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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.



March 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cookies

Sugabettens Brownies & Bars

Palate-Pleasing Brownie Gifts


CAPSULE REPORT: Two sisters in Massachusetts are baking brownies and Magic Cookie Bars to order. It may not be magic, but this satisfyingly sweet comfort food, nicely gift boxed, will be appreciated by anyone in need of a treat. This is Page 1 of a three-page article. Click on the black links below to visit the other pages.


You’ve got to love a company with a creative and nostalgic name. The “Suga” part is obvious, but “Bettens” honors an old family friend. And “Sugabettens” certainly has more zip than “Mom’s Brownies.”

The inspiration, though, for Christine Crowley and her sister, comes from their mother’s Magic Cookie Bar recipe, a neighborhood favorite and one that many of us played with when it was hot back in the 1970s (as we recall, it was developed by the folks who made Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk, a key ingredient). We made and ate trays of them in our college years, so much so that we haven’t had one since—until Ms. Crowley’s. Satisfied with Mom’s perfected recipe for the bar, the sisters went on to develop several brownie recipes.

Chocolate Brownies

Sweet enough to please the sugar-happy American palate, but not cloying like many Brownie Boxbrownies, these chocolate treats have found many fans. While many find them to be brownie perfection (you can read comments on online chat boards), our overly schooled palate would like a tad less sugar and a tad more chocolate. Nevertheless, among most audiences, they will be crowd-pleasers.

With an attractive crisscross drizzle of milk chocolate, these hand-cut rectangles, which range from 2-1/2 to 3 inches long, come attractively packaged in individual white cups and a sleek white box (photo on page 3).

We tasted only the Classic Brownies. Twinkles, which have white chocolate chips in the batter, and a Raspberry Brownie, with some added raspberry flavor, are also available.

The brownies are a cakier style rather than a dense fudge brownie—although most people who sell brownies don’t seem to understand the difference (we explain all on the next page). Almost everyone thinks the best approach is to describe their brownies as “fudgy,” presumably because this word sells more brownies. Sugabettens describes their brownie as “a super moist fudge brownie.” It isn’t; it’s moist but not super moist, and it’s a lighter style, pleasant without being intensely rich or chocolately, which enables you to enjoy it without digestive consequences. It contrasts with a rich, killer brownie, that might have you saying “Oooh, why did I eat that?” after it has been consumed. It’s easy to learn the different brownie styles.


Continue To Page 2: Brownie Styles

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