East Side Extra: Something Sweet for your Holiday Weekend

When Glaser’s Bakery in Yorkville closed its doors on July 1, 2018, we lost a beloved institution that had been delighting the neighborhood’s sweet teeth since 1902. As the recipient of Friends’ Good Neighbor Award in 2014, Herb Glaser, baker-in-chief, was honored for running the shop his grandfather started in 1902. In the final days of the shop, Herb confessed he had hoped as a kid to be a dentist, but now, he said “I’m causing the cavities.”

As a parting gift to us all, he left the recipe for Glaser’s brownies, which many of its fans swear were the best brownies ever. The recipe was posted on a big board in the window, surrounded by family pictures of the shop over the years. Peeking past the pictures, visitors could still see the historic, original interior, with wood-framed glass-paneled display cabinets, and vintage tile flooring. And the baked goods were vintage too, with German and other specialties featured, plus contemporary favorites: rugelach, hamataschen, strudel, donuts, marble cake, poppy crescents, sprinkle cookies...

The recipe makes a generous 25 brownies, which you shouldn’t have any trouble sharing over this upcoming holiday weekend. Just be sure to maintain your social distance.

PS Herb declined to confirm that Glaser’s created the original, quintessentially New York black and white cookie, as some aficionados have suggested.

Glaser’s Brownie Recipe

Makes approximately 25 brownies

  • 1 lb. sweet butter (melted)
  • 1 lb. 10 oz. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 oz. salt
  • 1/4 oz. baking powder
  • 1/2 oz. vanilla extract
  • 1 oz. warm water
  • 8 large eggs
  • 9 oz. cake flour
  • 4 oz. cocoa powder
  • 14 oz. pecans, chocolate chips, or add-ins of your choice

1. Melt the butter. While the butter is melting, mix the sugar, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and water in a separate bowl. Then slowly add the eggs, then the flour, to the mixture.

2. Once the butter is melted, mix it with the cocoa powder. Add this to the mixture of ingredients in the other bowl. Lightly fold in the pecans, chocolate chips, or other add-ins.

3. Spread batter onto a 12 x 16″ baking pan that has been greased and lined with greased parchment paper.

4. Bake at 325° or 350° F for about 30 minutes. The brownies are best slightly underbaked. Let them cool thoroughly before cutting.


Written by Franny Eberhart, FRIENDS Board President.