For going on five years, I have been baking and sending care packages to our American soldiers through the Treat the Troops Web site. I can’t think of a better volunteer project for me—Somebody’s Mom—than to bake and ship to our American soldiers.
Working full time during the day, sometimes I bake on the weekends or after work during the week. The next day I put together the care packages by carefully wrapping the cookies in stages with small baggies and bubble wrap and then boxing them to get to the post office the same day for shipping. Soldiers deserve to get the cookies as fresh as possible, so shipping immediately is very important.
Well if you bake like I do, you know how many cookies you will get in one batch: two or three dozen cookies. Try sending that for a request from a group of 10 soldiers. So, I have to double or triple recipes to get large quantities to ship.
To switch things up, I like to send baked mini-banana breads, sour cream coffee cakes and these star-shaped peanut butter surprise brownies. They are larger than cookies and are a huge hit with the soldiers. They love them! Some of the letters e-mails and photos I received are testimonials to that fact.
As much as the soldiers love getting my packages, I love sending them. It is hard work for me at times, but so is anything worthwhile.
Let me ask you: "What is more worthwhile than supporting our troops?"
Peanut Butter Brownie Surprise
- 1 box brownie mix
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures
- Follow the directions on the brownie box for cake-like brownies (usually just add an extra egg to the mix). Personally, for baking brownies, I sustitute the water ingredient with cooled brewed coffee and the oil ingredient with melted butter.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir until blended in. Fill halfway either cupcake liners in an aluminum cupcake pan or small aluminum-shaped pans.
- After filling cupcakes liners or mini pans, count how many you have. Unwrap the same number of individual of the miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and set aside in a bowl.
- Bake the brownies for 10 minutes according to the temperature listed on the box. Open oven and place one unwrapped peanut butter cup into the center of each brownie. With a butter knife, push the peanut butter cup down until it is covered by the brownie batter. Continue baking brownies for 10 to 12 more minutes. Test brownie with toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Enjoy—A brownie without a peanut butter surprise is like a day without sunshine!
Mariann Raftery, creator of Somebody's Mom blog, cooks up comfort food recipes for families here at home, as well as sending homemade cookie care packages to our American soldiers overseas. Somebody's Mom Cooking videos at http://www.youtube.com, search "Thesomebodysmom".