Traveling home the other day, I ran into a young man at an airport who was being deployed on his fourth tour to Afganistan. These scenarios were so very common and expected 10 year ago, but unfortunately we are still sending young men and women into harms way.
This Memorial Day show your appreciation for a soldier by sending a treat overseas. Nothing will carry the taste of home more than chewy brownies, carefully packaged to arrive at a soldier’s bunk, fresh and delicious.
Not So Blonde Brownies
Developed by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract
2 tablespoons Kahlúa
1 cup coarsely shopped white chocolate
¾ cup coarsely chopped nuts of choice (optional)
Cream the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the chocolate extract and Kahlúa. Add the sifted dry ingredients in two additions, beating well after each addition. Fold in the white chocolate chunks and nuts.
Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the batter over the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
To ship cookies safely, allow them to cool thoroughly and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Place a layer of crinkled wax paper in the bottom of a metal cookie tin so that it fully covers the edges of the tin. Layer the brownies carefully, then fill in remaining crevices with air-popped popcorn to absorb moisture. Cover brownies with additional wax paper and put the lid on the tin. Wrap the tin in plastic wrap to keep air out. Check hugsforsoldiers.org, anysoldier.com or visit a local US Armed Services Center for mailing addresses and additional shipping instructions.