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Today's Case

Magic Mommy Brownies

Subject: Magic Mommy brownies
From: Jonathan
Date: 10/16/2019, 3:35 PM

On 10/16/2019 2:35 PM, Jonathan wrote:


My sister and I (and the whole family) loved Magic Mommy brownies in the 80's and were wondering what happened to them.

Upon searching the web, I came across your website (as the sole source!) with a chain of information on these brownies.

While I trust the more local Kingston news articles listed on such, have you been able to find any tv news item on them
(as someone in the chain had posted, or is this just further misinformation?)?

Please keep us posted; thanks.


Hi Jonathan,

I did a complete new search today,but, I could only find one item about the Karpes and Magic Mommy that I had not found before. There is a book called "Parsons Bread Book" that has an article about the bakery in its heyday, with photos. No recipes. See page 34 here:  Parsons Bread Book

As for television, I imagine that item on Channel 7 was just a brief evening news item. I could not find any other mention of any tv news items about the subject.


The "Magic Mommy" saga from 2012 bears repeating. See below. Kenneth Karpe and Robin (Elaine Herzog) were married in 1966. The State of New York marriage license record is online:
Karpe, Kenneth married a bride named Elaine Herzog in the year 1966 on license number 30875 issued in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.A

Kenneth Lee Karpe was a well-known jazz promoter and producer in NYC. He died in 2003, his obituary is here: NY Times :
"Paid Notice: Deaths Karpe, Kenneth Lee "KK." Dec. 21, 2003 Karpe--Kenneth Lee ''KK.'' On November 28. Writer, architect, designer, innovator, Magic Mommy founder and loving producer of jazz. "Beloved companion Sheba, children Koz, Randi, Wendi and Debi, grandchildren, niece Daniele, nephew Gregory, cousins, dear friends and jazz brethren cherish his ever-expanding heart of love, laughter, music and dreams. Unforgettable."

The Magic Mommy story seems a sad story to me. Despite the rumors, I think that the idea they put hashish in the brownies is questionable. They certainly would not have been able to sell them in health food stores in New York City if they contained cannabis in any form. The "Magic Mommy" bakery site wasn't a commune, according to people who visited it. The Karpes lived there with their children, not commune members. "Magic Mommy" appears to have come about because of a dispute with their mortgage holder, the woman who foreclosed on the land that the bakery and their home was on, but it appears the brownies were still being made into the 1980s. Perhaps the issue was resolved or the bakery was moved elsewhere. At any rate, Magic Mommy's does not seem to have continued into the 1990s. Too bad, the brownies appear to have been magically delicious. As for the recipe, I suppose the only possibility might be one of the Karpe's children.



-----Original Message----- 
From: Beth
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2012 2:25 PM
Subject: Recipe for Magic Mommy Brownies

Hi Phaedrus,

Back in the late '70s (?) and through the 1980s, you could find these delectable, moist brownies in health food stores.  
The ingredients listed carob - but I can't recall whether carob replaced chocolate or supplemented it.

They haven't been around in years, but I'd like to find out the recipe if anyone has it or has tried reverse-engineering it.  
Short of that, I would be curious to hear who made them and what happened?


Hi Beth,

I could not find anything other than just a couple of brief mentions of these. No recipes, no history, nothing. There was a "Magic Mommy Brownies, Inc." registered in New Jersey about 10 years ago, but I could find nothing more about it. There was a small company named "Magic Mommy" in New York in the 1975 - 1980 timespan that was involved in a legal case, but I could find no indication that it made brownies. I suspect that this brownie maker was a small business that had a good product and started out well, but failed for one reason or another.

I'll post this on my site. Perhaps someone knows something and will respond.


