Healthier Lunch Lady Brownies and Cooking with Kids
I’ve seen Lunch Lady Brownies popping up all over Pinterest and they look completely irresistible. However, the ingredients leave little to be desired. From what I discovered; it looks like the original recipe is posted on the blog, Saltbox House, with some history on where the recipe originated from.
Lindsay explains that the original recipe is from a small town in Idaho and was actually made at the Bonneville Jr. High school over 50 years ago. The lunch ladies also these brownies for bake sales and fundraisers. Pretty cool…. I love a recipe with a history!
Click on this link and you’ll see that the original recipe calls for loads of butter and sugar. I decided to give this incredible-looking recipe a little Hungry Healthy Girl adaptation. 🙂 Instead of making enough brownies for a 9 x 13 pan, I cut the recipe and used an 8 x 8 pan. Unless I’m bringing a dessert to a party or feeding a crowd; I do not need a 9 x 13 pan of brownies in my house. 😉
I thought I’d let my little cutie get in on the baking, especially since I was really making the sweet treat for my kiddos…. yeah right. When I let the kids help me in the kitchen; I know things are going to get messy. That’s just the way it is, so I’m always sure to have Wet-Nap wipes in close reach. The kids love when I let them bake or cook, but clean up is everyone’s least favorite part. Wet-Nap products make it easier to clean even the messiest of faces (and your kitchen). I also keep the individual Wet-Nap packets in my car for convenient clean up, when we’re on the go.
When you have your kids in the kitchen with you, not only are there usually more messes, but things typically take longer. However, kids can learn so much by spending time preparing food and creating meals, not to mention the wonderful bonding opportunity with your child. Things run much smoother, when you’re prepared for having an extra set hands helping out. Follow the tips below for less stress when the kids are in the kitchen.
- Have all of the needed ingredients out of the pantry and ready to go. I also like to have all of the measuring spoons and cups that I will need for a recipe ready and set near the cooking area.
- When possible, use kid-sized utensils. Children do a better job if they can easily manipulate the cooking tools. I have a small whisk, spatula, knife and wooden spoon for my kiddos’ use.
- Explain what your child can and cannot help you with before getting started. My kids always want to crack the eggs and as they’ve gotten older, I let them, but I haven’t always.
- Teach them…. model techniques that might be tricky for kids. For example; if your recipe calls for two eggs, you crack one first and then let them crack the second one.
- Consider the age of the child you’re cooking with. Your child may be too young to use a knife or cook when you’re using heat.
- Always have Wet-Nap wipes in close range. ALWAYS!
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup flour I used whole wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts optional
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 2-3 tablespoons almond milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 8 x 8 baking dish with a natural cooking spray.
- Combine coconut oil, applesauce and cocoa in a medium bowl.
- Add in flour and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. If using nuts, stir in.
- Spread brownie batter in baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes and until toothpick comes out clean. Start checking brownies at 20 minutes. Mine took about 22 minutes.
- Stir frosting ingredients together, after brownies are out of the oven.
- Spread frosting, while brownies are still warm and after they have cooled for about 10 minutes.
- Let the frosting harden before cutting and serving, about 20 minutes.
The kiddos never pass up a chance to lick the spoon!
I buy my Wet-Nap wipes at Walmart because of their everyday low prices. Use this coupon to get $.55 off of any Wet-Nap product. Wet-Nap also has a fun contest going on, called the Most Original Mess Contest. Participants can upload a photo entry of their messy kids and share the link across social media. The photo with the most votes wins a $1,000 giftcard to Walmart and a year’s supply of product. Voting will close on June 16. You can see more at: http://contest.wetnap.com/
These Lunch Lady Brownies are super rich and decadent. In fact, when I make them again I will probably cut down on the sugar in the brownies because the frosting is really sweet, but it is a must.
Something to think about….
Have you ever had Lunch Lady Brownies?
If you’ve cooked with children, do you have any other tips that I didn’t mention?
How do you like your brownies; with frosting, nuts, cream cheese, cake-like, or fudgy?
Have a great start to your week!