Quick breads that keep well and ship well are great gifts to add to a care package. This Chocolate Espresso Pistachio bread is my all-time favorite quick bread and it was a constant request of my kids and their friends when they were in college. While not a low carb recipe due to the flour and sugar, it does pack in a number of healthy ingredients (cacao, pistachios, coffee, and olive oil. Maybe next year I’ll try it with almond flour and a sugar substitute. For now, enjoy. It’s fun to be popular and this recipe gives you rock star status.
Why quick breads are good for care packages
It’s sometimes difficult to ship treats any distance without the recipient ending up with a crumbly or gooey mess. Quick breads are great shippable treats because they are easy to wrap, they don’t fall apart and they don’t have delicate fillings that can melt or get gooey.
This recipe was a standard in my kid’s college care packages. Chocolate is always welcome, but it was particularly popular at Valentine’s Day. Dress it up with red packaging, a card with cash and some non-edible essentials and you’re the mom of the day. Trust me. My son’s friends even gave me shout-outs on social media!
I used olive oil in the recipe to help keep it together more, but it sounds like from the comments below that melted butter worked quite well. Try it and let me know which you used and how you liked it OK?
Wrapping Chocolate Espresso Bread for Shipping
After the bread is completely cooled, wrap it with two pieces of plastic wrap, wrapping one piece along the length of the bread and one piece around the width to make sure there are no gaps where air can get in. Then wrap the bread in aluminum foil and either freeze for shipping later or place in sturdy tin or box packed tightly with peanuts so it cannot move around.
Chocolate Espresso Pistachio Bread
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil can use melted butter
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp espresso powder I love the espresso powder I get from King Arthur Flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup pistachios finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chocolate covered espresso beans optional for garnish
- Take eggs and butter (if you are using butter rather than oil) out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with oil and sprinkle a handful of flour in the bottom and around the sides of the pan. Tilt and shake the pan to get it lightly coated with the flour and then tap out any excess flour onto the counter.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt). Set this aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and the sugar until light and smooth. Add the oil (or butter), sour cream, and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined (don’t overmix). Fold in the pistachios.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios on top of bread. Bake in the center of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean and not wet.
- Cool the bread in the pan for 20 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack, turn right side up and cool completely before wrapping.