Skip to main content


Delving into the Delectable World of Scottish Shortbread Cookies

When it comes to comfort treats that have stood the test of time, Scottish shortbread cookies reign supreme. These simple yet utterly delicious treats have a rich history, an exquisite taste, and a unique charm that has captivated taste buds around the world for centuries. Let's take a journey back in time to explore the origins of Scottish shortbread cookies, the varieties that have evolved over the years, and the simple elegance of their ingredients. The origins of Scottish shortbread cookies can be traced back to medieval times in Scotland. Initially known as "biscuit bread," these delightful treats were made from leftover bread dough enriched with sugar and spices. Over time, as ingredients became more accessible, the recipe evolved into what we now recognize as shortbread. During the 16th century, shortbread was considered a luxury only enjoyed by the wealthy due to the high cost of its ingredients. It was often served during special occasions and holidays. Ove

A Delectable Journey Through Brownies: Origins, History, and Culinary Marvels


Brownies, with their irresistible fudgy texture and rich chocolate flavor, have long held a special place in the hearts of dessert enthusiasts worldwide. As a beloved treat that transcends borders, brownies have a fascinating origin and a diverse history. In this article, we embark on a delightful journey to explore the origins of brownies, their global variations, renowned pastry chefs who shaped their recipes, and even dive into their nutritional value. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and indulge in the fascinating world of brownies!

  1. Origin and History of Brownies: The exact origin of brownies remains a subject of debate, but their roots can be traced back to the United States in the late 19th century. The most popular theory suggests that the first brownie recipe was born by accident when a chef forgot to add baking powder to a chocolate cake batter. The result was a dense, fudgy dessert that became an instant hit.
  2. The Original Recipe: The original brownie recipe was simple and consisted of butter, unsweetened chocolate, sugar, eggs, flour, and sometimes nuts. Over time, variations emerged, incorporating additional ingredients such as cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips. The classic chocolate brownie recipe has stood the test of time, delighting generations with its heavenly taste and moist texture.
  3. Types of Brownies Worldwide: Brownies have evolved over the years to embrace regional influences and diverse culinary traditions. Some popular variations include:

a. Fudge Brownies: Known for their dense and intensely chocolatey texture, fudge brownies are a chocoholic's dream come true.

b. Cakey Brownies: These lighter, fluffier brownies have a more cake-like consistency and are perfect for those who prefer a lighter dessert.

c. Blondies: Blondies, often referred to as "butterscotch brownies," substitute chocolate with brown sugar, resulting in a sweet and buttery treat.

d. Cheesecake Brownies: This variation is a decadent delight, a heavenly combination of creamy cheesecake and rich chocolate brownie layers.

  1. Renowned Pastry Chefs and Their Brownie Creations: Several esteemed pastry chefs have added their creative touch to the world of brownies, elevating them to new heights. Some notable chefs and their iconic brownie recipes include:

a. Alice Medrich: A pioneering figure in American baking, Alice Medrich introduced the concept of using melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder in brownie recipes, creating an intensely chocolatey experience.

b. Maida Heatter: Known as the "Queen of Cake," Maida Heatter's brownie recipes incorporated unique ingredients such as espresso, liqueurs, and spices, offering a delectable twist to the classic brownie.

c. David Lebovitz: Renowned for his expertise in French baking, David Lebovitz crafted brownie recipes infused with decadent flavors like salted caramel, hazelnut, and even the addition of fleur de sel for a gourmet touch.

  1. Nutritional Value of Brownies: It's important to consider their nutritional value while indulging in brownies. Brownies are typically high in calories, fat, and sugar. However, modifications can be made to enhance their nutritional profile. Using healthier alternatives like whole wheat flour, reducing sugar content, or incorporating ingredients like zucchini or sweet potatoes can add a nutritious twist to the classic recipe.
  2. Brownie Recipe Variations: Now that we've explored the origins, history, and culinary prowess surrounding brownies, it's time to unleash your creativity in the kitchen. Here are a few recipe variations to experiment with:

a. Mint Chocolate Brownies: Infuse your brownies with a refreshing twist by adding mint extract and topping them with a layer of smooth, melted chocolate.

b. Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies: Combine the irresistible combination of peanut butter and chocolate by swirling creamy peanut butter into the brownie batter.

c. Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies: Add a burst of fruity goodness by swirling raspberry sauce into your brownie batter and topping it with a creamy cheesecake layer.

With their rich history and diverse variations, brownies have become an iconic dessert enjoyed worldwide. From humble beginnings to the creations of renowned pastry chefs, these delightful treats continue to captivate our taste buds. While they may not be the healthiest option, occasional indulgence in a well-crafted brownie can bring immense joy and satisfy your sweet cravings. So, embrace the legacy of the brownie and allow yourself to savor these decadent delights that have stood the test of time.

Below you can find a Cypriot Brownies version that will make your brownie recipe selection unique.  I am sure you will enjoy each and every bite. Buona petite!


Brownies with Anari Cheese

Chocolate Brownie Base Ingredients

75g milk chocolate
75g dark chocolate
180g butter
80g brown sugar
70g caster sugar
3 regular eggs
90g plain flour
170g chopped walnuts
5ml vanilla extract

Cheese Layer Ingredients

250gr mascarpone cheese

250gr anari cheese (or mizithra cheese, or ricotta cheese)

1 large egg

200gr fresh cream

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 sachet vanilla sugar

Preparation Method

1.   Preheat oven to moderate (160º - 170ºC). Grease square pan 25c x 25c; line with baking paper.

2.   Melt milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and  butter together in a microwave oven for 30 – 40 seconds. Do not overheat.

3.   Beat eggs, brown sugar, and caster sugar until they become light and fluffy; stir in the chocolate and butter mixture;

4.   Sift the flour; add it to the egg and chocolate mixture.

5.   Then, add vanilla extract and the chopped walnuts; stir gently until all ingredients are well mixed.

6.   In a different bowl beat all cheese layer ingredients together and pour the mixture on top of the chocolate mixture.

7.   Use a wooden toothpick to create any design you like, without overmixing the two mixtures.  

8.   Bake for 25 minutes (not more, not less).

9.   Stand cake for 10 minutes; turn top-side up, onto a wire rack to cool.


All Time Popular Posts