My son is at the perfect age to start teaching him how to bake independently. A 9-year-old can finally follows the steps in a recipe. That’s something we’ve been working on with his homework anyway. Enthusiasm for getting homework done quickly causes him to jump right to the end without following all the instructions. I’m the “worst mom” for forcing him to redo his homework multiple times. But I’m a good mom for recognizing that following instructions is an extremely valuable lesson for life. I’m also working on teaching independent thinking so it was his decision to select the recipe.
This recipe starts out with melting butter and chocolate in a pot on the stove so you’ll need to provide supervision for that. And then again for the actual baking part. Some things to emphasize are to pay attention to the measurements and a good stirring method. My son quickly understood why you should stir flour into the batter gently when flour jumped out onto the counter.
Best Chocolate Brownies
(adapted from Martha Stewart Cookies)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (younger kids can help with unwrapping the butter)
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate (equivalent to 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon chocolate chips)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish with coconut oil spray and set aside. (I like the one from Trader Joe’s.) Melt butter and chocolate together. You can do this either in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl in the microwave at 30-second intervals or in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. (Here’s a good time to teach about stove or microwave safety. It’s also a good time to talk about some basic math and chemistry concepts.)
Remove from heat. I place the pot or bowl on a folded towel to protect the counter and to prevent slippage. Stir in all remaining ingredients in the order listed until smooth. Pour the batter in the square baking dish and smooth out with a metal spoon or rubber spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies only has moist crumbs. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Cut into 16 squares with a plastic knife using a sawing motion. Store in pan covered in plastic wrap for up to 4 days. These brownies only last 2 days around here.
This is one of my most requested recipes from my co-workers. I’ve made them several times for pot-luck lunches.