Mad Men Brownies

16 Apr

More from the Mad Men food front.

Loving that Megan Draper brought along a signature fire-engine red cannister of brownies from William Greenberg Desserts to Pete and Trudy’s suburban dinner party. And that Pete gamely insisted: “Can we put them in the ice box? Can everyone try it my way?” Such a simple, decadent pleasure.

According to Seth Greenberg, son of William Greenberg Jr., who ran the famous upper East Side bakery on Madison Avenue: “My father got his recipes from the Settlement Cook Book and his aunt’s recipe cards.”

See that recipe at bottom.

Another recipe for WGB brownies comes from the “Loaves and Fishes Cookbook” by Devon S Fredericks & Susan Costner 1980.

“This recipe was given to us by someone who assured us it was the secret recipe of William Greenberg (famed New York brownie maker) and who swore us to secrecy. The recipe was also given to us by a little old lady in Lake Worth, Florida, who thought it was a “pretty good recipe” — which it is if you like dense, lethal brownie.”

New York Brownies
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate (99%) — try to use a really good brand
8 ounces (1/2 lb) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with parchment. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; Set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. (or in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt on high for 1 ½ minutes, stopping to stir every 30 seconds.)

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer until light. Slowly beat in sugar. Beat for about a minute or until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Slowly add melted chocolate to sugar mixture. By hand, stir in flour mixture. Pour into pan and bake for 20-22 minutes – no longer.

Brownies will cook as they stand.

Let cool completely, then chill for a few hours. Remove parchment from pan. Place on a cutting board and cut into large squares.

From the Settlement Cook Book:
BROWNIES
1 cup brown sugar
1 square melted chocolate
½ cup butter
½ cup sour milk (buttermilk)
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
Mix flour and soda. Cream butter and sugar; add egg, chocolate and the milk alternately with the flour mixture. Grease small timbale moulds; place one teaspoon full of the mixture in each and bake in a moderate oven 10 to 15 minutes. Makes 60 little cakes.

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