From: Rebecca
Subject: Hi, I have info on one of the recipes that's listed
Date: Thursday, June 05, 2014 1:43 AM

Hi , I came across your site looking for different recipes, I read something that someone posted looking for info on 
“Magic Mommy Brownies”. I did not know how to respond on the page, that is why I am writing you this email. Please feel 
free to share. Back in the 70’s and early 80’s in Kingston NY, there was a small commune way back in the woods off a rd. 
called rt 28A  ..  It was a hippie commune.  My Dad knew the man that ran the commune  his name was Kenneth karp, his 
wifes name was Robin (not sure if they were legally married) Mr. Karp was also known as Magic Mommy, they baked brownies 
at the commune, that is how they all survived, the monies profited by the sale of the brownies. To my knowledge, as I was 
only 12 or 13 yrs old at the time, was that the brownies were manurfactured at the commune, then brought to ny city for sale.   
they were also sold locally around Woodstock, In the post someone wrote how they, well referred to the ingrediants, I was 
told by my dad who was a member of the commune later on, that the brownies secret ingredient was hashish.  ....  weed.    
Is this true?  I don't know,,,   I have no proof, other than what I was told.  I don't know what happened to the commune 
or Mr. Karp.  He was a very tall lanky  man with very long black hair and a deep voice.  He was your typical hippie! lol   
His wife Robin, was a medium, and claimed she could channel her spirit guides and talk to the dead.  They lived on a huge 
piece of land back in the woods about 5 miles south of Woodstock, and had many followers. The brownies were baked every day, 
with all natural ingrediants, and then some I guess  lol well I hope this helps the person who wrote the post on your website.   
Thank You,  Rebecca R.
I bought them at the Heath Nuts in NYC.  One morning I saw the shelf was empty.  The clerk told me law enforcement 
removed the Magic Mommy Brownies from all their stores but would not say why.  It made the news!  That night on channel 7 
Eye Witness News the bust was covered and they said the makers of Magic Mommy Brownies were using hashish as an ingredient.  
I was in my 20's and clearly remember, and yes, they were the best, I ate them every day for years. Mark O. 
From: Phyllis 
Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2016 11:30 PM
Subject: magic mommy brownies
Hi, I just read something on your site about Magic Mommy Brownies. I was searching to see where the place, the farm, existed.
I knew Robin and Kenneth Karp very well. First off it was not in any way shape or form a commune. They lived there with their 
children. The bakery was there as well. There was no hashish in the brownies. Where in the world does all this misinformation 
come from.
Kenneth Karp died several years ago. I don't know what happened to Robin. The children were all hers except for Cosmo who, 
I believe was adopted.
I too would like to have the recipe for the brownies but it's probably lost. One thing I remember is that they used fructose 
and not whole sugar in the brownies. 
The rest of the information given there was correct. I have inquired of people in Phoenicia in order to figure out where the 
place was located. I had spent a small amount of time there many years ago. But no one remembered anything about it.
best wishes,

Hi Phyllis,

Thanks for writing. My thinking is that the stories about the commune and the hashish in the brownies were probably just rumors that went around back then. I used to have an e-mail from someone who said Robin had passed away in California from lung cancer, but it was lost in a computer hard drive failure. I did find an obituary that seems to be hers here:

Elaine "Robin" Karpe Age 70, of San Anselmo, died on September 21, 2006. She was born August 23, 1936 in New York City to parents 
Mary and Jack Herzog. She is survived by her brother Stanley and her five children Randi, Wendi, Deborah, Koz and Paul, and her 
eight grandchildren. Please join her family on Tuesday, September 26th at 11:00 a.m. at Monte's Chapel of the Hills located at 
330 Red Hill Avenue in San Anselmo, (415) 453-8440. Memorials may be sent to the American Lung Association Redwood Empire Branch, 
115 Talbot Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 or the Guide Dogs for the Blind, 350 Los Ranchitos Road, San Rafael, CA 94903.
Published in Marin Independent Journal on Sept. 26, 2006

As for locating the property on which the bakery stood, I found relevant newspaper articles in the Kingston Daily Freeman from Kingston, New York in 1977. The articles are from, which, if you don’t have a subscription, you get the uncorrected scan text, containing a lot of OCR scan errors, as you can see below, These are in regards to the foreclosure of the property on which the bakery was located, on Route 28A property in Stony Hollow, NY.

