Who Invented the Brownie?

Bertha Palmer's Brownie Recipe

Presented by The Historical Society of Sarasota County

Legend has it that this rich yet dainty sweet was invented at the behest of Mrs. Potter Palmer who desired a "Ladies Desert" neater to eat than pie to be used in box lunches at the Women's Building at the 1893 Columbian Exposition.  Bertha headed the Board of Lady Managers for the World's Fair, and the Palmer House was presented to her by her husband, Potter Palmer, as a wedding gift after their marriage in 1870, so the chiefs were delighted to oblige.  These are still served today at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

1 Pound Semi-Sweet Chocolate                                      Glaze:
1 Pound Butter                                                                         1/2 Cup Water
1 Pound Granulated Sugar (3 1/2 Cups)                         1/2 Cup Apricot Preserves
2  Cups Cake Flour                                                                1/2 Teaspoon Unflavored Gelatin
1  Tabelspoon Baking Powder      
4 Whole Eggs
1 Pound Crushed Walnuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Melt chocolate with the butter in a double boiler.  Mix chocolate and butter with the dry ingredients, except the walnuts, on low speed for 4-5 minutes.  Add the eggs, mix until blended.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the walnuts, pressing nuts down lightly into the mixture with the palm of your hand.  Bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes.  It's done when the edges start to become a little crispy and the brownie has raised about 1/4 inch.   Note: Even when properly baked, it will test "Gooey" with a toothpick in the middle due to the richness of the mixture.  After removing from the oven, allow to cool at least 30 minutes..

Make Glaze:  Mix together water, preserves and gelatin in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Use while hot.  Spread in a thin layer over the brownies using a pastry brush.  The brownies are easiest to cut if you place the whole pan into the freezer for 3-4 hours after glazing, then cut with a serrated knife.

Bertha Palmer Brownie

Presented for your delight by The Historical Society of Sarasota County.

Posted by Sara Leicht - SaraSellsSarasota.com on


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