Top Pick Of The Week

October 7, 2008

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Mari's New York Brownies

Mari’s New York classic chocolate brownies are available with or without walnuts. Or try one of the other eight flavors. Shown in photo, clockwise from bottom: Blonde Bombshell, Coconut, Sugar & Spice, Cranberry Cognac and Thai Coffee. Photography by Emily Chang | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Gourmet chocolate brownies and blondies in “petite” sizes, so you can indulge without guilt.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: The fine assortment of flavors made of top-quality ingredients are portion-controlled, and we love that! Now, a brownie a day can keep the doctor away—assuming your doctor prescribes seratonin reuptake inhibitors.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We can fit these brownies into a diet; but more importantly, they’re a perfect dessert with coffee when, after a big dinner, you want dessert but don’t have much room for it. They’re a great snack too, just the right size.

Mari’s New York Brownies:
Little Bites Of Heaven

CAPSULE REPORT: Mari gives you the go-ahead to indulge your brownie cravings in a refined and sensible manner. By making individually-wrapped brownies that are 1-1/2” square, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Mari offers happy restraint: Have one compact, deliciously satisfying piece. If you insist on eating the whole box, it’s of your own free will.

These are brownies as they should be: portioned in a manner that doesn’t break the calorie bank. How can you feel guilty eating something so petite? Yet you’ll definitely be satiated, because those few bites are all that one could ask for: rich, chocolatey, complex—and varied. Mari makes brownies in seven flavors, plus three seasonal varieties. You can have it your way with an assorted box or your favorite flavor.

All of the flavors are charmers. Jewel-like in their little cello wraps with colorfully beckoning labels, the brownies tuck into briefcases, pockets, gym bags (yes, you deserve it!) and lunch boxes. Use them as place settings and party favors. For a simple dessert, serve them with coffee. For a gourmet dessert, add a scoop of matching or contrasting ice cream.

In these days of financial uncertainty, Mari’s is a bright light in the gloom of holiday gift obligations. Give six brownie “jewels” in a beautiful box. It’s less than $20, but to a food lover, it dazzles as much as a Tiffany trinket. In fact, we repurposed the stunning coral and white boxes to hold jewelry. Read the full review and see more photos, as we describe each delicious bite.

THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.


Bake Your Own Brownies

Brownie Points Brownies The Ultimate Brownie Book
Brownie Points: Over 100 Outrageously Delicious and Easy Variations on North America’s Favorite Dessert, by Lisa Slater. Tested and proven, easy-to-make recipes for every imaginable kind of brownie delicacy, including muffins, cupcakes and cheesecakes. There are sugar-free and gluten-free recipes too, along with detailed discussions of baking methods and equipment. Click here for more information or to purchase. Brownies, by Linda Collister. Mouthwatering photography and foolproof recipes for a whole bakery full of brownies. Make everything from Peanut Butter to Chocolate Mint, Raspberry to White Chocolate, basic Brownie to Blondie. There also are brownie desserts like Brownie Cheesecake and Brownie Fudge Pie, plus an entire chapter of dessert sauces to pour over your brownies. Click here for more information or to purchase. The Ultimate Brownie Book: Thousands of Ways to Make America’s Favorite Treat, by Bruce Weinstein. Each recipe comes with a large number of suggested variations, both subtle and flavor-forward (toasted pepitas and chopped dried prunes in banana brownies, for instance). Some variations, such as Mexican Chocolate Brownies, are au courant, while Chile Brownies and Sweet Corn Brownies are cutting-edge. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Mari’s New York Brownies: Little Bites Of Heaven


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Like many people who become producers of artisan foods, Mari Tuttle’s first career was not in the food business, but with a stylish product design firm. It’s no surprise, then, that her brownies are so chic. They’re also complex and delicious—far beyond the Everybrownie simple mix of chocolate and sugar (and often, not even butter but margarine or [gasp!] oil).

Not only are these stylishly conceived (great flavors!) and packaged (wow!); there are some wonderful things about these brownies. First, in a moist, fudgy style, they deliver excellent chocolate flavor, en pointe. There’s just enough sugar to bring out the chocolate notes, without being “sweet”; just enough butter to create the perfect texture and flavor without being “rich.” As in, if you eat a few, you’ll know they were too sweet and too rich.

Second, in squares slightly larger than 1-1/2 inches, they are a perfect size: a small indulgence that won’t break the calorie bank, but four bites of heaven that more than satisfy with deep chocolate and a great hand in pairing other flavors, from coffee, fruit and coconut to gingerbread spice and chile heat.

Coconut BrownieClockwise from bottom: Coconut, Blonde Bombshell, Sugar and Spice and Cranberry Cognac Brownies.

And the tightly-wrapped squares, which can be tossed into a bag or briefcase, stay fresh for three weeks from date of receipt.


Continue To Page 2: Gourmet Brownie Flavors

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