Naturally, my husband forgot to pack a few things when he left for Afghanistan and asked me to send those things to him ASAP. Obviously, this care package must include something delicious and baked… so these Espresso and Toffee Chip Brownies were created!
This is Dave and his Platoon literally hours before they hopped on buses in Vilseck, Germany to Ramstein Air Base in Germany then to Manas, Kyrgystan then Kandahar, Afghanistan!
Since I had to come up with something on the fly, I needed to utilize what I had on hand in my kitchen… plus make something I know my husband would like. Dave mentioned once he got to Kyrgyzstan that he really enjoyed the espresso brownies that I made for his deployment night goodie bag so I thought I’d make those again, but put a little spin on them.
The original recipe for the brownies from from the book “The Secret Lives of Baked Goods” by my friend, Jessie Oleson of CakeSpy. (Link to buy the book is below!) In the brownies for the deployment goodie bags I added espresso powder, butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips. They were thick, rich, full of espresso flavor and the white/butterscotch chips added some extra crunch and sweetness. YUM!
These Espresso and Toffee Chip Brownies have even more espresso in them and then are topped with a toffee & chocolate chip combo that makes these brownies OUT OF THIS WORLD! They are rich, chewy, fudgey and full of espresso flavor… the toffee bits give them a yummy little crunch too! YUM!
This care package will also be the first of MANY that I’ll be sending down range. I’ll be documenting each care package through the process too as well as post some care packages from some of my favorite Food Blogger friends! Sweet!
Check out what’s inside and some tips for packaging these brownies at the end of this post!
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey's - link below)
- 1/4 cup espresso powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 5 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups toffee & chocolate chips (I used a bag of Hershey's - link below)
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 9x13in baking pan, line with parchment paper and grease the paper.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt the cubed butter.
- While the butter is melting, combine the sugars in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the sugars on low until there aren't any lumps.
- Pour in the melted butter and mix with the sugars until completely combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs.
- In three parts, add the eggs the sugar and butter and mix well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix in the vanilla.
- Slowly, add in the flour and cocoa with the mixer on low speed. Mix until just combined and there is no more dry flour visible.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Sprinkle toffee & chocolate bits evenly over the top of the batter. Press a knife gently into the batter and swirl it back and forth to gently distribute the bits into the top layer of the batter. NOTE: You don't want to completely cover the bits, just get them into the batter with about half of them still showing.
- Bake for about 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool in a pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
- Flip brownies out on to a cutting board and cool completely before cutting into square.
Original brownie recipe from "The Secret Lives of Baked Goods" by Jessie Oleson of CakeSpy.com
Inside this care package:
- Vibram 5 Fingers (hubby forgot them!)
- Sling that holds all his pouches that he wears over his body armor – this is called his “kit”. (forgot this too!)
- Haribo Ginger and Lemon & Colorado gummies – his favorite!
- Photos from home – I printed some of my favorite pictures of Dave and the family from the weeks before he left
- Card from his kids
TIPS for packaging Brownies:
- Use a disposable Ziploc-type storage box to package the brownies.
- Place wax paper between the layers of brownies and on top.
- Place a half a piece of regular white bread in the box with the brownies – this will help them from drying out.
- Use packaging tape around the edges to make sure the lid stays closed during transit.
- Inside the box, try to place items around the box of brownies to protect it from bouncing around. I placed the Haribo on the bottom and wrapped his kit around the edges with the 5 Fingers on top.