Posted by: aauntiem | March 9, 2010

Baking for the FCAT, Chocolate Chip Brownies

My Picasso is a first year teacher here in sunny rainy Florida. After more than a year of working as a freelance videographer for various TV stations and programs Picasso realized that his dream of working as a cinematographer or video editor was going to require moving across the country and putting in many years of part time work with odd jobs to balance out. And, he decided it wasn’t what he wanted (I was all for packing up and moving in a Winnebago, remember my delusions of avant garde grandeur). Five minutes later and just when I was getting out, he went into graduate school to earn a master’s in Education. This year, a year into his master’s degree, he landed a position teaching technology.

His first year teaching = happiness smothered in a high level of stress. He loves, loves, loves, his job (ironic if you could understand the depths to which he would go to avoid social situations, speaking in front of people, and anyone EVER touching him beyond Luna, our dog, and myself.) This week starts the dreaded FCAT testing.

Too boot, his school is in the middle of a let’s-get-physical initiative where the administration “encourages” the staff to lose weight and get healthy. Basically, you have dozens of stressed out teachers, worrying about standardized test scores, improvement factors and ratios, and god knows what else trying to calm their stress levels by jamming to the oldies and carrots sticks.

Now, I will admit that the best way to get rid of stress may in fact be jamming to the oldies, possibly while eating a carrot stick. I am also, however, going to admit what no one wants to say—most of us still want to eat a brownie and usually pick it, preferring the momentary bliss of chocolate over  the sustained health impact of a cross-country run (well, I mean my people. Those of you that choose the run I apologize in advance, as most of this blog you will probably find obscene.) Cuse the brownie helps, you know, deep in your soul.

For the record, I want to come back in another life as a person that prefers a run over a brownie. Does that help?

So, for all of humankind I bring sanity and joy in light morsels of chocolaty, chewy goodness.

Alas, you can break out the 80s style sweat bands AND/OR (which ever way you need to go here) eat my brownies without feeling guilty or like you should just give up with trying to be healthy and start again next week.

This is the joy that landed in Picasso’s school yesterday, a little attempt to bring sunshine and rainbows to the standardized testing and the poor teachers that must proctor them.

Chocolate Chip Brownies

To prepare: Preheat oven to 350° and bake for 30-35 minutes.                           Serves: 18

Ingredients Directions
2 eggs
3/4 cup(s) butter
1 1/4 cup(s) sugar
1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup(s) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda

Pinch of cayenne pepper, if you feel naughty

5 Weight Watchers Points

*you can make it 3 points by subbing the ¾ cup of butter with ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce and ¼ cup of butter (It works in this recipe, I promise, but it does change the texture somewhat. If you are really concerned with the points, make it in a larger pan and double the servings.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9 X 9 pan (yes, these are big girl sized). Melt butter in a microwave safe-dish, until it is completely melted.
  2. Stir cocoa powder to into melted butter. Add eggs and sugar. Beat until well mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and baking powder (add cayenne here).
  4. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to chocolate batter, a little at a time. Beat, making sure to scrape the sides.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour batter evenly into greased pan.
  7. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow them to cool completely (of if you are like me, ruin them by cutting them hot). Savor the gooey chocolate in a moment of silence. Then, give them away to everyone you know so you don’t eat the whole pan. Or, if you have more self control than I do (likely), eat at your leisure.

Bake some up tonight and share the love around. Click for the printable format below and enjoy!

p.s. In all the baking madness I did not photograph the event. Stock photo happened. It did. I hope to do better but I won’t promise anything…

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