I feed my students a lot. I used Fruit Loops for a lesson on combining like terms (or like colors). I used Lucky Charms for a lesson on a real world application of absolute value functions. Every Friday, I give out a limited amount of candy to students who give me correct answers. Every test day, I give out chocolate for brain power. Students respond really well to food. Be on their best behavior, and I'll let them take a break in the middle of class to go to the snack machine (our classes are 90 minutes long!).
In order to make lessons more engaging, I try to incorporate games into class. I motivate them with prizes, which could be candy or baked goods (again, food). These brownies were one of the prizes that I brought in for the winning team. Probably the most fudgey brownies I've had so far. The reason they are so gooey and fudgey is that there is no leavener in this recipe.
I was so tempted to cut into it as soon as it came out of the oven to see just how gooey it can get, but I didn't want to ruin it for the students. I waited at least 2 hours (since I made it at night and I wanted to cut it before I went to bed) and it cut very nicely. I wonder if I overbaked them just a little bit though because it cut too nicely... I didn't even have to rinse my knife halfway through cutting! Still delicious. I bet these would taste great cold, too. I like cold brownies. I know, I'm strange.
I've been asked why I would bake for students who, in the end, don't really appreciate my efforts. If, just for that moment, I made them participate and do math, I'm happy. I'll think about those times when they're on their worst behavior.
From The Faux Martha
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt (if using sea salt, you don’t need the full 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (optional, for even more chocolate, do not melt)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan or heatproof glass dishpan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on 2 sides. Set aside.
Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, simmering water. Stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and sea salt.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Using parchment, lift brownies out of pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely. Let the brownies cool for at least 3 hours before cutting. Rinse knife midway through cutting.