As if Christmas wasn’t a big enough holiday to send your system into sugar shock, December also holds two other sweet celebrations: National Cookie Day and National Brownie Day. Since we made some Healthy Oatmeal Cranberry Breakfast Cookies on National Cookie Day, we decided to whip something up for National Brownie Day. Celebrated this past Thursday on December 8, National Brownie Day pays homage to the dense, chocolate-laden, cake-like dessert that has been winning over the hearts (and stomachs) of people since the late 1800s. We hope these delicious Decadent Dark Chocolate Brownies will win you over, too.
After I put these in the oven, I did a little research on the history of this chocolate treat. According to legend, in 1893, Bertha Palmer, a prominent Chicago socialite, asked a pastry chef at the Palmer House Hotel to develop a dessert suitable for ladies attending the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition.
Her request was quite specific: a cake-like confection smaller than a piece of cake that could be included in the boxed lunches. Topped with walnuts and an apricot glaze, the Palmer House Brownie was a hit. This brownie is still served in the Palmer House Hilton and remains one of the hotel’s most popular confections.
Although we could have tried to bake this original brownie recipe, we decided to go with a more well-known, classic version. We mixed it up a bit by using dark chocolate, which resulted in a rich, intense flavor that was downright decadent.
Remember the tough decision you had to make as a child when it came to brownies? Should I have an inside piece where it’s all soft and chewy, or should I pick an outside one that has some crunch? We wanted to take the guesswork out of it for you, so of course, we tried both. (Aren’t we so nice?) Believe us when we say you won’t go wrong no matter which piece you choose.
These deliciously Decadent Dark Chocolate Brownies are perfect served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. If anything could invoke sweet childhood memories and a little bit of nostalgia, it would be these.
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the foil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped*
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, and then spray with cooking oil to prevent the brownies from sticking.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Cool slightly and then stir in sugar and eggs. Add flour mixture, and stir to combine. Pour the batter into foil-lined pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack. Use the foil overhang to help lift them out of the pan. Cut into squares the size of your choice. Can be stored airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
*Feel free to get creative with the dark chocolate. Selecting one with a unique flavor profile can really kick these brownies up a notch. We used dark chocolate almond bars – the hint of almond was perfect!
In the mood for a taste of childhood today? Bake a batch of these and let us know what you think!