Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Lunch Lady Brownies

Get ready to sink your teeth into these decadent Lunch Lady Brownies!

Lunch Lady Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

Strange name for a brownie, eh?

Well, ever since I began seeing these brownies popping up all over Pinterest, I wanted to give them a try.

I was intrigued by the name. I thought back to my school days, and was positive that I was never served these. As well, I thought back to a time when I visited my son for lunch in his elementary school cafeteria; they absolutely did not serve ANYTHING remotely resembling these! I don’t even think they had dessert! What a shame!

So, where, pray tell, are they serving these soft, moist and truly irresistible squares?

My initial thought was the naming of these Lunch Lady Brownies was just a made-up name, for what you wish you could have at the end of your lunch during school. Something to brighten your day.

Lunch Lady Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

After I finally clicked through several mouth-watering images, I found out that the original recipe for these chewy brownies has been around for over 50 years! Go figure — I had never heard of them before! It seems they were created by a real lunch lady from a small town in Idaho, who made them at a junior high school cafeteria.

Now let me tell you, if we had these Lunch Lady Brownies when I was going to school, I would be in absolute heaven. What lucky kids in Idaho!

In my book, let’s forget the lunch, just bring on these brownies!

So, if you were deprived, as I was, from indulging in these treats when you were a kid, you can create these fabulous brownies in your own kitchen.

Lunch Lady Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

Now you can become your own “Lunch Lady” and bake these special, tried and true brownies!

And let’s just forget about having these at the end of lunch, why not just make these Lunch Lady Brownies for lunch, or for that matter, breakfast or dinner!

Anyway you cut them, I can always go for a rich, chocolaty brownie.

And these frosted gems will not disappoint. You start with a thick chocolate brownie base and top them off with a soft, creamy chocolate frosting — ahh…pure delight!

Lunch Lady Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

Lunch Lady Brownies

  • Servings: 16 large squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila|Sweet Baked Life Lunch Lady Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

Brownies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Frosting:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Dash of kosher salt

Instructions
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and cocoa until combined. Then add the sugar and flour and mix well with a large spoon. Stir in the vanilla, then add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

While the brownies are baking, make the frosting:  First, sift together the sugar, cocoa and salt into a medium bowl. To a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Slowly add the sugar mixture, alternating with milk, until creamy.

When the brownies are done, remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes on a rack. Then frost (yes the brownies will still be warm — that’s the way you want them!), cut into large squares and enjoy!

Lunch Lady Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

Whip up a batch of these fabulous Lunch Lady Brownies, and a line will immediately form in your kitchen for seconds and thirds! Guaranteed!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Saltbox House and Life Made Sweeter}

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Brownie S’mores

Extend your love of the summer with these simple and sweet Brownie S’mores! They are perfect as an after school snack or to pack in your lunch for an afternoon treat at the office! Kids and adults alike will love them!

Brownie S'mores | These single serving s'mores are great to make for an end of summer treat | Sweet Baked Life

Can you believe that it’s almost the end of the summer? Me neither!

And I’m glad to be back with a post after a couple of crazy weeks around here. With my son starting high school, lots of big projects at the office, and endless home repairs — sometimes I wish things were a bit simpler!  But, no matter what, I would not change a thing!

Last week the hubs and I went to my son’s back-to-school night. The high school is amazing — his  teachers were inspiring and for me, motivating to hear them talk about their classes and what they will be covering this year. And even though there was not time to chat with the teachers, I made a special point to introduce myself to each of them — and to my surprise, they all had wonderful things to say about my son.

Ok, not saying that I did not know he is amazing (of course I know that he is!). But do you remember how nervous I was about him starting high school? Well, much to my surprise, and in a very short time my kiddo has really adjusted to high school and has immersed himself in his classes. As well, he has worked his intellectual charm on all of his teachers (all women mind you!). His French teacher even commented, “Oh, he is my favorite student.”

Huge smile on mom and dad’s faces! We are so proud of him!

Brownie S'mores | A quick and easy summertime treat | Sweet Baked Life

So, if you too have been crazed with school starting and all the new activities, then these S’mores Brownies will be a great thing for you to make and share with your family. Did I say that they are easy to make. Oh, yes. One of the things I enjoy so much is when I find a recipe that is not only easy to make, but taste great too.

You make these in small mason jars – and they can be stored right on your kitchen counter and there is nothing that needs to be refrigerated. All you do is layer the ingredients, screw the top on and you’re done. In my book, nothing is simpler!

You start with brownies –  you can make these or to save more time, you can buy them from your favorite bakery. Then you add crumbled graham crackers, chopped Hershey candy bars, and marshmallow fluff. You can then lightly toast the marshmallow fluff, add more crumbled graham crackers and candy, and either serve immediately or enjoy later.

I love making these in the mini mason jars — for me, just the right amount when you need to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Brownie S'mores } Single serving and so easy to make | Sweet Baked Life

Brownie S'mores

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila|Sweet Baked Life Brownie Smores

Ingredients:
1 batch of brownies (homemade or store bought), cut into medium pieces
6 graham crackers, crumbled
1  (7.5 oz) jar marshmallow fluff
2-3 Hershey’s Candy Bars, broken or cut into pieces

Instructions:
Make your favorite brownies and let cool completely (or to save time, buy them at your local bakery).

Using 10 small mason jars (I used the 4 oz. size*) begin layering the s’mores: first put the brownies at the bottom, then add the crumbled graham crackers, some candy bar pieces, then top with the marshmallow fluff.

Using a kitchen torch, lightly heat the marshmallow fluff until it begins to turn golden. Sprinkle the top with candy bar pieces and finely crushed graham crackers. Serve immediately. To store, place lid on top and you can keep on the top of your counter for up to 4 days.

