National Blonde Brownie Day
A blonde brownie is a brownie that’s made not with cocoa but with brown sugar. This not only makes the brownie a lighter color, but it also gives it a sweet molasses flavor that’s very different from chocolate brownies. Although blonde brownies haven’t been around as long as chocolate brownies, they have become popular over the past few years.
The History of the Blonde Brownie
One of the many origin stories for the invention of the brownie goes back to the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. This is when the wife of the owner of the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Bertha Palmer, allegedly created a dessert for the boxed lunches of the Women’s Pavilion.
She was the president of the Ladies’ Board of Managers for the Exposition and, according to the story, she went to the hotel’s pastry chefs and asked them to create a dessert that was smaller than a layer cake and easier to eat than a slice of pie. Their solution was to create a chocolate brownie that contained walnuts and had an apricot glaze.
Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that these desserts were actually called brownies. To find the first instance of the word ‘brownie,’ you have to move forward four years from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 to a cookbook published in 1897.
The first use of the word ‘brownie’ was in The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook published in 1897. This recipe wasn’t for a chocolate brownie, however, but for a blonde brownie. The recipe for chocolate brownies wouldn’t appear in print until the 1899 Machias Cookbook—a community-sourced cookbook in Maine.
In 1906, an updated version of The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook was published, and it contained both the blondie and the chocolate brownie recipes. Even though both of these brownies existed side by side by 1906, most people concentrated on making chocolate brownies.
Blonde brownies wouldn’t become popular until the 1940s, and from that decade on, they’ve continued to gain in popularity. Although they’re still not as popular as chocolate brownies, they have earned themselves quite the following. Unfortunately, we were unable to determine who invented National Blonde Brownie Day.
Observing National Blonde Brownie Day
If you’re observing National Blonde Brownie Day, then you have a multitude of options available to you. You can create one of the many different blonde brownie recipes out there, including (but not limited to) white chocolate blondies, loaded blonde brownies (filled with chocolate chips and/or M&Ms), blonde brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a blonde brownie ice cream sandwich. After you make your blonde brownie creation, don’t forget to use the hashtag #NationalBlondeBrownieDay to share pictures of your creation with the entire world.