Dessert First – Brownie Toffee Bars

Some calendars declare August as “Eat Dessert First Month.” Well since it is also the Coast Guard’s Birthday Month, we can’t let this opportunity pass us by! Each Tuesday during the month of August, our very own Coast Guard food service specialists will share some of their favorite dessert recipes so you can have dessert first!

Coast Guard food service specialists serve in approximately 370 units worldwide. They keep the Coast Guard fleet ready and able to perform the service’s missions. Dessert is always a morale booster, as well as being an important part of special events like a Change of Command.

This dessert is has been claimed “famous” within the Coast Guard!

Brownie Toffee Bars by FS1 Troy Shaw, photos by FS1 Troy Shaw.

Brownie Toffee Bars by FS1 Troy Shaw, photos by FS1 Troy Shaw.

Brownie Toffee Bars

Made by First Class Petty Officer Troy Matthew Shaw

Food Service Specialist aboard Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast

Petty Officer Shaw’s Brownie Toffee Bars are a crew favorite that have become pretty popular in the Pacific Northwest and were even featured in the December 2015 issue of “Taste of Home” for the Homemade Heroes article that highlighted the challenges of a military chef serving at sea.

Petty Officer Shaw has greatest pride in serving these brownies, a treasured family recipe, to his shipmates — and all hands know that you have to be first in line if you have any hopes of getting one.


  • ¾ cup butter softened
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour



  • 1 package of fudge brownie mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil



  • 1 package (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips, melted
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans or pistachios



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1 inch pan.
  • For crust, combine butter, brown sugar, egg yolk and vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour.
  • Spread in greased pan.
  • Bake 15 minutes or until golden.
  • For filling, prepare brownie mix following package directions.
  • Spread over hot crust.
  • Bake 15 minutes or until surface appears set.
  • Cool 30 minutes.
  • For topping, spread melted chocolate on top of brownie layer; garnish with pecans or pistachios.
  • Cool completely in pan on wire rack.


Yields about 48 brownies.

Let us know if you try these!

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