About National Brownie Day
There are several origin stories for the beloved brownie to choose from.
Some say it was a forgetful chef who left the flour out of his batter by mistake. Another account tells of a home chef who improvised when she discovered she had no baking powder for her cake.
An early version of the story starts with Bertha Palmer, an American socialite from Chicago.
Bertha Palmer, wife of Palmer House Hotel owner Potter Palmer, and president of the Board of Lady Managers, wanted a special dessert in 1893. Headed to the World’s Fair Columbian Exposition in Chicago with her friends, she needed a portable pastry that would please the ladies who were going to boxed lunch with her there.
She asked the hotel’s pastry chef for help, and he cracked the confection code with a cake-like square with walnuts and apricot glaze. The term brownie came later; the first-known printed use of the word was in the 1896’s Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer. Now a Hilton, the Palmer House bakes up batches using the original recipe for its restaurants and offers a History Is Hott tour with the resident historian that ends with a chocolate chunk fresh from the oven.
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