The perfect fudge brownie: Photo by Kristen Massad

For the start of a new school year, I’m sharing recipes for some of my favorite old-school snacks. These are homemade and portable, and they pack perfectly inside the kids’ lunch boxes.

1. Back to the basics: the fudge brownie (recipe below)
Nothing is better than the perfect fudge brownie with a crispy, glossy top. Treat the kids (and yourself) while getting back into the school-year routine.

2. A power packed bite: cherry chocolate chip oatmeal balls
This is a simple, easy, no-bake breakfast or snack — perfect for on-the-go.

3. Roll it up: mango-peach fruit leather
Fruit leather is a clean-eating snack that will give the kids that perfect midday sugar boost without all the sugar.

The perfect fudge brownie

Grocery list
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in a large bowl over boiling water and heat until just melted. Whisk eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add melted butter and chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Slowly add flour and cocoa powder.
3. Mix until just combined, making sure batter is smooth. Pour batter into 8×8-inch pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes (avoid over-baking so the center stays fudgy). Let brownies cool in the pan.
4. Cut into 16 2” squares. Serve or store in airtight container.

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