History of Brownies

Have you ever wondered about the how brownies originated as you baked up a batch or took your first bite?

The exact history is difficult to reconstruct for brownies. There are many conflicting stories regarding the origin of brownies and how they came to be.

Brownies are thought to be of US origin, the name derived from their color (brown) and from the mythical pixie-like characters common in children's stories from the same time period. One story suggests that brownies were invented at the Palmer House in Chicago in 1892.

The first recipe for "brownies" dates back to the 1896 Boston Cooking School Cookbook for molasses cakes baked in individual pans - a far cry from what we think of as brownies.

The earliest published recipe for chocolate brownies appears to have been for "Bangor Brownies" back in the Boston Daily Globe (1905). Some contend they may have originated when baking powder was inadvertently left out of a chocolate cake batter, resulting in a 'cake' that didn't rise but tasted great.

It is speculated that the careless cook may have lived in Bangor, Maine - thus the name, "Bangor Brownies." This is my personal favorite story since my parents grew up close to Bangor, ME, giving me a connection to the area, and thus to the story.

Chocolate brownies didn't become widely popular until the 1920s, when chocolate became more readily available.

Early recipes called for butter, eggs, sugar, flour, melted chocolate, and nuts in varying quantities, which means that making homemade chocolate brownies hasn't changed much in the last hundred years!

Do you remember your first brownie?

For many of this generation, our personal brownie history may very well have begun when we first stirred up and baked brownies from a box. Boxed brownies still have an important place in the modern kitchen, especially when they are doctored up a bit.

But the truth is stirring up a batch of homemade brownies from scratch is almost as easy as those from a box. If you have never given it a try, maybe it is time to create your own history of brownies.

So, although the origin of brownies may be unclear, their popularity certainly isn't. Brownies are a favorite world-wide and for good reason.

Now that you are familiar with the History of Brownies, are you ready to bake up a batch?

Nothing could be more simple or satisfying than delicious homemade brownies.

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