Brownies: that rich, decadent, purely hedonistic blend of cake and cookie that feels amazing in the mouth and leaves the taste buds craving more.
While the classic brownie still reigns supreme, now there are what seems like a million different derivations of how to make these delicious treats, but there’s one thing they all have in common. Levels of chocolate so thick and rich they should be illegal!
In fact, brownies are so popular that they can be found served as the foundation for sundaes, chopped up in milkshakes, or even made into a version of breakfast cereal.
National Brownie Day is the perfect chance to get in and indulge in all that decadent goodness that might be avoided the rest of the year. It’s an ideal opportunity to go into some serious brownie overload–and not even feel bad about it. Because it’s National Brownie Day!
History of National Brownie Day
The first brownies ever made set the bar for the grand indulgence that was to follow. Created for a ladies’ fair luncheon in the late 1800’s, the first variety of these was found bedecked in an apricot glaze and inundated with delicious walnuts. To this day the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago serves the same recipe as that served to these ladies well over a hundred years ago.
National Brownie Day was established by the millions of fans of this chocolatey-cakey treat, and the recipes that have cropped up over the years have been legion. From Chocolate Mint brownies to those made with rich swirls of caramel, the variations of brownies are limited only by the extent of the imagination.
National Brownie Day Timeline
The Brownies and Other Tales book is published
Juliana Horatia Ewing tells stories of children who discover they can be helpers, and this forms part of the foundation of what will eventually be a large wing of the Girl Scouts.
Brownies are created
Brownies are created as a special treat for the Chicago World’s Fair, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Bertha Palmer of Palmer House Hotel requests that pastry chef Joseph Sehl come up with something new.
First Brownie recipe is published
The Boston Cooking School Cookbook publishes the first recipe for brownies as they are known today.
Brownie Program is created for girls
This organization for girls from 7-10 years old, formed in England by Lord Baden-Powell in England, is originally called Rosebuds but the girls wanted to change their name to “Brownies”.
How to Celebrate National Brownie Day
It doesn’t certainly require a lot of work to find ways to celebrate and enjoy National Brownie Day! Eating brownies, baking brownies and sharing brownies with others can all be incorporated into honoring and paying heed to this day. Try out some of these ideas to get started:
Eat a Brownie (or Two!)
Obviously, one of the best ways to celebrate National Brownie Day is to hunker down over a big ol’ piece of brownie and indulge in this favorite treat. Whether it’s easier to buy a boxed mix or swing into the local bakery, don’t let National Brownie Day go by without getting a mouthful of rich cakey chocolate.
Try Baking Brownies
Maybe one of the reasons brownies are so popular is that they are quick and easy to make. Along the same lines of cake, but without the need for a fork or plate, brownies are even easier to make than cookies because they don’t have to be individually placed on the pan.
Also, the fact that delicious brownie mixes can be found at grocery stores and supermarkets, makes it just that much simpler! Add in some goodies such as nuts, candies or frosting, and a basic brownie mix can become so much more.
Whether making them from scratch or embellishing a boxed mix, baking brownies at home is a fun event that can usually be accomplished in less than an hour. That just leaves more time for eating them!
Explore Unique Brownie Flavors
For some, the classic brownie recipe is perfect and doesn’t need to be changed at all. For others, it’s a blank canvas upon which to create all kinds of spectacular flavors and complimentary concoctions. For the purists, that’s understandable–if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right?
But for those who won’t be satisfied with something basic, try out these unique ways to take brownie baking (and eating!) to a whole new level:
- Nutter Butter Truffle Brownies. Easy when using a regular boxed brownie mix, this idea makes a yummy layer with cream cheese and nutter butter cookies, then tops it with a layer of peanut-buttery chocolate.
- Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies. Imagine a base of brownies topped with a thick layer of cheesecake with fresh raspberries baked in. But don’t just imagine them, go ahead and bake them–and then eat them!
- Zucchini Butterfinger Brownies. Looking for ways to make brownies healthy but still gooey and delicious? Use zucchini as a base! Topped with crushed butterfinger candy bars, they’re a delicious and more nutritious departure from the standard.
- Cookie Stuffed Brownies. Super indulgent, these are brownies that contain other delicious treats that are baked right in! They contain a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough, then a layer of store bought cookies (Double Stuf Oreos, Nutter Butters or Milanos work great) and finally a layer of brownie batter mixture poured over the top. It’s like a cookie-brownie extravaganza!
Share Some Brownies with Friends
Since they’re baked in giant pans and then cut into smaller pieces, brownies are an ideal treat that can be shared with friends and loved ones! Head over to the neighbors to make a brownie delivery, or drop some off at the kids’ classroom to make the teacher’s day.
Bringing in a tray of brownies to your workplace is sure to earn some “brownie points” with those co-workers, and maybe even sweeten up the boss enough to get a raise. Well, perhaps not, but recognition of that generosity might still go far.
Host a Brownie Gathering
Even better, host a party at home or at work that is brownie-themed in nature. With all the varieties in taste out there, you’re certain to have a great collection of treats to indulge in, just be sure to stock up on the milk, as nothing goes with a rich chocolatey dessert like a glass of wholesome milk. National Brownie Day, another great excuse to overload on chocolate!
National Brownie Day FAQs
How to make brownies?
Brownies are an easy to treat made by mixing flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, eggs, butter or oil, and vanilla extract. Mix ingredients together, place in a large pan and bake.
Are brownies gluten free?
While standard recipes for brownies typically include wheat flour, which contains gluten, some special brownies can be made with alternative flours.
Do brownies have dairy?
Brownies can easily be made without dairy, and many boxed mixes only rely on oil and eggs for their liquid content.
Can brownies be made without eggs?
For those who want to make brownies without eggs, it is possible to use either a commercial vegan egg substitute, or ¼ cup of yogurt, mashed bananas, applesauce, tofu or buttermilk.
Can brownies be frozen?
Sure! Like many other baked goods, brownies can be frozen. They work best when sliced and then frozen in layers with baking paper in between.