Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Easy Chocolate Desserts

{Brownie Cupcakes}

This one really doesn't need a recipe, but it's a favorite for us to serve to company because it's so easy, pretty and it's the perfect amount of sweet to end a big meal.  All you do is bake your usual brownie batter in a mini muffin pan and let those cool.  Then, spray Redi-Whip cream on top and crown with a fresh raspberry.  Do wait to top with whipped cream and a raspberry until close to serving time.  I learned the hard way that the cream sort of disappears if you leave them sitting in the fridge for a few hours before serving.  Hmmm....maybe Redi-Whip isn't really whipped cream?

{Brownie Pudding Cake}

I broke the rule of not trying out a new recipe on your friends and experimented with this to bring to a friend's home for dessert Saturday night.  It took brownies to a whole new level because when you serve it warm from the oven, you cut the top part (brownie) and serve it in bowls, then scoop the warm chocolate pudding out of the bottom of the baking dish and dollop it on top of the brownies.  Plus, it has no butter or eggs, which keeps it inexpensive.  And if you are allergic to eggs and dairy, you could just substitute the milk in the recipe with a non-dairy alternative and be good to go!  It's not that pretty so I don't have a picture, but it is delicious, and you should definitely make it NOW.

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (dry baking cocoa powder)
1 3/4 cups boiling water

Combine flour, sugar, 2 T cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Add milk, oil and vanilla.  Stir in walnuts (optional).  Pour into greased 8x8 baking dish.  In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa.  And the boiling water and stir until dissolved.  Pour that mixture slowly on top of the cake batter.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes, serve warm.


I love what I get to do everyday- working with my little cello and piano students doesn't feel like work at all.  It is so fun for me to see them improve, progress and learn to love making music.  Group lessons are my favorite because I see them enjoy playing together!  And it is a fun challenge for me to teach creatively so that I reach each individual student in the most effective way.  I commute an hour each way and it flies by as I think about presenting new concepts and techniques to my students for that day.  On the way home, I'm often reviewing how somethings just didn't work how I had imagined, and trying to understand how I can teach better next time.  I often tell my students when they are about to try something new such as a sitting position, fingering, or possible way to adjust a technique issue, "We are going to do an experiment here.  It may not turn out the way we want it to, and that's okay, because we always learn something, even if it is just that we will not try it that way again."  Sometimes I have to tell myself that, too!

And I will leave you with the latest and greatest Watson photo.  We love this puppy so much and enjoy having him in our home and playing together.  If a puppy is this much fun, we can't imagine how fun it will be to have real kids!

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