Brownies and chocolate chip cookies are arguably America’s chief contributions to the dessert world. The first printed mention of brownies appeared in the Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalog of 1897, advertising “fancy crackers, biscuits, cakes, brownies ... in 1 lb. papers.”
Brownies were widely baked in the 1920s; by 1931, the first edition of The Joy of Cooking includes a recipe for “fudge squares.” Both fudgy and cakey brownies have their partisans, with each camp claiming the one and only true brownie.
And when all of the flourless chocolate cakes and chocolate mousse or ganache cakes have come and gone, there will still be nothing like a fudgy brownie, dry and crackled on top, moist and dense within, with a glass of cold milk.