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The Palmer House shares two iconic brownie recipes - one with a kick

Posted  3 years ago

2 MIN READ – In honor of National Brownie Day on December 8, Chicago’s Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel is sharing ways to celebrate at home – with two iconic brownie recipes. As the birthplace of the original chocolate fudge brownie, celebrating National Brownie Day has become a tradition. This year, they’re re-sharing the recipes for the original brownie and a cocktail to pair with it – the Brownie Manhattan.

The brownie dates back to 1893 when Bertha Palmer requested a portable dessert that ladies could enjoy with their boxed lunches at the Chicago World’s Fair. 

Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel Original Brownie Recipe

The first reference to the “brownie” in America appears in the Sears Roebuck Catalog published in Chicago in 1898. Specifically at the direction of Bertha Palmer to be served at the Columbian Exposition World’s Fair in 1893, the brownie was created in the Palmer House Kitchen in the late 19th century. The recipe below is well over a century old, and is the exact same one used for the brownie served in the Palmer House Hilton today! It remains one of the hotel’s most popular confections.​


  • 14oz. semi-sweet chocolate 
  • 1lb butter
  • 12oz. granulated sugar 
  • 4oz. flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 12oz. crushed walnuts 
  • vanilla extract 


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Mix the sugar and flour together in a bowl. Combine chocolate and flour mixtures. Stir 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs and continue mixing. ​
  3. Pour mixture into a 9x12 baking sheet. Sprinkle walnuts on top, pressing down slightly into the mixture with your hand. Bake 30-40 minutes. ​
  4. Brownies are done when the edges begin to crisp and has risen about 1/4 of an inch. ​


When the brownie is properly baked, it will remain “gooey” with a toothpick in the middle due to the richness of the mixture.


Mix together 1 c. water,1 c. apricot preserves, and 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin in sauce pan. Mix thoroughly and bring to a boil for two minutes. Brush hot glaze on brownies while still warm. 

Palmer House's Brownie Manhattan

As birthplace of the original chocolate fudge brownie recipe, Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel has created a sweet elixir to pair with the famous dessert.  Dating back to 1893, the Palmer House's creation is now a staple at bake sales everywhere, but is often overlooked as a libation accompaniment - not anymore!


  • 1 oz.​ Rye of choice
  • 3/4 oz. Creme de cacao
  • 3/4 oz. Nocello, walnut liqueur
  • 2 dashes Chocolate walnut bitters


  1. Stir over ice in a mixing glass
  2. Strain mixture into rocks glass with a large ice cube
  3. Garnished with a mini brownie and a cherry

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