Fresh brownies and French bakers

        When the Darn Brownies project began at the start of summer, some people said brownies shouldn't be handed out for free to strangers. Others said no one would take a snack from someone on a sidewalk with a card table and a pan of brownies. And others questioned the financial plan. “The numbers just don’t add up,” was one comment.

        Well, summer is over, the leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and the free brownie movement is still rolling.

        Hundreds of free brownies have been handed out, from the northern end of the San Francisco Peninsula to the rolling interior plains of the Midwest. As promised, we will soon start having drawings on the website to give away by mail free brownies or the official T-shirt. Stay tuned.

This blog posting also served as the first Darn Brownies newsletter, sent to the brave people who took a free brownie at one of the stands or those from around the world who joined the project on the website. The free brownie movement was featured in a few newspapers in the U.S. and on live morning TV. You can read the stories or watch the interview on the In the News page on

        Speaking of blogging, the great Paris food writer David Lebovitz just wrote about brownies. The French are great bakers, but they don't know a lot about making brownies. Many bakers in France sell brownies that were frozen or made from an industrial mix. In David’s latest post, he describes a visit to a French family and his surprise when they brought out brownies. Check out this family's brownie recipe, which uses coconut flakes or almond powder and only a couple tablespoons of flour.

        In other news related to giving away free stuff on the street, there is a good video on youtube of a guy who dresses up like he is homeless and hands out $20 to people who give him money. Watch it here.

        In dessert news, the new official wooden brownie batter spoon for is getting a workout. It was purchased last month from Grandma’s Spoons of Packwood, Iowa. You can see the new utensil in action in this blog. If you need a new wooden spoon to make brownies, I recommend one of these.

       To those who signed up for the brownie project, I appreciate your support. Some of the project ideas turned in so far: A woman in Los Angeles handed out sugar cookies near a taco truck. Another woman in California gave out care packages to the homeless living under a bridge near her place. A manager in Iowa made brownies to show his employees how important they are. A woman in Ohio is making custom care cards for a hospital. A woman in New Jersey left treats on the doorstep of a new neighbor. A waitress left homemade snacks on her customers' plates as a surprise.

        If you are a brownie project member and haven’t turned in an idea, please send them to me. If you have completed your project, let me know how it went and send a photo. I will put your information on the website's Projects page.

        There are a few plans to expand the free brownie project. For one, we hope to introduce a free brownie and free hot chocolate cart that will tour hospitals or retirement homes. We also still plan to hold a kickstarter fund-raising event and start selling the Free Brownies T-shirt on the site.

        Leave a comment below or send an email if you have questions or ideas about free brownies or saving the world with a wooden spoon.

        See you next time.


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