time to combine into a creamy consistency.
I usually add walnut and coconut flakes to my brownie batter. For this recipe. I decided to make the brownie with only the basic ingredients.
I like my brownies to be extra fudgy and chocolatey. The amount of white and chocolate chips may vary. I prefer adding 2 Tablespoon each of white and semi-sweet chocolate chips. If you prefer, not to have such a fudgy textured brownie, adding only 1 Tablespoon each of the white and semi-sweet chocolate, is ok.
Another great option is eliminating the white chocolate chip and only adding 2 to 3 Tablespoon mini chocolate chip morsels.