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National Brownie Day!

Today we celebrate National Brownie Day.  A delicious, rich and decadent chocolate cake baked in a cookie sheet like a cookie.  This day is observed annually on December 8th.

Brownie is my all timesheet cookie.  They are so easy to make and they are popular in every household.  They come in a variety of forms and may be either be fudge-like consistency or cakey, depending on the density.  It sometimes includes nuts, frosting, cream cheese, chocolate chips, or other ingredients.

Brownies were developed in the United States at the end of the 19th century and popularized in the U.S. and Canada during the first half of the 20th century.  Brownies are a form of sheet cookie and typically eaten by hand often accompanied by milk, which can be served warm with a scoop of ice cream on top which is what you call “Ala Mode”.  It can be served with whipped cream, or sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with caramel or fudge.

The first brownies ever made set the bar for the hedonistic indulgence that was to follow, created for a fair luncheon in the late 1800s, the first variety of these was found bedecked in an apricot glaze and inundated with delicious walnuts. To this day the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago serves the same recipe as that served to these ladies well over a hundred years ago.

So much about brownie history, celebrate this day by baking a sheet of brownie to share and enjoy with your family and friends.  Share on social media your favorite using #BrownieDay.

1542 Mary Queen of Scots born

In Linlithgow Palace in Scotland, a daughter is born to James V, the dying king of Scotland. Named Mary, she was the only surviving child of her father and ascended to the Scottish throne when the king died just six days after her birth.

Mary’s French-born mother, Mary of Guise, sent her to be raised in the French court, and in 1558 she married the French dauphin, who became King Francis II of France in 1559 and died in 1560. After Francis’ death, Mary returned to Scotland to assume her designated role as the country’s monarch. Mary’s great-uncle was Henry VIII, the Tudor king of England, and in 1565 she married her English cousin Lord Darnley, another Tudor, which reinforced her claim to the English throne. This greatly angered the current English monarch, Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1567, Darnley was mysteriously killed in an explosion at Kirk o’ Field, and Mary’s lover, James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell, was the key suspect. Although Bothwell was acquitted of the charge, his marriage to Mary in the same year enraged the nobility, and Mary was forced to abdicate in favor of her son by Darnley, James. Mary was imprisoned on the tiny island of Loch Leven.

(excerpted from

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