The story of the brownie starts in 1893 at the historic Palmer House Hotel. Bertha Palmer, wife of hotel owner Potter Palmer, asked the kitchen crew to whip up a portable dessert that could be served at the World’s Fair.
Staff came up with a walnut-studded, apricot-glazed brownie. It was a runaway hit and has been served at the downtown hotel ever since.
- 14 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 pound butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup flour
- 8 eggs
- 1 ½ cups crushed walnuts
- Vanilla extract
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
Here’s how to make it:
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Mix sugar and flour together in a bowl. Combine chocolate and flour mixtures and stir 4–5 minutes. Add eggs and continue mixing.
- Pour mixture into a 9×12 baking sheet. Sprinkle walnuts on top, pushing down slightly into batter with your hand. Bake 30–40 minutes.
- Brownies are done when the edges begin to crisp and the batter has risen about a quarter of an inch. (Note: When the brownie is properly baked, it will remain “gooey” with a toothpick in the middle due to the richness of the mixture.)
- For glaze, mix together water, apricot preserves and gelatin in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Brush hot glaze on brownies while still warm.