Cheddar and chocolate

The Midwest turn for Darn Brownies has come to an end. Many people feared that a giveaway at the Cheese Shop in Des Moines was a recipe for disaster, that cheddar and cake don’t mix. But it ended up being the best one so far. The 50 brownies were gone in a bit more than an hour. No one in Des Moines has given away that much free cake so fast, according to passers-by. 

So far, no corporate sponsor has come forward to fully finance the free brownie movement, so the operation is still running on fumes. There is talk of the next brownie stand taking place in Paris, where cheese is sold on almost every corner. And there are many plans to expand the movement. The site will soon add a page devoted to encouraging people to bring brownies to work. Some people have asked if they can get an official free brownies T-shirt. This is coming soon, as well as the brownie e-mail newsletter.

But the biggest news by far is that Darn Brownies has a new official spoon. The project would not have been possible without the original wooden spoon that has been with us from the beginning and that has been visible as a paperweight at each brownie stand, and which can still be seen slathered with batter on the home page. It was too tempting not to upgrade when I saw the spoons made from rustic old French oak barrels on sale by Grandma’s Spoons at the downtown Des Moines farmer’s market. Thanks to my wife, Nathalie Verplaetse, for offering it to me. To learn more about how a brownie spoon and good deeds are trying to save the world, visit