I just returned from Austin, TX, and brought some local treats back with me. At every coffeeshop and convenience store, I saw these Mary Louise Butters Brownies with their adorable little wrappers. When I took a closer look, the strange assortment of flavors drew me in.
Although there were more traditional flavors, I chose only the truly unique ones to sample:
Aphrodite (Rose Essence)
Hot Lips (Habanero Pepper)
Ruby Port (Red Wine)
Aztec God (Chipotle Chiles)
Zen (Candied Ginger)
According to her website, Mary Louise Butters (yes, that’s a real person and, yes, that’s her real name) is fairly well-known. Her brownies have been featured on Rachael Ray, the Today Show, and other programs. The basic ingredients are simple (eggs, butter, sugar, chocolate), but each little morsel has a twist: fine red wine or chipotle in adobo, for example.
The rest of the office was brave enough to taste test with me. Ruby Port was the overall favorite for its rich texture and palatable mix of red wine and chocolate. Zen was also well liked, perhaps because sweet crunchy ginger is not totally out of place on a dessert.
The other three flavors got mixed reviews. Only one person claimed the Aphrodite as his favorite, while everyone else said the rose essence tasted like soap. And though peppers and chocolate are not a new combination in the foodie world, most people thought the habanero Hot Lips was much too spicy, and the smoky chipotle Aztec God was just so-so.
The consensus was the flavors were more gimmicky than successful. Whether or not that means we’ve all got boring, unadventurous palates is up to you. Order your own Butters Brownies online at buttersbrownies.com.