Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy Blonde Brownie Day!

Hi, Winnie Griggs here.  I just found out that Jan 22 is National Blonde Brownie Day.  Who knew?  So, being an historical author, I had to do a little research into the history of the blonde brownie and found a few little interesting tidbits.

The most interesting was the fact that Blondies predate the currently more popular chocolate brownie by a number of years.  According to The Food Timeline site, the first recorded Brownie recipe, ca 1896, had no chocolate in it and would produce a treat very like today’s blonde brownies.

One of the most popular candies of the mid nineteenth century was butterscotch, and many of the ingredients in this early version of blondies were the same, only combined with other ingredients so that it could be baked into a cake-like product rather than candy treat.

As for as where blondies got their names, while no one knows for certain, The Food Timeline reports 3 possibilities
It might have been in honor of a woman named Mildred Brown Schrumpf, who was, among other things, a Nutritionist, Newspaper Columnist, Food Judge, Author and Cook (born 1903)
It might have been named after Palmer Cox’s cartoon elves, dubbed Brownies, ca 1887
It might borrowed its name from a Scottish confection called a broonie

And in honor of this sweet-themed day, I thought I’d share that early first recipe with you

The Boston Cooking School Cook Book (1896) by Fannie Merritt Farmer

1/3  cup butter 1/3  cup powdered sugar
1/3  cup Porto Rico molasses
1     egg well beaten
7/8  cup bread flour
1     cup pecan meat cut in pieces

Mix ingredients in order given
Bake in small, shallow fancy cake tins, garnishing top of each cake with one-half pecan.

So let’s hear it for the blonde brownie on its special day.  (But I must confess to still preferring chocolate!)


And, since the heroine of my Dec 2013 release, A Family For Christmas, runs a sweet shop and very likely baked some of these very confections for her customers, I thought I'd just go ahead and give away a copy of this book to one person who leaves a comment here today!

An Unexpected Gift 

Eve Pickering knows what it's like to be judged for your past. So she's not about to leave the orphaned boy she's befriended alone in this unfamiliar Texas town. Since Chance Dawson's offer of shelter is the only way to look after Leo, Eve is determined they'll have a warm, welcoming home for the holidays.

Chance came from the big city to make it on his own despite a painful secret. But Eve's strength is giving him a confidence he never expected—and a new direction for his dream. With a little Christmas blessing, he'll dare to win her heart—and make their family one for a lifetime.


  1. How fun! I love old recipes. The flour measurement made me chuckle. Not sure I could manage a precise 7/8th cup. Cooks of the day also had to have a good knowledge of the temperature of their oven to get their baked goods to come out correctly. No running off to work on writing until the timer rings!

  2. Nice post. The brownie in the photo looks yummy!

    (Apology tendered for re-posing this, it's important to me)
    I wish I could be at that readers and author's mingle, to behold my favourite authors and bloggers here. I am on the other side of the world. Well, you can all post my freebies to me:

    Olufisayo Alabi
    Box 39700,
    Dugbe, Ibadan,
    Oyo State, Nigeria,
    West Africa, Africa.

    I'll be waiting!

    NB: Your old xtian romances are also welcome. Thank you!

  3. Hi Christine - isn't it fun reading these old recipes. And like you I noticed there was no reference to temperature or time - you'd have to be really diligent to get these cooked just right.

  4. Olu,
    I wish I could be there too!

    Winnie, I love blonde brownies, but love the chocolate more.

  5. I didn't even know it was Blondie day and I made lemon brownies for my brother-in-law in Georgia! They were easy and tasty. And close to blondies. Thanks, Winnie :)

  6. So... I'm going to guess that the cooking temp is between 325-375??? I'd really like to make these, so if anyone would like to know how they turned out, I'd be more than happy to let you know :) I'll be honest and say I have never heard of Blondies, but then again, I've always had chocolate anyway lol.

    Ms. Griggs, I really enjoyed your last book:) It was adorable!




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