Monday, 30 January 2012

Back to school!

Well the time has come, down here in New Zealand, for our children to head back to school (excuse me for a moment while I do the happy dance!).  I know a lot of kids are very anxious about the start of the new school year, so I always think that a few home-made special treats packed in the lunch box makes the new start just a wee bit nicer!  So my little son and I have been busy doing a bit of baking to fill the tins with lots of treats for the school lunch box. 

Chocolate chip cookies are a favourite in our family.  After all is there anything more comforting than a cold glass of milk and a cookie (or two!).  A second favourite of the family is chocolate brownies.  I think a lot of people have a special recipe for both cookies and brownies, here is my favourite brownie recipe:


I like to give credit where credit is due, but sadly I do not remember where I got this recipe from.  I have been using it since I was a teenager (and at the time living in New Hampshire in the USA).  It may have come from the Nestle chocolate chip packet, but alas I am not sure.  Either way it is rather nice!
1 and 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter (6 ounces or 170 grams), melted
2 tablespoons water
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)


 1. PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F/180 Celsius (160 for fan bake) or gas mark 4. Grease 13x9-inch baking pan. 

2. COMBINE sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; stir into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan. 

3. BAKE for 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky (if you like a drier less moist brownie just leave them in about five minutes longer). Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into bars.

When I asked my son what his favourite part of the summer was, he told me it was 'all the beach days with Mummy, Daddy and his furry little brother, Max the dog' - oh bless!  I am going to miss having my little man home with me, I may just have to pour myself a glass of milk and have a cookie or two to cheer myself up!


  1. Wow how is that for timing? I just turned on my computer and you'd posted 28 seconds ago!! Your brownie looks amazing - I will most definitely try this recipe! We still have another week of holidays here so the rush of making lunches each morning is looming! Have a fab day hon. Say hi to your wee guy from my small folk. L x

    1. Thank you sweetie - I hope your birthday was wonderful (and that you got my message). Alas we are on the slippery slope to an older age now, waaah! Enjoy your last precious moments of summer holidays with the kiddies. xxx

  2. Hi Rebecca,I just wanted to say a big thankyou for your lovely message I received over at mine this morning,it really touched me,Your so kind.If I touch one person then that's amazing! Hope you have a lovely day! Lots of love,juliexxx

    1. Awww thank hon - I meant what I said :-) xxx

  3. Replies
    1. Herzlichen Dank Maria! Your blog is stunning - so stylish!

  4. Aw...your yummy cookies and brownies have made me hungry. I really need a nice tea and one or two of those !
    What a beautiful beach.
    Thank you sharing the recipes.
    Carol x

  5. Hi Rebecca , I ve awarded you with the verstile blogger award,pop on over to mine to collect,;O) lots of love,juliexxx

    1. OMG thank you so much! You've made my day! You really are a sweetie. xxx

  6. Hello Rebecca,We love your blog-it is full of love for your family and the simple things in life-can't wait to see you later in the year.
    Love from your mum and dad-in-law in a cold and snowy England x

    PS-I will be making your brownies for Toms birthday.