Brownies: A Beloved American Dessert

Why do you love brownies?

Notice I didn’t ask IF you loved brownies. I assume you love them like most other people planet.

Ask anyone for their  Top 10 list of favorite desserts.

More often than not brownies will be listed in this prestigious list.

And why not? Brownies are a classic dessert.

They are versatile, delicious, and surprisingly easy to make from scratch.


A Brief History of Brownies

Several legends abound about the origins of this chocolaty treat.

One popular story suggests that a chef created brownies when asked to make a dessert for ladies attending the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. He needed something smaller than a cake that could easily be eaten from boxed lunches.

Another tale is of a housewife who forgot to add baking powder to her chocolate cake resulting in the fudgy texture we now associate and love about brownies.

The first known recipe appeared in the 1896 edition of the “Boston Cooking School Cook Book” by Fannie Farmer. But it wasn’t until the early 20th century that this simple sweet treat gained the popularity they enjoy today.


Crafting the Perfect Brownie

It doesn’t take long to make brownies.

In under an hour you can have a pan of fudgy goodness on your countertop and in your belly.

Two ingredients make my brownies a standout.

1. Brown sugar contains molasses which adds a deeper, richer flavor to the brownies. Brown sugar also has a higher moisture content which helps create a moister, denser, and chewier texture.

2. Dark chocolate has less added sugar which balances the sweetness and offers a depth and complexity of flavor.

But if you really, really, really like sweet things you can choose to top your brownies with melted marshmallows and a homemade caramel sauce.


Tips for Perfect Brownies

1. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt to aerate the flour, evenly distribute the baking powder, and ensure no lumps when hydrating the flour with the butter and chocolate mixture.

2. Butter and flour your pan to prevent the batter from sticking.

3. Don’t over bake. The edges should be slightly firmer and chewier than the center providing a pleasant contrast in texture. Insert a toothpick to check for doneness. It’s ok if your toothpick has a couple of crumbs on it, just no raw batter.

Brownies are a testament to the idea that the best recipes often come from simple beginnings. Whether you’re baking for a crowd or just yourself this brownie is the bomb.

Make it today.

Don’t feel guilty. Learn about the health benefits of dark chocolate!

Want to make cookies instead? Try my chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Give my chocolate fondue recipe a whirl!

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Decadent Brownies

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These brownies are decadent. It’s time to toss those box mixes for this moist and chewy brownie that comes together in a snap!

  • Author: Chef Sandra Lewis
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 brownies 1x


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows


  1. Heat oven to 350˚F.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan melt together over very low heat the butter, semi-sweet chocolate, and dark chocolate.
  3. Stir in the brown sugar and vanilla.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool just a bit and then beat in two eggs, one at a time until smooth and glossy.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate and use a spatula to stir just until combined.
  7. Pour the brownie mixture into a greased and buttered 8×8″ baking pan.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until set.
  9. Remove from the oven and add 1 cup of mini marshmallows on top.
  10. Return to the oven until the marshmallows are puffed and melted, 2-3 minutes.


  • Add 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder for an even deeper chocolate flavor
  • Drizzle with caramel sauce
  • Skip the marshmallows and make homemade whipped cream
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Chef Sandra's Top 10 Fruits and Vegetables for Weeknight Cooking

Top 10 Fruits and Vegetables for Weeknight Cooking

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