7 Fun Facts About Brownies

1. No one is 100% certain about who made the first brownie, but popular legend suggests it was invented by a pastry chef at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. The pastry chef was tasked with making a dessert that would be suitable for ladies attending the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. He created the first modern-day chocolate brownie, which also featured walnuts and an apricot glaze on top. The Palmer House Hotel still serves the exact same brownie to this day!

2. Contrary to popular belief, blonde brownies (or blondies) aren’t technically brownies at all, as they contain no chocolate. They were also invented at least 10 years before the chocolate brownie! Blondies contain vanilla flavouring and brown sugar in place of cocoa powder, which is what gives them their distinctive lighter colouring. They aren’t the same as white chocolate brownies, which do contain chocolate.

3. December the 8th is National Brownie Day in America.

4. As certified by the Guinness World Records, the world’s largest brownie weighed in at 106.2kg (or 16.5 stone) and was made by Something Sweet Bake Shop in Alabama, USA.

5. In 2021, a YouTuber called Adam Ragusea conducted an experiment to determine the best way to obtain a desirable, glossy brownie crust. The optimum way, he determined, was to ensure all the sugar was completely dispersed and blended throughout the brownie batter to form a highly viscous consistency.

6. ‘Brookie’ is a portmanteau of the word ‘brownie’ and ‘cookie’, which is exactly what they are! Some brookies are marbled with swirls of brownie and cookie; others feature two layered slabs, or the brownie encased within an outer layer of cookie. Brookies were popularised by Jovon English, the founder of a Los Angeles-based bakery dedicated to the treat.

7. Some people believe brownies originated from Bangor, a city in Maine, USA. As the urban legend goes, a housewife forgot to add a rising agent to her chocolate cake recipe and it remained flat as a result; not wanting to waste it, she served it anyway and the flat cake became known as ‘brownies’.

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