As a godmother and aunt, care packages are my thing. I love pulling together fun items and pairing them with baked goods, packing them up and sending them to Maryland, North Carolina, California, and the other places where my dear ones live.
For my goddaughter Mo and her little sister Margo, craft projects and art supplies feature heavily in the Aunt Amy care package. Since it’s back to school time, I wanted to send the girls some back-to-school (even-if-school-is-the-kitchen-because-of-coronavirus) treats. These fudgy chocolate brownies, complete with miniature M&Ms, accompanied some fun “paint your own solar system” string lights for the girls last week. They went crazy, apparently, over both the brownies and the string lights. It’s always nice to make people happy.
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled for about 1 minute
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons brewed coffee (it’s fine to use leftover coffee from the morning)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- About 1/3 cup miniature M&Ms
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking tin with foil and spray with baking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and coffee and mix well to combine. Whisk in cocoa powder and salt until well blended, then add flour and mix until just combined. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of M&Ms to sprinkle on the top. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining M&Ms on the top.
Bake for about 30-32 minutes, being very careful not to over-bake. Brownies are done when a cake tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs stuck to it. Remove from oven and cool in pan completely before cutting.
Remove from pan and cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or store between layers of waxed paper, well padded, if shipping.