‘Tis the season for all sweets and baked goodies to be popping up everywhere, with candies and cookies and desserts a favorite holiday gift for just about anyone. And nothing says the holidays or “yum” quite like a freshly baked chocolate brownie! (Really, that’s redundant, isn’t it? A brownie has got to have chocolate in it!) The broad definition of a brownie is that it’s half-cake, half-cookie: soft and chewy like a cake, it’s much denser than one, with some having the consistency of fudge. But brownies are usually softer than cookies, and are baked as a large sheet of goodies, meant to be cut into smaller pieces when cooled. A wholly American dessert, the brownie can be very simple to make, but can also be complex in flavor, with any additive mixed into the batter to give it taste and texture. While brownies can be butterscotch, vanilla, or any other flavor–usually getting the term “blondie” for their light appearance–the most common flavor of brownie is chocolate, which is what we’re celebrating today. And who wouldn’t want a delicious chocolate brownie to lead us into the holiday season? 😀
And one of the best and most popular brownies in all New York City is a witch. Fat Witch, that is! Way back in January I highlighted Fat Witch Bakery in Chelsea Market for their blonde brownies, but you should know that the brownies with chocolate in them are just as celebrated. Rich and chocolatey, Fat Witch brownies fall closer to the side of moist cake than crumbly cookie, and are packed with chocolate flavor. There are many different varieties, including the Red Witch, which includes dried cherries in the mix, and the Snow Witch, made entirely of white chocolate, and they all come in two sizes: regular, and “Brownie Babies,” little miniature brownies you can buy individually or by the dozen. You can even buy your Brownie Babies in a prepackaged tin for all your gift-giving needs! And in this holiday season, when you always have that one person you never know what to get them for the holidays, why not make your life easy and their life delicious by ordering a tin of Fat Witches? Everybody wins!
Fat Witch Bakery
75 9th Ave (between 15th St & 16th St)
“Though they’re small, Fat Witch Babies (or mini brownies) pack a sweet punch, especially the blondie. Described as a chocolate chip cookie in brownie form, it’s a cube of chewy perfection that doesn’t skimp on the chocolate ($1.40). The white chocolate Snow Witch,
Red Witch (cherry), and Breakfast Witch (oatmeal, nuts and coffee) are other unusual takes on the classic brownie that come in larger sizes for $2.75 each.”–Restaurant Girl
“Like most competitors, Fat Witch only uses natural ingredients and never employs preservatives. The brownies are moist and have an intense chocolate flavor, more reminiscent of fudge than a cakey, chewy brownie.”–Gourmet Brownies Review
“From the endearingly scattered-looking Fat Witch of their logo to the tins filled with miniature brownies, this shops makes you want to find an excuse to buy brownies as a gift and ship them all over the U.S. Luckily, the brownies are not just good looking. Richly chocolate, cakey on the outer edges, and moist within, the brownies also come in expected flavors, such as ginger, pepper, coffee, and caramel with a layer of gooey filling. Some have intriguing names like Red Witch, with dried red cherries mixed in, and Snow Witch, a moist cake made entirely out of white chocolate.”–New York Magazine
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“If you’re a brownie fan (which I am), this place does not disappoint. They make brownies the way they should be made, which can be a turn-off if all you’re used to is processed pastries. So don’t be surprised that their brownies might feel a little rich – that’s what happens when you use real butter. I love their brownies fresh out of the oven but never fail to take home a couple of Baby Witches for a treat later.”–S. C.
“My personal favorite has to either be the original or the java witch, but no matter what you decide to choose, they’re all amazing. These brownies are nice and soft, and when you bite into them, they do not crumble and dissolve into bits and pieces. One word of advice though, if you do buy these brownies, they have to be eaten in a week. Otherwise, they can be tossed in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. If you can have self-control and not eat all these yourself, Fat Witch brownies also make a nice gift for people outside of NYC! They come in a nice little tin, with all the brownies your loved ones can eat.”–Michael W.