*Note: If you do not have the 4-oz. mason jars, you can use 6 of the 8-oz. size.

Brownie S'mores | Simple and super yummy | Sweet Baked Life

If you’re short on time, but in need of something sweet, these Brownie S’mores are a must try! They are reminiscent of summer and will bring you back to a time when life was simple. And since they are so easy to prepare, make them all-year round like I will be doing!

Sheila

 

{inspired by Baking a Moment}


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Mississippi Mud Brownies

Y’all are going to love these moist and gooey Mississippi Mud Brownies!

Mississippi Mud Brownies | Sweet Baked LifeJust like I do! So, say hello to my new best friends — these sweet squares of chocolate with marshmallows and covered in a blanket of chocolate are so delicious that you may never make traditional brownies again!

The brownie layer is rich and moist, the marshmallows are melted so perfectly and the frosting on top brings your basic brownies to a whole new level of love! BFF’s for sure!

And that’s why I am sharing these incredible Mississippi Mud Brownies with you today!

Mississippi Mud Brownies | Sweet Baked LifeYou start with a packaged brownie mix, layered with mini marshmallows and topped off with a smooth chocolate frosting. These Mississippi Mud Brownies are super easy to make and the outcome, well, let me just say that my family quickly devoured them.

And if you read this blog on a regular basis, you will know that my family does not really like much of the stuff that I make and post. So, for them to ask, “Have you finished taking the photos of those brownies yet?” Is a true indicator that this recipe is a winner in my book!

Yeah! I will definitely be making these mouth-watering Mississippi Mud Brownies again and again!

Mississippi Mud Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

Mississippi Mud Brownies

  • Servings: 12 brownies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

MudBrownies-6

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:
1 package brownie mix + ingredients needed*
2-1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons milk

Instructions:
Heat your oven to 350 degrees (or whatever the package indicates for your brownies). Spray a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

*Mix brownies according to package, however for the oil substitute unsalted melted butter and for the water substitute milk. This will make the packaged brownies so much better!

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted has soft crumbs.

While the brownies bake, make the chocolate frosting: add the unsalted butter, confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, salt and milk into a small bowl and mix until well combined. This should be a somewhat thick consistency. Set aside until ready to use.

When brownies are done, remove from oven and immediately sprinkle the marshmallows on top making sure you form a single layer. Put the pan back into the oven and bake for about 3-6 minutes, until the marshmallows are almost browned. Remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes.

Pour the chocolate frosting on top of the marshmallows and using an off-set spatula gently spread until you get and even layer. Cool for about 30 minutes on a rack, then finish cooling in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or over night.

When ready to eat, cut into squares and enjoy.

Mississippi Mud Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

I hope your family enjoys these decadent Mississippi Mud Brownies as much as mine did!

Sheila


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Skillet Cocoa Brownies

Sweet and satisfying, these Skillet Cocoa Brownies are good enough to please any hungry teen, especially mine!

Skillet Cocoa Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

You see, today at exactly 5:11 AM marked the 14th year of my son’s life here on earth. I can hardly believe it. And yes, I say this every year — that time really does go by so incredibly fast. I vividly remember the day he was born, when he first smiled, when he first started talking, when he took his first step, and the list goes on and on!

And one thing I will never forget, is simply just him; as a baby, toddler, kid, and now a teen. He is an incredible person, with whom I fell in love with the moment he was conceived. He has bright spirit, big heart and a kindness about him that makes me wonder where he got it from. He is honest, responsible and super smart. I love this kid with my entire being — he lives within my heart and I am proud that he calls me mom.

Skillet Cocoa Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

A few weeks ago he asked if he could drive my car! What! Where did that come from? Drive, well it just seems like yesterday when he was zooming around in his fire engine pedal car, he then progressed to his bike, then next he became king of the garden fearlessly driving our ride-on tractor/mower.

And now he wants the keys to my car? No. Stop growing up. Stop it. Can you hear me? And also, strop growing – in height that is, the kiddo is now taller than me and soon will be taller than dad. The doctor told us that he will probably be 6′-2″ — lucky guy!

Skillet Cocoa Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

So what do you make an ever-changing, ever-growing, always hungry 14-year old? Yep, a big old skillet of cocoa brownies. He loves the sweet stuff, child after my own heart, and I so enjoy making all kinds of treats for him on special occasions, or pretty much any day!

Two years ago for his birthday I made him these Marshmallow Toffee Brownies and then last year I made him this Teenage Crush S’mores Overload Cake. Both had a chocolate base filled with lots of gooey additions and definitely incredibly irresistible. But to celebrate this year, I opted for a more simple and basic brownie recipe, since that his what he likes best.

These Skillet Cocoa Brownies are dark, rich and oh, so good! They are dense, yet moist on the inside and they have a bit of crunch on the top, not sure if that’s because they are baked in a skillet — but no matter how you slice and eat them, they’re darn delicious!

Skillet Cocoa Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

Skillet Cocoa Brownies

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1-1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9-inch cast iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In the top of a double boiler (placed over simmering water) add the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool until warm.

Stir in the vanilla then add the eggs one at a time, beating with a spoon to fully incorporate after each one. Add the flour and stir until completely combined. Pour into prepared skilled and spread evenly with a spatula.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center has moist crumbs attached. Let cool on a rack, sprinkle with confectioners sugar (if desired) and cut into large squares and eat!

Skillet Cocoa Brownies | Sweet Baked Life

Happy Birthday to my favorite boy in the whole wide world! Indulge, if you like, in this entire pan of Skillet Cocoa Brownies — I’ll even make a second batch if you so choose!

Love you, forever and a day! xxoo, Mom

Sheila

{recipe adapted from Epicurious}