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palmer house brownie

Baked Treats

The Original Chocolate Fudge Brownie (Palmer House)

September 8, 2016

The Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 was a chocolate-lovers dream: Boston-based chocolatier Walter M. Lowney brought the first American chocolate bars. America’s oldest chocolate maker, Walter Baker & Company, handed out samples and showed visitors how chocolate was made. And the Palmer House introduced the first chocolate brownie, because Bertha Palmer wanted a portable dessert that ladies could have in boxed lunches at the fair.

Unlike other brownie recipes which started appearing in 1904 and specified that butter and sugar were first creamed before being combined with a small amount of melted chocolate, the Palmer House brownie is made with more than a pound of melted chocolate and a pound of melted butter. The finished brownie is also glazed with apricot jelly.  A combination of chocolate fudge and brownie, crispy-chewy on the edges, ultra dense and chocolatey, we think it’s best served frozen, or very cold…otherwise, gooey things happen. (Not sure how this worked in a boxed lunch…) Chef Stephen Henry says for cleanest slices, freeze the brownies for three hours after glazing. Then cut, and serve while very firm and cold.

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Meaty Mainstays

Kirk Douglas’ Favorite Meatloaf

February 5, 2020

Before there was Michael Douglas, there was Kirk Douglas, Michael’s 1940s matinee-idol father.  If it weren’t for Ant Man, in which Michael had a nice role, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which my son Noah considers “epic” for its special effects (first sci-fi shot in Cinemascope), my boys as kids would have been unfamiliar with either of these actors. But back in the ’60s, Kirk was very much top of his game, starring in Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, and alongside John Wayne in three films, making Kirk much sought after by celebrity columnists. Which is where this meatloaf comes in. Continue Reading…