Brownies with a theatrical pedigree.
KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.
Sweet Muse Gourmet Fudge Brownies
Homemade Brownies, Perfect For Gifts
CAPSULE REPORT: Sweet Muse makes hand-baked, individually wrapped gourmet brownies that are “inspirational indulgences” because each is wrapped with an inspirational or philosophical quote. The moist fudge brownies are large enough and rich enough so that they can be shared with a friend and still provide satisfaction. Baked by an actress, the brownies “perform,” and are sure to get a round of applause from both children and adults—assuming the children you know are keen for toppings like toffee, coconut almond and peppermint candy.
Laura Siner is an actress in New York City. One day, she began to bake brownies and other sweets as part of her “warm-up” before heading to the theatre. One thing led to another: The brownies were sold at the theatre’s concession stand and patrons asked if they could place orders. Today, the fudgy, melt-in-your-mouth brownies are sold by a number of theatre companies and to customers nationwide.
Sweet Muse brownies are made with top-quality ingredients and lots of premium bittersweet chocolate. Brownies are individually wrapped for freshness, and each contains a quote—like a jumbo fortune cookie quote. From our assortment, they seem to be largely inspirational and philosophical with no particular topical focus—we got a William James on wisdom, Ralph Waldo Emerson on despair, Agnes de Mille on living, JFK on opinions, a Japanese proverb on kindness and so forth. Better focused, the quotes would be a nice touch, but we think they should be quotes that make sense to a person eating a good brownie. What is the likelihood that one will remember and use one of them again, such as Kahlil Gibran’s teaching that, “No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge?” For relevancy, try some of these instead:
- There is no love sincerer than the love of food. — George Bernard Shaw
- For ordinary people, food is heaven. — Chinese Proverb
- Anything is good if it's made of chocolate. — Jo Brand
- All I really need is love but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt! — Lucy, “Peanuts”
- I never met a chocolate I didn’t like. — Deanna Troi, “Star Trek, Next Generation”
- Health food makes me sick. — Calvin Trillin
The fudge brownies are what many people will recognize as a good brownie: sweet, moist with good chocolate flavor. On our meter, they could have a tad less sugar, but we our known for our preference for things on the less-sweet side. The brownies are a generous size, about 3 inches square by 1/2 inch high—3.2 ounces of good stuff. They’re rich, so you can split one with a friend and feel satisfied. They’re individually wrapped, so they work as grab-and-go food.
The fudge brownie group is the larger. It starts with a base of sugar, butter, bittersweet chocolate, eggs, flour, vanilla and salt. No cocoa, which is why they’re so moist. The recipe follows a pattern of pressing flavor elements into the top.
- Deep Double Dark Chocolate Brownie has big chocolate chunks pressed into the top.
- Fudge Brownie With Pecans & Toffee has lots of both—and surprisingly isn’t very sweet (a good thing).
- On the other hand, Toffee Bar Crunch Fudge Brownie is one of the sweeter flavors. Is a puzzlement, to quote the King of Siam (who, to the best of our knowledge, had no good food quotes).
- Turtle Fudge Brownie is topped with sticky caramel and large, whole cashews. It reminds us of Milton Hershey’s quote, “Caramel is just a fad. Chocolate is here to stay.” Wrong, Milton, but when you have made that much money—and were a nice guy and a humanitarian to boot—we won’t bust your chocolate chops.
- For the Peppermint Candy Crunch Brownie, the basic fudge brownie is topped with white chocolate into which is embedded crunchy candy cane chips. A favorite!
- Coconut Almond Fudge Brownie is a variation, with sweetened condensed milk that makes this the softest and moistest of the bars. The coconut and large almond pieces provide lots of texture.
The 12-brownie box includes Fudge, Walnut, and Hazelnut Swirl.
The flavor profile of the peanut butter blondies is interesting and will appeal to those who like things sweet and a little salty. We actually like the slight touch of salt that is apparent in these recipes.
- Peanut Butter Blondie With Mini Chocolate Chips takes a blondie laden with chocolate chips and frosts it with a hard peanut butter top made of peanut butter, peanut butter chips and cream.
- For those who don’t want chocolate—or are just looking for another riff on a peanut butter blondie, the Peanut Butter Blondie With Toffee leaves the chips out of the blondie, uses the same hard PB top and presses Heath Bar pieces into it.
In the white metal gift tin, eight or twelve brownies make a sweet gift. In the ribbon-tied Buddy Box, two brownies suffice nicely.
SWEET MUSE BROWNIES
Coconut Almond Fudge, Fudge Brownie With Pecans & Toffee, Peanut Butter Blondie With Mini Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Blondie With Toffee, Peppermint Candy Crunch Brownie
- Brownie Gift Tin
12 Brownies, $37.00
8 Brownies, $27.00
- Brownie Buddy Gift Box
Two brownies, $7.50
Purchase via telephone, 1.212.874.2801
See selection at SweetMuse.com
Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional.