Baked Treats

The Original Chocolate Fudge Brownie (Palmer House)

September 8, 2016
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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.

Makes One, 9 x 12 pan of brownies


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  • Reply Arlene Luchetti January 29, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    My mom would make this a long time ago. I remember that she would melt butter or margarine in the bottom of a square glass pan , Mike the batter pour it in to the baking fish than dump her peaches into the center of the batter and then cook. I’m sure if the ingredients or anything else. I can’t ask her as she passed away 8 years ago.

  • Reply Susan Walter February 6, 2018 at 2:15 am

    This is the best brownie ever! It is almost more fudge than cake. I changed the recipe and loaded down with salty roasted almonds instead of walnuts and instead of glaze l, I make carmal sauce poored over the chopped almonds. Everyone who has had them love them.

  • Reply Michael April 3, 2021 at 3:34 am

    Every other website says 4oz of flour and 8 eggs, even the Palmer House website, but yours says 8oz flour and 4 eggs.

    • Reply Monica Rogers April 3, 2021 at 4:59 am

      Egad (!) …updated recipe with typos fixed. Thank you!

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