This week, I found Brownies, Blondies, and Bars from New York's Legendary Fat Witch Bakery in my library. As a lover of all things brownies or bar, I just had to see what kind of goodies this little (it's only about 7inches by 7 inches) book had in store for me. I wasn't disappointed.
Patricia Helding left a job on Wall Street to open Fat Witch Bakery in 1998. Today, her bakery sells more than 2500 sweets a day. Her desserts aren't fancy, but from the recipes in the cookbook, they sound delicious. She tested all of the recipes in her book at home in her kitchen so that all of them would be accessible for the home cook. There are no funny ingredients that need to be ordered on the internet in this collection. All of the recipes make 9X9 pans.
One of the best tricks I gleaned from this cookbook is to flip the entire pan of brownies or bars out of the pan and “with a sharp knife and a fast chop, trim off the crispy edges to make the sides even and clean looking.” She collects the edges and sells them in a bag as “witch's ends.” She says they “fly out of the store without broom-power.” In my house, my kids vie for the middle pieces of all brownies. By trimming off the edges, everyone can have a middle piece. My husband who enjoys the edges, eats the trimmings in a bowl.
Fat Witch recipes range from the classic Chocolate brownies, Lemon bars, Congo bars and Blondies to more decadent Caramel filled brownies, Maple oatmeal bars, Pb&j bars, S'more bars, Banana bread bars to unusual sweets like Lavender treats, Earl Grey brownies and Lemon cheesecake brownies. There is something for the careful cook as well as for the experimental baker. The instructions are easy to follow and there are plenty of beautiful colored pictures to get your mouth watering.
Note: I received no compensation for this post and all opinions are mine alone.