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. I made these Rocky Road Brownies from the book.
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.
These Rocky Road bars were a huge hit. I actually opted not to trim the ends because I was serving the pan to company and I needed every last bit of the 9×9 pan that these made. That would be my only complaint: the recipes all make very small pans of brownies. With my crew of hungry kids, I will have to try doubling most of the recipes.
Cookbook Review: Fat Witch Bakery
Author: Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
- ½ cup butter
- ⅓ cup cocoa
- 2 Tbsp + ¼ cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows
- Grease a 9x9 pan and line it with foil or parchment.
- Grease the lining, too.
- Melt the butter and 2 Tbsp chocolate chips in the microwave.
- Add the cocoa and sugar and stir until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they are well mixed.
- Add the flour and salt.
- Add the vanilla.
- Spread HALF of the batter in the greased pan.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the chocolate chips and marshmallows to the remaining batter.
- When the oven timer goes off, remove the pan and spread the remaining marshmallow filled batter on top.
- Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Let cool for 1 hour before removing and cutting.
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