Tag Archives: dessert

Brownie Cookies

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of visiting with my sister-in-law Jeannine’s 5th grade class at Horatio B. Hackett Elementary School. The students are learning the concept of word choice and are practicing using descriptive words and phrases to convey specific thoughts. At the beginning of my visit, Jaime Cheafsky, one of Hackett’s student teachers from Temple University (and, coincidentally, our cousin) read aloud from Stone Soup, a fable translated across various cultures in which hungry soldiers progressively persuade villagers to access their personal depository of ingredients and add to a stock pot full of boiling water and stones in order to make them dinner. The class then read aloud from a previously published Clean Plate article as Ms. Beck engaged them with questions regarding vocabulary, context, and the use of metaphors.

Hackett's 5th graders developed descriptive words for these brownie cookies.

Hackett’s 5th graders developed descriptive words for these brownie cookies.

The students’ assignment is to provide their own recipe and incorporate a personal narrative and description, and before they delved into their work I was able to discuss the background of Clean Plate, talk about my writing experiences, and share some tips on how I create my articles each week. The class was incredibly intelligent and interactive, and before I left for the day I figured I would take advantage of the creativity flowing throughout the room and enlist their help for this week’s recipe. I passed around these Brownie Cookies and the students used their senses to help me develop some key words that could paint an accurate picture of what this recipe is like. Read More…

Butterscotch Cupcakes

There is a lot to celebrate this month: my boyfriend’s mother and grandfather, my father and I are all May babies; graduation season is upon us; and Memorial Day is around the corner. Not to mention with the first sign of nice weekend weather comes last minute invitations to impromptu barbecues. Normally, I offer a dip or side dish as a contribution to a party menu; however, I find people are pleasantly surprised (and impressed) when I bring a homemade baked good. To be honest though, baking intimidates me.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy it; I appreciate baking for its precise, scientific measurements; however, this can certainly be frightening. When I’m making a marinade or sauce, I often use a recipe as a guide but alter it to my liking. This is not the case with baking: if you add a tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon, there’s little you can do after the fact to salvage your now salty cake or cookies. Still, when you take the time to get it right, the end result is rewarding. Not only do you have a sweet treat to eat, it’s almost just as fun to watch the smile that comes to people’s faces when they sample the dessert you made.

For some reason, the smile is twice as huge if what you’ve made is a cupcake. They’re just as delicious as a piece of cake, except they’re not rationed off in smaller pieces to a crowd. Holding a perfectly made, delightfully decorated cupcake is one of the best feelings in the world. Second only to the feeling you get when you take that first bite. This recipe for butterscotch cupcakes is something worth celebrating. Read More…

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