Rachel A. Snell, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Maine
To begin, what is a brownie? It’s neither cake, nor cookie, nor candy, but perhaps belongs in a category all of its own. The ratio of 1 cup of sugar to ½ cup flour gives brownies their rich, moist texture. It developed in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century along with the increasing availability and affordability of chocolate as a easy, delicious, and portable dessert that bakers could produce efficiently with the latest developments in cooking technology, namely gas and later electric ovens. A quick Google search for brownie recipes will reveal the incredible diversity and decadence the simple brownie can achieve. And, of course, with the development of boxed Brownie mixes like Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines, the brownie has become the ultimate in easy last-minute baking for various occasions, such as dessert for unexpected visitors or a treat for the forgotten bake sale. Read More.