But if you’re on the go today–possibly running down all those holiday shopping deals–then try to catch the Treats Truck around the city for one of the most interesting brownie experiences you’ll have. Known all around the city for their fantastic baked treats that are both refined and close-to-homemade, it’s consistently hit the top of many “Best Of New York” lists, including Best Food Trucks and Best Desserts In New York. While they have many different brownie variations, as you’d expect from a food truck that overwhelmingly serves desserts, their most popular kind is the Mexican Chocolate Brownie. Rich and cakey, the brownie itself is a masterful work of texture and taste; but when you add chili powder and cinnamon to the chocolate mix, you elevate it past something you could make yourself in your own kitchen. One of the favorite aspects of the Treats Truck by diehard foodies is the fact that they let you choose what cut of the brownie you get–corner, end, or fudgey middle. You can have the best tasting brownies in the world, but it’s the little courtesies in the food service industry that really win customers over–quite literally giving The Treats Truck Mexican Chocolate Brownie points. ;-P
The Treats Truck
“One of our favorite brownies is the Mexican Chocolate Brownie from The Treats Truck, which has a little spiciness from chili powder, in addition to cinnamon and some other spices. Definitely check it out if you have a chance.”–New York Street Food
“Looking for something sweet? Sugar is waiting for you at The Treats Truck. Sugar is the name of the truck that drives around Manhattan filled with freshly baked cookies, brownies, and other gooey goodies. Choose from twists on classics like the Oatmeal Jammy ($1.25), a traditional oatmeal cookie with a jam center or the Mexican Chocolate Brownie ($3.00), a cinnamon chocolate brownie with chocolate chips. With so many options (think rice crispy treats and iced sugar cookies) you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.”–CBS New York
“Like all the brownies from the truck, these squares are big, and you get the choice of center, middle, or side. The underside is the same brownie as you would usually get, but Kim bakes a decent amount of cinnamon into the top layer. Some cinnamon must fall into the bottom half, but the taste is more subtle. Some batches can be a little drier than others, but when you get a good moist one, it can be divine. This brownie is more cakey than fudgy, so a glass of milk is recommended. In Blondie’s opinion, the best accoutrement is a scoop of ice cream and hot fudge. THAT would be certifibly delicious.”–Blondie and Brownie
“I came across the Treats Truck yesterday and the winter special is a cup of Mexican hot chocolate for $2.25 made out of Abuelita cocoa. She also makes an amazing Mexican chocolate brownie ($3) that is perfect for dark chocolate lovers, and anyone (like me) that doesn’t like a sickly sweet snack. It’s moist and abundant in flavor.”–Midtown Lunch
“My whole family are big fans of Kim’s Mexican brownies, which are $3 each. Not only is there enough chocolate to satisfy chocolate lovers, but the spices are subtle and incredible! Mixed into the batter are cinnamon, cloves, chocolate chips, probably a few spices I can’t detect, and chili powder. The chili powder is just enough to tickle the tongue, but not enough to be spicy.”–New York Street Food
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Went to this truck twice, during my food truck hunt. The best thing to get is the Mexican Chocolate Brownie! Period. It totally melts in your mouth with chocolatety and nutty goodness. Probably the #1 thing to definitely try out from this truck and will never disappoint. Orgasm in your mouth! Although you probably need a cup of coffee or milk to compliment with it lol. The lady there is also friendly as she describes the various pastries and desserts she has out and makes some recommendations.”–Sean W.
“The owner was such a sweetheart and so helpful. I asked for some recommendations and her eyes lit up as she gave me suggestions on what was good. I got the Mexican brownie and the mint chocolate trucker. Both were amazing. Thanks for the suggestions my fellow yelpers 🙂 The mint chocolate trucker was crumbly, minty, chocolatey, but not overly sweet which is a big plus. The Mexican brownie was delicious. It was rich, chocolatey with a perfect hint of cinnamon mixed in. The flavors melded together so perfectly. It was crunchy on top and moist in the middle. It was heaven in the form of a brownie. I don’t think I’ve ever had a brownie like that before. It was life-changing. I can never look at another brownie the same ever again.”–Christy Z.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!