Welcome to week two of our after-school sweet treats series! Last week we focused on snacks that were easier to make but that still were homemade. Now that we’re into the final week of September, it seems like the perfect time to make some treats that require a little more effort. The temperatures are cooler, so turning the oven on isn’t daunting, and everyone has fallen into the routine of the school year, allowing us to enjoy some time in the kitchen.
Before we share some new recipes, we took a peek in our archives to find snacks that would fit this week’s theme. Not shockingly we found many and have whittled them down to our five favorites. These cookies and bars will definitely bring a smile to those lucky enough to find a freshly baked batch after a day at school. Of course, if your schedule doesn’t allow for mid-afternoon baking, we’re pretty sure that they’d be well received for dessert or a weekend snack.
Soft sugar cookies– You may have seen cookies that look like this in your grocery store’s bakery. They are incredibly tender and have an indulgent layer of frosting. I’ve heard them described as addictive. While you could just drive to the grocery store and buy a dozen, why not make them at home? Bonus: this recipe makes more than a dozen!
Classic peanut butter cookies– After chocolate chip cookies, this is the cookie that most makes me think of childhood. What I like about these cookies is the combination of texture and flavor. These are crisp cookies that melt in your mouth. Because they are peanut butter cookies, there is an element of saltiness to balance the sweetness. For me, they are pure joy.
Apple oatmeal cookies– How can you beat a cookie that requires only four (4!) ingredients? These cookies hold the flavor of fall, as apple is a dominant ingredient. Simple to make, a batch could be whipped up after dinner and before school night bedtime. Definitely a winner for a busy household!
Pat’s brownies– For any family that enjoys chocolate, brownies are most likely to make a regular appearance at dessert time. Although you can make a pan of them using a box mix, this recipe will convince you that it’s just as easy to make them from scratch. Feel free to include some add-ins: chocolate chips, walnuts, or M&Ms, or make them plain. Either way you’ll say goodbye to brownies from a box.
Fudgy peanut butter brownies- If plain brownies aren’t indulgent enough for you, it’s time to up the game with a swirl-in. Yes, a swirl-in, not an add-in. Although it takes a bit more effort, it’s well worth it. This recipe produces a hearty brownie that has a delightful combination of dense chocolate and sweet and salty peanut butter. Take the time to make a batch; your peanut butter fans will thank you.