Check out these locations for a quality (and often underrated) treat
The humble brownie is every bit a classic treat, despite being often overlooked, perhaps due to its beginnings as the Betty Crocker box mix of most people's youth, or because it's often a lone offering tucked between colorful cookies and sprinkle-topped cupcakes. And while it may not be as flashy as its bakery-case counterparts, seeking out a standout version holds the promise of an intense chocolate experience. Whether you like yours fudgy, cakey or fancied up with a few special additions, the offerings that follow are guaranteed to deliver. Now all you'll have to decide is whether you're a corner, a crust or a middle.
Homemade with loving care and available only once a week at the Worthington Farmers Market (indoor and outdoor), the Bak brownie has inspired a following so loyal that one customer has requested a corner brownie at every market for the last five years. Loaded with walnuts, butter, two types of chocolate and a little coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor, Bak brownies are then portioned into nearly 7-ounce, individually wrapped squares. The little package showcases owners K.J. Shannan and Fred Lester's efforts in a way that says, “This product was not made the quick, easy way. It was done the old-fashioned way, and with love.”
Fox in the Snow Café ($4.25)
With an eye-popping array of classic American breakfast pastries, one could miss the brownie, one of only two chocolate offerings in the lineup, if it wasn't for its generous size. Big enough to share, but indulgent enough to not want to, it's a nut-free classic taken to the next level by Askinosie dark chocolate and a crunchy top layer of salt. According to co-owner Lauren Culley, the real secret is that it gets chilled immediately after baking, caramelizing the fudgy middle as it cools and turning it into a “perfect, tacky combination of chocolate and almost a toffee-like sugar.”
Sassafras Bakery ($3.25)
In addition to its classic fudgy brownie, this adorable Old Worthington bakery features a rotating flavored brownie each week, ranging from the Buckeye Swirl to fall-favorite pumpkin to Salted Dulce de Leche. New flavors are developed on a whim, taking inspiration from local, seasonal ingredients or suggestions from creative employees. The latter was the case for the Raspberry Jam Swirl, one of the most recent flavor additions. Owner AJ Perry recalls, “We didn't really test it. We just made them, cut one up for everyone to taste and all agreed it was phenomenal, and put the rest in the case to sell. True story.”
The Angry Baker ($3)
A customer favorite since the opening of the Olde Towne East location, Angry Baker's vegan brownie has a hidden secret—blueberries. To achieve its signature consistency and rich, fudgy flavor, owner Vicki Hink adds puréed blueberry that acts as the binding agent to replace the egg. Offered on a rotating basis at the second location in the University District, as well as at Mission Coffee Co. in the Short North, it's sure to be included in the lineup at the forthcoming third location, which will house all wholesale baking, as well as another retail location for bread, cake and pastries.