Naughty Bits – the name in the press release caught my eye. I loved the sound of that. Anything naughty has to be good, right? So I read the release. It was from Leigh Lambert, a former Washington Post writer, writing to tell me about her new brownies. I have never been much of a brownie fan as I find most of them too heavy and gooey for my taste (yes, I know that that is the point of brownies, but really, everyone is different!). But, I could not resist. I ordered some and really, i am glad I did. My whole family loved the flavors – the bacon toffee became our favorite. The portions of the brownies were so generous that I shared them with friends and neighbors who also gave glowing reviews.
So I thought I would share my thoughts here and asked Leigh to fill me in on how the brownies came about….
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background..
I worked as a self-taught pastry chef in Colorado for a couple of years after graduating college. I’ve worked for a food marketing firm, hotel as well as on-site catering, walked dogs and worked at the Washington Post for five years. I also hold a Masters in gastronomy from University of Adelaide (Australia). And now, as a business owner, all that past experience comes into play.
2. Now let’s talk about your brownies. they are delightful. I am not a big brownie fan but I could not resist them. Could yu tell me a little bit about them, how you decided to make them etc.
I originally developed the Man Catcher brownie for an article I wrote for The Post back in 2007. It was one of the longest-lived recipes we ran while I was there. People became cultish about them. They got picked up on the wire and were re-printed far and wide. I even heard they had been baked and sent to troops in Iraq who gave them with rave reviews! (now, that’s my type of patriotism).
I left the Post about a year and a half ago to have my son Oliver. While re-orienting myself to motherhood I began to think about what might come next for professional and creative projects. I baked the brownies for Capital City Cheesecake, a cafe in Takoma Park and they started to carry them. I still bake out of their commercial kitchen.
3. Tell me about the different ones.. we loved the one with the bacon! Delightful.
The flavors began as daydreams for flavor profiles that would be fun and unusual. Chocolate, as you know, is a great vehicle for showcasing other flavors. I like the idea of the unexpected. Brownies are such a classic, traditional baked good, and a very “tolerant” partner for creative combinations.
The Shiksa (bacon-toffee) came about because my sister told me about a beer and bacon festival and challenged me to create a brownie for it. The event never came to be, but the brownie did. I’ll be honest, at first the idea sounded gross, but now she is one of my favorites (both the brownie and my sister!).
4. Where can people buy them?
Naughty Bits Brownies are currently carried at Capital City Cheesecake (7071 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park MD 20912. 301-270-7260). They sell the Man Catcher (original, no nuts). Zen Tara Tea (4710 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814. 301-215-5923) sells the Man Catcher as well as a chai tea brownie I developed exclusively for them. They sometimes carry the Cabana Banana Boy, but I would call ahead to make sure.
And, of course, the full-line of six flavors can be ordered and shipped nation-wide through the website.
PHOTO CREDIT – Leigh Lambert sent along the photos for this post. She sent me one of my fav – the Shiksa. Also, a pic of all the flavors “dressed up”.
I will admit that I do not get the bacon craze, especially combined with sweets! But clearly people must be onto something or it would have died long ago. These look pretty tempting! The name is awfully cute, too.