January 20, 1977
The Kingston Daily Freeman from Kingston, New York · Page 1
Property Owner Wants Brownie Bakers Out ‘Magic Mommy’ Faces Eviction The Karpe farm, which resident animals Fnwman 
Photo by I.vnn Malvan#? By LYNN MULVANEY Freeman Staff HURLEY — A Yonkers woman is demanding that Ulster County law 
enforcement officers arrest ‘Magic Mommy’ Bakery owners Kenneth Karpe and his wife, Robin on charges of trespassing 
on her Route 28A property in Stony Hollow. Gwendolyn Kirsner wants the Karpes evicted from the property so she can 
carry out plans to sell it Feb. 18 before the mortgage is foreclosed. But she claims her pleas are falling on deaf ears. 
Not so, say local authorities who are first trying to decide whether it is a civil or criminal matter before moving to 
evict the couple, who in 1974 were charged and fined by the state for operating an unsanitary and unhealthy bakery. 
Mrs. Karpe, a practicing psychic, is also known as one of the county s resident healers. She once told the Freeman 
that her personality has been replaced by another spirit, Astrud, who speaks through her. When Mrs. Kirsner had the 
couple evicted in December, they reportedly moved right back on the property, known as Magic Mommy Ltd.. 
"We have put our blood sweat and tears into this place” say the Karpes, 
The Kingston Daily Freeman from Kingston, New York · Page 5
Publication: The Kingston Daily Freeman i Location: Kingston, New York Issue Date: Thursday, January 20, 1977
...claim it was their property to begin with— “ nothing but a little shack’’— which they transformed into a larger 
bakery and living area It remains incomplete due to the un< er- tninty of the rights to possession. The Karpes allege 
that Mrs. Kirsner, their former business part ner, foreclosed on their second mortgage and that her son, Gary, who 
filed a $1.4 million bankruptcy claim in U. S. Bankruptcy Court in Poughkeepsie in late 1975, "wants to take our home.” 
"We have our blood in this place... . we are not going to leave," an adamant Robin Karpe declares, saying at least 
40 members of her psychic heal ing group stand ready to support her und her family. Gary, who resides in Glenford, 
and his mother want "all" the people on the property urrested for trespassing. “Arrested daily, until they leave 
permanently." Children and other adults have been reported living there with the Knrja . at various times, he claims. 
But there is a definite question in the mind of Hurley Justice C. H. DuMond: whether the case should be treated as 
civil or criminal matter. He said he plans to confer with District Attorney Francis J. Vogt before taking any action. 
A previous attempt by Mrs. Kirsner to gain possession was made by filing a charge of criminal trespass against 
Kenneth Karpe, according to J. Michael Hruhn, Kirsner’s attorney. But Judge DuMond reportedly dismissed the information 
on the recommendation of Vogt. I lie DA said his move to have the criminal charge dismissed followed a talk with Karpe’s 
lawyer, Louis Klein, who, he said, raised several legal questions of a civil nature. Bruhn countered by saying there is 
no civil proceeding pending. Klein however maintains that the i i*-e is a civil one since the Kirsners, when they first 
brought foreclosure proceedings against the Karpes, "never mentioned the fact that they and the Karpes were involved in 
a corporation known as Magic Mommy Ltd.; that Magic Mommy has always been a tenant of the property and that the corporation 
has never been served in the conviction proceedings. Klein also points out that the Karpes have been given authorization, 
in writing, to remain in possession of the property. The authorization was given by Stanley Isaacson, of New York City, 
who holds the first mortgage. Vogt has since suggested that an appearance ticket be issued to Karpe and the others on 
the property instead of arresting them. “I can well understand the Kirsner’s frustrations, but an arrest is a pretty 
serious thing, said Vogt, Gary Kirsner claims that anything short of daily arrests of the Karpes and the others in 
residence, won’t do any good, citing the Karpe s return to the property after their last eviction. Meanwhile Bruhn 
indiciated that another criminal trespass charge was filed this week by the Kirsners with Judge DuMond. He said that 
although there is a foreclosure pending against Mrs Kirsner by Isaacson, it should not affect the Kirsner right or 
ability to gain possession because she is still the title owner. Mrs. Kirsner is presently in the process of entering 
into a contract of sale of the premises, and one of the conditions of purchase is that possession be given to the 
purchaser at the time of closing. Gary Kirsner said he sees significance in the fact that Isaacson, the owner of the 
Kirsner mortgage, is reportedly a brother of David Isaacson, an attorney who represents Kenneth Karpe in New York City.


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