Small-batch brownies to satisfy your sweet tooth

By Jane Kellogg Murray

Few legal substances exert as strong a pull as chocolate. Perhaps that’s what drew Ambler FitzSimons away from a successful law career to pursue a passion she’s carried since childhood: launching a mail-order chocolate confectionery, Blissful Brownies. Her mission is to elevate the humble brownie to a beautiful and luxurious indulgence.

These decadent treats live up to their name. Using a recipe she began developing in a cooking class she enrolled in when she was just nine years old, FitzSimons has built her rapidly expanding business around a singularly fudgy, rich, and velvety brownie. Each box of them is made by hand in her small commercial kitchen space near Chicago, baked to order in small batches with the finest ingredients. And while the classic brownie is a clear crowd favorite, FitzSimons also offers a variety of chocolate flavor profiles: coconut, raspberry, pumpkin spice, German chocolate, peanut butter, orange, peppermint candy, caramel pecan, and brown sugar.

Brownies will arrive wrapped in cellophane in a gift box, which can be personalized—FitzSimons gives customers the option of adding fresh flowers like gardenias or sugared pansies to their order for an additional cost. The fudge-like consistency of her brownies will remain the same for a week at room temperature, or two months refrigerated—though it’s a sure bet they’ll be devoured long before then.

Tasty tidbits
  • This small operation has a variety of big corporate fans, from Williams-Sonoma to Saks Fifth Avenue.
  • Blissful Brownies are sold individually or by the dozen or half dozen.
  • Brownies aren’t the only delicious confection FitzSimons has been whipping up in the kitchen: She also sells mail-order lemon bars; coconut Key lime bars; English toffee; bottles of a rich, chocolaty fudge sauce and spread; and a tin of soft and chewy chocolate candy.
  • FitzSimons created favor-size Blissful Brownies for her own wedding guests, and now offers the same for customers. Orders begin at $4 each, with the option of personalizing the package with your names or wedding logo. Here’s to many years of wedded Bliss.

Recipe ideas to dress up dessert

FitzSimons has a few easy ideas to take up the bliss factor a notch. For a sweet spin, pour pureed raspberries over the brownies and top with a dollop of whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Alternatively, warm a square in a microwave or convection oven and then cover it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream—simple yet decadent. Blissful even.