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Brownies: Moist, Gooey, and Irresistible!

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Brownies: Moist, Gooey, and Irresistible!

There may be no better manifestation of flour, butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cocoa powder than the ambrosial brownie, part of our culinary conversation since the late 19th Century.

Reported by one account to have been invented by a chef at Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel, the hotel’s owner, socialite and businesswoman, Bertha Palmer, wanted something cake-like but smaller. It needed to be “easily eaten from boxed lunches” provided to ladies in the Women’s Building at the 1893 Columbian Exhibition. Hence the birth of the brownie, though not christened as such until years later, and in its nascent stage at the hotel the little chocolate chew was gilded with apricot glaze and walnuts. Today, the Palmer House Hilton serves them the same way. Who can resist?!

Cake-like or fudgy, the latter with the addition of an egg and extra chocolate (this version is credited to an unnamed woman from Bangor, Maine), brownies evolved to include ingredients such as pecans, almonds, walnuts (first observed at the Palmer House Hotel), chocolate chips, coconut, frosting, and cheesecake infusions. Years later, they have also morphed into brownie’s brother, known as the blondie. Like the brownie, made from flour, butter, eggs, baking powder, and vanilla, blondies use brown sugar in place of cocoa for a butterscotch flavor and have been known to feature toffee or other candy chips.

Eaten solo with a glass of ice cold milk, or as the foundation of a brownie sundae smothered in hot fudge (chocolate heaven?), these recipe options will help you celebrate National Brownie Day, December 8th.

(Continued Below)

Mocha Mousse Brownies
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
Mocha Mousse:
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a microwave, melt the chips and butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Combine hot water and coffee granules; add to chocolate mixture. Combine flour, cocoa and baking powder; gradually add to chocolate mixture.

Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake; brownies will be thin). Cool on a wire rack.
For mousse, in a small bowl beat cream cheese until smooth; beat in milk and melted chips. In a small saucepan sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from the heat; stir in coffee granules until dissolved.
In a small bowl beat whipping cream until slightly thickened. Beat in gelatin. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread over brownies. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. Cut into squares. Yield: 2 dozen.

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2 Joann Ames { 03.29.15 at 7:47 pm }

Grammy’s home made choc. Cake with my peanut butter icing. Super moist. Just made 3 to take to work for my birthday. Everybody looks forward to it. Don’t have mayo recipe. The mayo is probably a substitute for the oil.

3 anne lalli { 03.28.15 at 11:16 pm }

I am looking for a chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe. It had raisins and pecans. Was frosted with a cream cheese frosting. Baked in a 9×10 pan. Hope you can help.

4 Lucille Ward { 12.04.13 at 8:46 pm }

Is this the Palmer House Brownie Recipe that is served @ The Hilton?

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