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Our Story Begins:
Daddy Style: 4 Easy Desserts You Can Make From Scratch

I spend a lot of my time in my house cooking.  Sure, I get it, lots of you out there are the same way, but I’ve come to determine that the amount of sugar, preservatives, and God knows what else is in the foods you buy is staggering.  Those ingredients tend to turn my kids into monsters of mayhem.

But not when I make them their desserts and foods myself.

So every day I try to give the kids a homemade treat along with their homemade lunches.  So how do I do that?  It’s not as hard as you’d think.  There are some staples that make my life so much easier, and in the end the time is worth the peace of mind so I don’t have to peel my sons off the ceiling after eating a store-bought cookie.

When I’m short on time here are my four go-to desserts, and they’re easy:

Butterscotch Brownies


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They’re simple, tasty, and yeah . . . they have a lot of butter, but it’s spread between small servings and it’s not processed sugar.

1/4 cup of butter, melted and cooled.

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg (why you cool the butter, folks, or you cook the egg!)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the butter and sugar together.  Add the vanilla.  Then add your egg, beaten,.  Mix the dry ingredients together, then add to the mixture.  Put in an 8×8 pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes.

Read more:  Our Story Begins: Time And Truth.. The Lowdown On Fast Food And Families

Chocolate Bars


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This is actually a really easy shortbread cookie with chocolate on top.

1 cup softened butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg yolk (save the whites if you use them for omelettes, etc)

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 to 1 cup chocolate chips – I use dark chocolate

Mix the butter and sugar with vanilla until creamy.  Add egg yolk and blend.  Then add salt and flour until blended.  Press into a 9×13 pan and bake in 350 oven for 25 minutes or until brown.

Immediately after taking out of the oven sprinkle chips onto the shortbread.  Once they start to melt use a knife to spread around.  Let cool until chocolate hardens.

Read more:  Tandem Tantrums: How (And Why) To Let Your Child Run The Food Show

Chocolate Crinkles


Photo Credit: Dave Manoucheri

This one’s really easy because if you don’t have butter and want to use Canola (which I do) to make it lower in cholesterol you can.

1/2 cup oil

4 oz baking chocolate melted and cooled

2 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup powdered sugar (used to roll cookies in)

You get the system here…mix oil, sugar and chocolate together.  Add vanilla then eggs one at a time.  Mix the dry ingredients (minus powdered sugar) and add to wet ingredients.  Mix until blended and then take tablespoon fulls and roll into a ball, dipping into powdered sugar.

Bake in 350 oven for 10-12 minutes.  They fall and crinkle – thus the name.  The kids love these.

Read more:  Our Story Begins: 365 Days….(VIDEO)

Chewy Brownies


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I stole this from NESTLÉ®, giving credit where it’s due.  My kids don’t like cake style brownies as much so they love these.

1 2/3 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter melted

2 tbsp water

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/3 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Mix the butter, sugar and water in a bowl.  Combine the dry ingredients together.  Add the eggs to the wet mixture then vanilla.  Add dry, mix, and add to a greased 9×13 pan.

Bake at 350 for 18-25 minutes.

Read more:  Our Story Begins: Motherless Children (VIDEO)


Okay.  This is a recipe piece, sure, but here’s the thing: none of these takes very long to make at all.  They’re simple recipes, and, yes, they all have butter, but you have to bear in mind that you shouldn’t give your kids a giant, size-of-your-head treat anyway!  It’s always a good idea to make something homemade.

I guarantee, it’s not more than 15-20 minutes prep.  Buy a good mixer.  And best of all keep a decent book of your own recipes.  My favorite bought one?  Betty Crocker’s Cookie Book.  It’s old, not fancy, but fantastic.

What about you?  Do you bake?  Cook?  Or do you think it’s best just to buy the treats and be done?  If I can do this, alone, with four kids, I guarantee . . . you can too!


More from GEM:

Let’s Eat! Waffles And THIS For Breakfast?

Single Mom Slice Of Life: Dear God.. Are They Ready For The Real World?

Our Story Begins: Give Dads A Chance


Dave Manoucheri framed headshot


Dave Manoucheri is a writer, journalist and musician based in Sacramento, California.  A father of four, two daughters and twin sons, his blog, Our Story Begins is a chronicle of their life after the loss of his wife, Andrea, in March of 2011. Follow him on Twitter @InvProducerMan.