Over the past few years, play dates for my girls have diminished.  They used to be a weekly thing, occurring two or three times during the week and on the weekends too. School, activities, maturing interests and evolving friendships are some reasons for this change.  Play dates still do occur and it’s amazing sometimes how difficult it can be to coordinate one, contending with dance class, gymnastics practice, girl scouts meetings, the list goes on!

One thing that hasn’t changed is the desire to bake for the little visitors that come to our house.  And yesterday, an after-school play date among two sisters of the same age with mine was arranged.  I turned to my go-to recipe for brownies – one that is so easy, it has turned me away from buying a boxed mix.  The ingredients are almost always available in the pantry, except for the cocoa powder which often runs out, so that’s regularly on my grocery list.  This time, I added miniature M&Ms  for added whimsy – in the hopes that the young ones would swoon!  Doubled the recipe so it will be enjoyed for a little while longer, until the hubby finds them…


The ingredients are:

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Mix all the dry ingredients together with a whisk (or a mixer if you prefer).  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes in a 9 X 9 pan.

I’ve often added chocolate chips (white or dark), toffee bits and Oreo cookie pieces into the batter and on top.  I’ve even doubled the amount of baking powder to make it a bit fluffier and cake’y.  In the double recipe I made above, I did use only 3 eggs.

Yes, the mini M&Ms as a topper and filler were a hit!  Great with a cold glass of milk.  Wait until the hubby gets home from work – hurry up and get your next piece girls, he’ll devour the whole pan!


They had to be eaten with forks, as they were still too warm to eat with our hands….yes, we couldn’t wait!



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