Recipes For The Skintrack and Après: Double Chocolate Espresso Brownies

Backcountry fuel often comes in single-serving, individually wrapped packages, but there’s a way for your transition bites to be more creative and Earth-friendly: Bring them from home. Beyond Skid cookbook author Lily Krass brings us another skintrack treat.

Double Chocolate Espresso Brownies

The best pick-me-up during a long slog in the mountains, these espresso brownies once saved me from bonking on hour 10 during a traverse of the Tetons. They’ve earned their place as a crucial component of my snack bag ever since. A little caffeine mixed into each fudgy, indulgent bite just might be the difference between going for one more lap or heading home, and tucking away a few extra brownies to share is a great way to keep your touring partners happy no matter what the surface conditions are like. 

All you need to whip these up is a bowl, fork (for whisking), and baking dish, so even the most basic dirtbag kitchen should be equipped to make a batch of these brownies. 


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 packet of instant coffee
  • 1 ¼ cup flour*
  • 1 tsp. flake sea salt, plus more to top

*For gluten-free brownies, you can sub gluten-free all-purpose flour, or 3/4 cup almond flour and 3/4 cup oat flour with great results. 


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter or oil an 8×8” baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix cocoa and sugar.
  3. Melt butter in the microwave and add to cocoa and sugar mixture. 
  4. Stir in eggs, vanilla, and espresso. 
  5. Add flour and salt and stir until just combined. 
  6. Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. 
  7. Sprinkle with flake salt and let cool before packing up. 

Lily Krass is a freelance storyteller based in Jackson, Wyoming. She is the co-author of Beyond Skid: A Cookbook For Ski Bums, a collection of dirtbag-friendly recipes inspired by mountain town life. Check it out here: BeyondSkid.comIn Issue 147, The Huts Issue Lily Krass shares tips and tricks (and a couple more recipes) for homemade skintrack snacks. Pick up a copy and learn

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