This Secret Fudgy Brownie Recipe Has Been Handed Down from the 1800s

How did I find about these brownies (which are perfect for sending to friends)? It's all thanks to my name.

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Photo by: Heath Goldman

Heath Goldman

There are two types of people in the world: fudgy brownie people and cakey brownie people. The latter should probably stop reading right now (and head over to this Cakey Brownies recipe), because this story goes out to all the folks who like thick, rich brownies that practically melt on your tongue and most definitely leave trails of chocolate over your two front teeth when you take a bite. Or at least that was my experience when I dove into a box of Bertha Mae’s Brownies Sea Salt & Caramel brownies.

Rewind several weeks, and I had never heard of the family-owned company. But a funny LinkedIn invite from a man named Heath Goldman caught my attention: “I have to connect with a professional that shares my same name.” My own name just so happens to be Heath Goldman, and it’s a pretty unusual name, if I do say so. For starters, Heath is a guy’s name and I just so happen to be a lady. Plus, “Heath” and “Goldman” come from different regions of the world, a testament to my parents’ different backgrounds. I had no idea there was “another” Heath Goldman out there (albeit a guy) who lived across the country, and it warmed my heart that two complete strangers who shared the same name could connect this way.

“Can my wife Wendy send you some brownies?” he asked. She just so happened to have her own business. A few days later, she mailed me said extremely fudgy brownies. They arrived in carefully crafted wrapping, like something my mom might have mailed to me in college if she had been the type to put together care packages (only chicer), appropriately branded as home-crafted. Plus, there was a handwritten note, replete with inside jokes about things that happen when you’re named Heath (for starters, everyone’s autocorrect changes it to Health).

There was something about this specific package of brownies that made me feel warm and fuzzy. Sure, I could have made some fudgy brownies myself. I could have even walked down the block and bought some from my local bakery. But these brownies brimmed with love (and flecks of just-salty-enough caramel). It’s no wonder: the recipe was passed down through the mothers in Wendy’s family and can be traced back to her great grandmother Bertha Mae (who was born in 1880).

There’s something perfect about having a little box of rich and fudgy brownies — not too fancy, a bit nostalgic and downright delicious — show up on your doorstep. It’s comforting, like getting a virtual hug from mom who tells you, “Everything will be okay.”

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