The first reference to the “brownie” in America appears in the Sears Roebuck and Company Catalog published in Chicago in 1898. (Can you imagine a world before brownies? Us either.) Specifically, at the direction of Bertha Palmer, the brownie made its debut at the Columbian Exposition World Fair in 1893. That recipe, which was created in the Palmer House Kitchen is the exact same one used for the brownies served in the Palmer House Hilton today! It remains one of the hotel’s most popular confections.
Palmer House Hilton Brownie
14 Ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 Pound butter
12 Ounces granulated sugar
4 Ounces flour
8 Whole eggs
12 Ounces crushed walnuts
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Cup water
1 Cup apricot preserves
1 Teaspoon unflavored gelatin
Mix together water, preserves and unflavored gelatin in a saucepan, mix thoroughly and bring to a boil for two minutes. USE HOT.
Preheat the oven to 300
Melt the chocolate with the butter in a double boiler pan. If you don’t have a double broiler pan, simmer about an inch or two of water in a medium saucepan and place a large mixing bowl over the top.
Combine the sugar and flour into a mixing bowl
Add the melted chocolate to the dry ingredients and mix with a stand mixer.
for 4-5 minutes.
Add the eggs and mix again.
Pour the batter into a 9”x 12” rimmed baking sheet.
Sprinkle the walnuts on top and press them down slightly into mixture.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
When the brownies are done, the edges will start to become a little crispy and the brownies will raise about ¼ inch.
Allow the brownies to cool for about 20 minutes before spreading a thin layer of the glaze on top with a pastry brush.
Mix together water, preserves and unflavored gelatin in a saucepan.
Mix thoroughly and bring to a boil for two minutes.
Spread the glaze over the brownies while they are still warm.
Even when the brownie is properly baked it will test “gooey” with a toothpick in the middle due to the richness of the mixture.
The brownies are easier to cut if you place in the freezer for about 3-4 hours after glazing.