As a former chef, I have an embarrassing confession.

I remember one time when I was a kid, I asked my mom if I could bake some brownies while she was at work. After finally relenting to my incessant whining, I set about making the brownies. As I looked in the fridge for eggs, I couldn't find any. So being an industrious youngster, I found the next best thing... A hard-boiled egg.

egg's box

I grabbed the blender and set the egg to liquify. A) I had no actual clue what an egg did in a brownies recipe, and B) I assumed the blender would turn my hard-boiled egg back into a regular enough egg. Oh boy... I was wrong. I just ended up with really flat brownies with overcooked little chunks of egg in them. Epic fail.

But I was today years old when I learned brownies likely come from Maine.

Back around the turn of the 19th into the 20th century, there were a few recipes around that had the word "brownie" in it, but they hardly resembled the one we know of today. One was basically a molasses cake with no chocolate at all. Another was in a cookbook called the Machias Cookbook and it was called Brownie's Food, but this was a bit more cake-like, and had frosting.

Chocolate brownies on square white plate

Mildred Brown Schrumpf began to make loud claims that Bangor was the true home of the Brownie. Now, it could be that someone was making the aforementioned cake recipe, but it simply fell. For real, some people claim that brownies are the result of a failed cake. What a delicious mistake!

A couple different sources try to claim brownies, but basically agree from where.

There were two different cookbooks associated with the recipes. A 1906 Fannie Farmer cookbook, and another called Lowney's Cook Book in the following year. Some say that brownies are a variation of a Scottish recipe for chocolate scones. But many sources continue to attribute it to the fallen cake theory.

Chocolate Cake, new shots of same available
Stacey Newman

And why not? It's a great testament to Yankee Ingenuity. We Mainers love to turn a mistake into pure gold. And look at where we are with brownies today. It's literally one of the most iconic desserts in all of the country. There's no one that hasn't had a brownie. At least now you know where they come from, and it might even have happened right down the street.

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