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Fat Witch!

September 30, 2011

What, you’ve never heard of a fat witch before?  Would you believe that all it is is a gourmet brownie?  But it’s a really, really good brownie!  In fact, Fat Witch’s website proclaims that they are “New York’s Legendary Brownie!”

Until about 5 years ago, I’d never heard of Fat Witch either.  But an old high school classmate of mine introduced me to these gourmet brownies when I was visiting New York City during a Labor Day getaway.  I had told my friend that I was interested in visiting Chelsea Market while I was in Manhattan.  Chelsea Market is home to the Food Network’s studios, and if you’re someone like me who absolutely is addicted to the Food Network, well, you just gotta go and see where it’s all the magic happens.  Secretly, when I go down there, I hope that I’ll just happen to run into Giada de Laurentiis or Rachel Ray or Bobby Flay.  But, so far, no luck.

During that trip to New York, while we were at Chelsea Market, my friend had suggested that I try two different bakeries that were both popular and had name recognition, though I’d never heard of either.  Obviously, she knew I had a sweet tooth.  One bakery was Eleni’s which makes some amazing cupcakes, and is a “must visit” for me when I’m in Manhattan (that’s me carrying at least 2 dozen cupcakes from Eleni’s on to the plane).  The other bakery was Fat Witch, a gourmet brownie bakery.

Really, a bakery that makes nothing but brownies?  Are brownies even that popular to sustain a business, let alone to the point where the bakery has name recognition?  I guess you’ve got to try it to understand how heavenly it really is.  The bakery itself is a tiny little storefront with a small counter, a mini display case of the current brownies that they have available, and a small table or two out front of the counter with a variety of pre-packaged brownies.  The thing about Fat Witch is that they bake everything from scratch, and most of their brownies are sold direct from the baking pan into a box when you order it.  Generally, they don’t pre-package very much, which means the fresh brownies that you purchase can only be stored for a day or two.  And if you do purchase pre-packaged brownies to bring home, they are only fresh for 2-3 days.  But when you taste a Fat Witch brownie, you know it’s fresh.  It’s chocolatey, flavorful, buttery and smooth.  It’s like a brownie kicked up about 100 notches!

Personally, I love their Witch Babies, which are mini-brownies that you can eat in 2-3 bites.  By getting Witch Babies, I can sample a bunch of their flavors and perhaps feel a little less guilty since they are only a few bites.  And I love all the different varieties of flavors that the Witches (what they call brownies) and Witch Babies come in.  My favorite flavor is definitely the Blonde Witch or Blonde Baby.  It’s described as being “like a chocolate chip cookie in a brownie form”.  Come now, can you beat a flavor like that?  Their other flavors include Fat Witch (an original chocolate brownie), Java Witch (original with cappuccino chips), Red Witch (original with dried cherries inside), Snow Witch (all white chocolate brownie), Caramel Witch (original with a layer of caramel inside), Breakfast Witch (oatmeal walnut and coffee on a brownie), and Fat Witch Walnut (an original baked with walnuts).

A few years ago, in the mail, during Christmas time, I was surprised to find a package had been delivered to me.  As soon as I saw the label I was instantly delighted.  It was a box from Fat Witch!  As a Christmas gift, my boss and his wife had sent me a box of Fat Witch brownies.  Unbeknownst to them, I was already in love with the place!  It turns out that my boss’ wife had seen Oprah talk about Fat Witch as one of her favorite bakeries on her show, and my boss’ wife thought it would be a unique gift to send.  They had no idea that I had been to the actual bakery.  What a coincidence!  You can bet that I savored that Christmas gift.

Ever since that very first visit to Fat Witch, I make it a point to visit Fat Witch every time I get to New York, which surprisingly has been 3 times in the past few years.  A gourmet brownie bakery may seem like an unusual concept, but for a someone whose got a sweet tooth like me, it’s the perfect idea!

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