These amazing treats have warmed the hearts and tummies of people across the globe for over a century. And I for one am happy to spend one entire day in 2021 celebrating the greatness of the brownie!
The First Brownie
First off, a brownie is not classified as a cake. The reason is that, although the texture is similar to cake, they are categorized as finger food. Whereas cake should (in theory) be eaten with a fork. So technically, although a blend of cake and cookie, brownies are considered to be more of a cookie bar.
This very quality of being finger food is in great part what brought about the first brownies. In the 1890s a Chicago chef, working at the Palmer House Hotel, was asked to create a dessert for the ladies’ fair luncheon. The prerequisites were that it needed to be small, cake-like, and easy to eat out of a lunch box. This led to the creation of the first variety of brownies, which was coated in walnuts and an apricot glaze. To this day, the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago serves the same famous recipe.
From there, many took to the recipe. Even simplifying it to have as few as five ingredients (chocolate, sugar, flour, eggs and butter). Of course, over the years, hundreds of different flavour variations have been invented. But one ingredient remains dominant for the majority, and that’s lots and lots of chocolate!
The Worlds Largest Brownie
One day in April 2019, a tiny bakery called Something Sweet Bake Shop produced the world’s largest brownie. This mass of chocolatey deliciousness weighed 106.2 kg, breaking the previous Guinness world record of 100 kg.
The owners of Something Sweet Bake Shop sold pieces for 3$ each and donated all the proceeds to the Bay Area Food Bank. They said, as part of their anniversary celebration, they wanted to do “something big” and “bring awareness to the issue of hunger”.
A Truly Versatile Treat
One could go wild with all the different brownie recipes out there. Not only can the brownie itself be used as a base or flavouring for other desserts, such as crumbling it over into icecreams. Or blending it into almost any other batter to get that classic brownie flavour. But because of its easily achieved blend of textures, one can find a brownie recipe that can cater to almost any need. Whether you need something gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan, or practically anything else, there will be a brownie recipe that fits your requirements.
As a great example, these paleo-friendly salted chocolate brownies are simply divine. And will ensure that anyone following the paleolithic diet does not feel like they are missing out at all! There is also a sugar-free option should you want to avoid the honey used in this recipe. Another scrumptious option is these gluten-free brownies made with sweet potatoes.
So no matter what your needs, you have absolutely no reason to miss out on celebrating 2021’s National Brownie Day. Both you and the brownies deserve it!