Thursday, April 22, 2010

Let Them Be and Brownies

As moms, we want our kids to be successful and to savor all the rewards that come with a job well done. Sadly, it's easy to jump in, to "help" and to hover in such a way that they don't ever experience that satisfaction of having done something well on their own. In the end, I think it leads to kids that lack confidence in their own abilities. I for one don't want to end up with a bunch of boys who don't know how they'll manage if mom isn't in the room.

That's why my kids projects look like they were done by a kid - they were. My boys might not win many contests but they know that what they do win was won by their hard work; not because I helped. 

Yesterday Brayden decided he was going to make Cheesecake Brownies all by himself. While he's a terrific helper in the kitchen, I've never seen him take a recipe from start to finish with any competence.  Usually, at some point he goes off the rails and mixes up his spoons, starts reading a different recipe on the page and accidentally combines them or he loses interest and tries something crazy like shaping cookie dough into a five-headed hydra and then wonders why it doesn't cook. 

I'm sick, migrainous and trying to regrow the end bits of my spinal cord into something functional - the thought of the mess and subsequent disappointment on his part wasn't how I wanted my afternoon to go. But I'm sick right now, not him and he deserves to explore his interests as much as any other day. So I explained that he was on his own (this thrilled him) and let him have at my kitchen.

He used a recipe from Cookies, Biscuits, Bars and Brownies (our library has the best selection of cook books!)

Cheesecake Layer:
1 egg
1C full fat cream cheese
1/4 C sugar
1tsp vanilla

Brownie Layer:
4oz bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70%)
1/2 C butter (unsalted is best, we used salted)
3/4 C brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
1/2 C flour

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 8x8 pan and line with parchment

To make cheesecake mixture: beat egg, add all cheesecake ingredients and beat until smooth. Set aside.
To make brownie layer: melt chocolate and butter in microwave. Stir well, add sugar, Add eggs and beat well. Gently stir in flour.

Spread two-thirds of brownie batter in pan. Spread cheesecake mixture on top and then spoon remaining brownie batter in heaps. Use skewer to swirl the two together.

Bake 30-35 minutes, until just set.

The brownies were delicious. So good that we made homemade chocolate sauce and whipped cream to really make an occasion of his first big dessert. 


grrlpup said...

And...? And...? Taste test results, please! They look fabulous. :)

I totally agree about the importance of kids doing projects on their own. Not just the actual steps, but picking them out and designing the process all the way through. So totally different from following along while an adult is in charge. And so much more to be proud of afterwards!

another_angel said...

WOW those look REALLLLY GOOD! I'd like one now, please. LOL!

Please give him my congratulations on his first start-to-finish from scratch recipe. I don't mind admitting that I was in my 20s before I tackled that task!

Mary C. said...

Great Job, B! I'll be right over...

Unknown said...

He did it! I was worried about him melting the chocolate since I still can mess that part up. He did such a great job :D

Anonymous said...

Good for him! And good for you too. I teach in an elementary building and I hate when I see projects that were clearly created by an adult. My kids' things look like they made them.

Allison {A Glimpse Inside} said...

They look delicious! Good for him wanting to do this on his own! And btw... got any left?! hehe

precious said...

I like the brownies! It looks really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
baby crib

mel m. m. mccarthy said...

Awesome! Those look SO good. It's such a great accomplishment to make amazing things in the kitchen. I'm SO sorry to hear you have a migraine (I feel your pain, literally. They are pure evil!) but how great that Brayden got the kitchen to himself & you all get cheesecake brownies. Yum!