Thursday, December 8, 2011

National Brownie Day


(Google Image) 

By Diane Forrest,

When my husband was first injured, he spent his days trying to find something to do.  Since he couldn’t lift anything over 15 pounds, his choices were limited.   I tried to interest him in needle point and latch hooking, but he had no interest in that.  i tried to get him interested in drawing, but that didn't work either.  He had pet birds for a brief time, but the mess they made drove him insane.  Then, he discovered baking.  He loved to bake and did it all the time, trouble with that was, I had all these delicious treats to eat.  Knowing my love for chocolate, he would make homemade brownies every week.  After packing on the pounds, I had to finally ask him to stop, but it was so good while it lasted.

A brownie is a cross between a piece of cake and a cookie.  They were first introduced at the end of the 19th century at a hotel in Chicago.  As the story goes, Mrs. Bertha Palmer, owner of the Palmer House Hotel requested a dessert for the ladies who were attending the Chicago's World Fair.      It should be, she said, smaller than a piece of cake, though still retaining cake-like characteristics and easily eaten from boxed lunches. These first brownies featured an apricot glaze and walnuts, and they are still being made at the hotel according to the original recipe.
(Google Image) 
There are many different varieties; you can add nuts, icing on top, as well as whipped cream or ice cream.  You can make peanut butter brownies, or add caramel or butterscotch or dust them with powdered sugar.

Today is National Brownie Day, so I thought I would share my husband's recipe with you.  Don't worry; you won't pack on too many pounds, unless you eat them daily for months.  If you don't have time to bake them from scratch, the box mix is great too. So, have a great brownie day and try not to overdo!

(Google Image) 
Did you know:  Mrs. Bertha Palmer, the creator of the brownies was one of the first famous people to winter in Florida, beginning a now-common practice. She encouraged wealthy friends and associates in her international social circles to spend winters there as well.

Brownies

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

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