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Maida Heatter's Cookies
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La Belle Cuisine
Palm Beach Brownies with
Maida Heatter's Brand-New
Book of Great Cookies
by Maida Heatter, 1995, Random House
“At a party that Mr. and Mrs. David Brinkley gave in
Miami Beach I was
introduced to Mrs. Tip O’Neill. She heard my name and without
said, ‘Palm Beach Brownies’. This has happened to me many times. The
for Palm Beach Brownies is one of the two or three most popular
recipes in all
of my books.
The original recipe is in my chocolate book, with this introduction: ‘The
biggest, thickest, gooiest, chewiest, darkest, sweetest, mostest-of-the-most…
an almost wet middle and a crisp-crunchy top.’ This recipe is the same
original, but I have added a layer of chocolate-covered mints in the
mints stay whole (they don’t melt), and they look and taste
The baked cake should be refrigerated for at least a few hours,
frozen for an hour or two before it is cut into bars.”
brownies – actually 6 1/2 pounds of brownies
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
8 ounces (2 generous cups) walnuts
5 eggs graded “large”
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon powdered
(I use Medaglia D’Oro
from an Italian grocery store.)
3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 2/3 cups sifted unbleached flour
Two 14- or 15.4-ounce bags York
Adjust an oven rack one-third up from the bottom and preheat oven
425 degrees F. Line a 9 by 11 by 2-inch pan as follows: Invert the pan
and center a 17-inch length of aluminum foil, shiny side down, over the
pan. (If you
are using a Magic Line® pan that has straight sides and
square corners, use
heavy-duty foil or the sharp corners will tear it. This
is a wonderful pan and
makes beautiful brownies.) With your hands,
press down on the sides and corners
of the foil to shape it to the pan.
the foil. Turn the pan right side up.
Place the foil in the pan and
very carefully press it into place in the pan.
Now, to butter the foil, place
piece of butter (additional to that in
ingredients) in the pan, and put the
pan in the oven. When the butter is melted
use a pastry brush or a piece
of crumpled plastic wrap to spread the butter all
over the foil. Set the
prepared pan aside.
Place the chocolate and the butter in the top of a large double boiler over
water on moderate heat, or in a 4- to 6-cup heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir
occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are melted. Stir to
from the heat and set aside.
Break the walnuts into large pieces; set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the eggs with the vanilla and almond
extracts, salt, espresso, and sugar at high speed for 10 minutes.
On low speed
add the chocolate mixture (which may still be warm) and
beat only until mixed.
Then add the flour and again beat on low speed
only until mixed. Remove the bowl
from the mixer.
Stir in the nuts.
Pour half the mixture (about 3 1/2 cups) into the prepared pan and
Place a layer of the mints, touching each other and the edges of the pan,
over the chocolate layer. Cut some mints to fill in large spaces on the edges.
(You will not use all the mints. There will be some left over.)
Pour the remaining chocolate mixture all over the pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 35 minutes reversing the pan front to back once during baking
even baking. At the end of 35 minutes the cake will have a firm crust on top,
but if you insert a toothpick in the middle it will come out
wet and covered
with chocolate. Nevertheless, it is done. Do not bake
Remove the pan from the oven; let stand until cool. Cover the pan with a cookie
sheet and invert the pan and the sheet. Remove the pan and the
Cover the cake with a length of wax paper and another cookie sheet and invert
again, leaving the cake right side up.
Now the cake must be refrigerated for a few hours or overnight before it
When you are ready to cut the cake, use a long, heavy knife with a sharp blade,
either serrated or straight – try both. Cut the cake into quarters. Cut each
quarter in half. Cutting through the long sides. Finally, cut each piece into 4
bars, cutting through the long sides. (I think these are better in
shapes than in squares.)
Pack in an airtight box, or wrap individually in clear cellophane, wax
These freeze perfectly and can be served very cold or at room temperature.
Notes: When you remove the cake from the pan you might see burned edges.
might not – it depends on the pan.) If you do, you can leave them on
off. I cut them off, but I have friends who say this is the best part.
These are huge! For some occasions you might want to cut them smaller.
equally delicious, and sometimes they seem more appropriate.
Once upon a time… I was in the cookie business. I made the original
Beach Brownies (without the mints) and sold them to the Jordan
store here in Miami. I wrapped them individually in
clear cellophane and then
packaged them in white boxes with clear plastic
tops. I wrote the recipe
and had it xeroxed. Each box contained a
dozen brownies and the recipe. Business
was great, but it took up almost
all my time. When I started writing cookbooks,
I had to quit the brownie
business. But it was wonderful while it lasted.
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