About a year ago, I started playing around with recipes for salted caramel brownies. I wanted something that was salty and sweet in one bite. I’m not a huge sweets person – give me olives, cheese, chips any day of the week – but dessert? Dessert has to be amazing for me to really love it. So, there I went into my little kitchen. Testing recipes is harder than most people think. After changing the ingredients and measurements a half a dozen or so times, I ended up with what I felt was a darn near perfect brownie – rich, dense, fudgy, chocolatey – and a little salty.

Dannng, look at that.

Then, I started doing some weekend cooking for private clients – busy people who just want a nice home cooked meal that would feed them on Sunday and give them leftovers for part of the week. Simple good food prepared with local, organic, ingredients (in-season from the Waverly Farmers Market whenever possible) including dishes like herb roasted chicken, butternut squash risotto, tons of soups and stews, pies, etc. I offered the salted caramel brownies to my clients. And…they flipped OUT.

I found out over time, too, that they are even better a few days after they are baked and camping out in the fridge or freezer. They become more dense and there’s something about letting it thaw slightly and biting into a rich, thick brownie (and looking at the salt and caramel added to the top just before they are packaged) that just makes you happy. Even for me, the gal who prefers savory to sweet nine times out of ten. This is my kind of dessert.

Then things got interesting. I was telling my friend Susannah about them and she offered to sell them at her amazing shop, Ma Petite Shoe. If you’re not familiar with Ma Petite Shoe, they have been selling shoes and chocolate on the Avenue in Hampden for over ten years now. Such a great shop – shoes and chocolate! Susannah is someone I trust and admire and we’ve been friends for many years, so it’s perfect that she is the person I’m working with to launch my business. So, now I deliver periodically to Ma Petite Shoe and each time I do, the brownies fly out the door. They are boxed ready for gift giving. Many of my friends refer to them as the “crack brownies” but I didn’t think that name was really the “brand” I was trying to create (this is Baltimore and people already think it’s just like The Wire)…but you can call ’em that if you want.

So, get to Ma Petite Shoe, hon. Also, I have been selling food photos, brownies and jars of salted caramel sauce and three kinds of jam – fig jam, bacon bourbon pepper jam and grapefruit ginger pepper jam. Great to have on hand during holiday entertaining season and also for hostess gifts and stocking stuffers.

From my little urban farm to you, happy eating!