Tag Archives: lunchbox snacks

Mom’s Fudge Drops

Or in this case, Mom’s Fudge Balls since I rolled them. These were one of my favorite treats as a child. Mom would make them and my four sisters and I would devour them like a plague of locusts. Then we got old enough to make them ourselves so we made them all the time. And we devoured them like locust.

Mom’s Fudge Drops – no one can eat just one. I’m serious.

Anywho… did I mention this snack was always one of my favorites? Well, I made them again just so I could share them with you. Because I think you need these. No, I KNOW you need these. And while they look totally decadent, they’re really not bad. Okay, stop laughing and shaking your head. I mean it – there are whole oats in there. Old-fashioned oats. So they’re practically a health food (she says with her fingers crossed behind her back). Okay, judge for yourself then.

Mom’s Fudge Drops:
1 stick butter, unsalted
1 cup sugar (Mom used 2 cups; I use 1)
1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats (I love Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut (optional)

Grab a large saucepan with a heavy bottom and melt the stick of butter over medium heat. While that’s melting, combine the sugar and cocoa in a small mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the sugar/cocoa mixture and add the milk, whisking until blended. Turn the heat up to medium-high and continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. Don’t walk away while this is cooking, or it will burn! Stand there and whisk it until it comes to a boil and has the texture of glossy hot fudge sauce.

Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth, then turn off the heat. Using a sturdy wooden spoon, add the old-fashioned oats and coconut, stirring until well combined. Using a cookie scoop or a metal spoon, scoop and drop onto parchment or waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Allow them to cool to room temperature. Once cool, they will still be soft and pliable. If you want to roll them into balls, now is the time. Gently roll each drop in your hands until a ball forms and put them back onto the waxed paper. Or, if you like them just fine as drops, leave them as is. Either way, pop the baking sheet into the refrigerator for about an hour to allow them to firm up completely. Once firm, you can layer them into an airtight container. These will keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

If you really want to get fancy, you can roll the balls in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, ground peanuts or even graham cracker crumbs before you refrigerate them. Talk about getting dressed up for a party!

Pop a few in a plastic bag, and these make a perfect lunchbox treat for school kids or a great afternoon snack for a working girl or the perfect easy breakfast for a stay-at-home mom. At my house, they’re all mine. The Complete Package won’t touch them. And that, my friends, is what they call a win/win.

Fudge, oats, coconut & peanut butter for the win!

Now DROP me a line and let’s talk favorite childhood treats. Was yours homemade or store-bought? Do you still make them as an adult, either for yourself or for your children? And if your favorite was the ever-present never-perishable Twinkie, that’s okay too. No judging here. I grew up eating those, too. Although, for the record, I will always be a pink & fluffy Snowball kind of girl.

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Granola Brownies: they’ve got granola in them, so they’re good for you…right?

Granola Brownies: breakfast or snack? You choose.


Last week, I experienced a “fail” on a first-time recipe. I attempted to make homemade granola bars with chopped dates, coconut, almonds and dark chocolate chips. While it tasted spectacular, the bars just never stuck together. Guess my granola mix was too dry. Next time, I’ll add more honey. BUT… from lemons we make lemonade, and from failed granola bars, we make granola (which was great over Greek yogurt, by the way). And since I can can never seem to leave anything alone, I decided to kick it up a notch by making granola brownies. I mean, it makes sense in an unconventional way. Oats are good with chocolate. So are almonds, dates and coconut. And nothing satisfies a craving for sweets like a brownie, so…

Here’s how it all went down:
1 stick of unsalted butter
3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of granola, divided
Optional Ingredient: 2-3 Tbsp. Hershey’s Dark chocolate syrup
(because I’ve learned that nothing makes chocolate brownies taste more chocolatey than adding more chocolate, or a pinch of instant espresso powder)

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate squares (and the optional chocolate syrup, if you so choose). Beat with a whisk until smooth, and add the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. In a small bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into the chocolate mixture just until combined; do not over mix. Stir in 3/4 cup of your favorite granola (if it’s in bigger chunks, break it up). Press into an 8″ x 8″ baking pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of granola over the top and press gently so it sticks.

Bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the center is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan. Using the parchment paper or foil edges, lift the brownies from the pan and cut into squares. If you want nice, clean edges put your brownies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to cool, then cut into squares.

Tip: individual brownies can be plastic-wrapped and frozen for a quick snack to drop into your child’s lunchbox (or your own). It’s perfect for back-to-school snacks, after school snacks, or my-kids-are-grown-and-I-just-want-a-granola-brownie-for-myself treats. Unconventional? Perhaps, but they’re still nutty, and gooey, and delicious. And just like that, a fail becomes a win.

Recipe credit: brownie base is America’s Test Kitchen “Bake Sale Brownies”

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