Brownies…a love story
In the Beginning
Many years ago, I was working as the pastry chef at a private club. Every Thursday night was family night and the dining room was full of kids joining their parents for a night out. Family night always meant volume in the dessert department!
Back in the kitchen, I was in production mode, putting the final touches on the desserts and readying them for the buffet. When you least expected it, they would need a refill. On busy evenings I often found myself having to create additional desserts at the 11th hour from items on hand. Sponge cake, fruit purees, brownies, ganache were part of my ready-made arsenal of staples.
Keeping the kids palettes in mind, I thought about chocolate, always a crowd pleaser, and then the beloved sandwich staple peanut butter came to mind. I transformed these ingredients into a new dessert with a universal appeal. How about a rich brownie, topped with peanut butter frosting and covered with chocolate ganache? They were a huge hit! Voila! An iconic confection was born.
During holiday season, I began preparing these brownies as gifts. Cut into squares, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a satin ribbon, my husband, Shimon, distributed them to customers and vendors. Everyone loved them and looked forward to receiving them with anticipation & delight. Praise ranged from “It’s so much more than a brownie” to “It’s decadent like fudge”, and perhaps best summed up as “Amazing!”.
The years that followed, I refined both the recipe and the presentation of the brownies, making them more uniform in size. Each one was measured into 4”x 3” rectangle that weighed in at a whopping 8 oz! Generous for most appetites, they were then pre-cut into 12 one inch cubes per package, allowing for a choice of just how much guilty pleasure you were ready to take on.
Moving right along…
In spring of 2002, I started my own company, Jeanne Makes Cakes. These brownies were my first product. My business card became the label. Before long, brownies were being sold at local stores and farm stands like Schmidt’s Market in Southampton & Pike’s Farm in Sagaponack. Almond restaurant in Bridgehampton and the Laundry in East Hampton offered them on their dessert menus as well.
Here and now
This well loved recipe is so near and dear to me that I’ve kept it under wraps until now. I offer it here as my gift so that you, too, can make them and enjoy the experience of sharing them with special people in your life.
Wishing you Happy Holidays and the sweetest of New Years!
Loaves & Fishes Cookshop for the wonderful table top pieces and stunning end-grain cutting board, beneath the platter of brownies. Visit www.landfcookshop.com to find many spectacular products for the home. 631-537-6066
And thank you for sharing your reactions about this brownie...