Brownies were invented in Chicago in 1893, and now you can whip up the original recipe yourself


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:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour mixture into a 9×12 baking sheet. Sprinkle walnuts on top, pushing down slightly into batter with your hand. Bake 30–40 minutes.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s