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. I always included it in their Valentines Day care package.Jump to Recipe Print Recipe
Is it Healthy?
This is not a low carb recipe due to the flour and sugar, nor is it low in calories. It does, however, pack in a number of healthy ingredients (cacao, pistachios, coffee, and olive oil.
You can always try the quick breads with almond flour and a granular sugar substitute if you want to modify it to be low carb.
Sugar substitutes can be a good alternative to regular white sugar, but different substitutes have particular flavors associated with them so it is good to understand what you are working with. This information on sugar substitutes may help if you want to go that route.
Why Quick Breads Work Well 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 when chocolate is essential. 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?
Packaging it for Shipping or Freezing
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 a tightly packed box. You want to stuff the box with paper or other presents so that the bread cannot move around. That is the secret to shipping.
Other Treats for Seasonal Care Packages
- Pumpkin Amaretto Bread is great for Fall or Halloween packages
- Low Carb Zucchini Coconut Bread is good for Spring packages when your “giftee” might be thinking of slimming down for summer shorts and tank tops
- Chocolate and raspberries are always hits for great Valentine’s Day care packages
- Pfeffernusse cookies are an often requested treat for Christmas packages
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.
Although I am not currently taking clients for diet & health coaching, I have been a coach for many years with the online service called coach.me. It is a great platform for all kinds of coaching – anything from specific diets, writing a blog, getting up early, or getting rid of that pesky procrastination. There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know. Contact me at email@example.com to get a referral to some of the tested, experienced online coaches on Coach.me