Chocolate (rec.food.chocolate) all topics related to eating and making chocolate such as cooking techniques, recipes, history, folklore & source recommendations.

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Old 03-01-2004, 04:12 PM
kathy
 
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Default How long a shelf life do brownies have

Someone sent me some brownies on November 19, and I've just received the
box. They were sealed in Ziploc plastic bags inside the box. They look
and smell okay. How long a shelf life do brownies have when shipped by
mail? They haven't been refrigerated, but they probably have not been
exposed to high temperatures, either. They still feel relatively soft.

Someone went to a lot of trouble to make them and I'd hate to throw them
out. At the same time, though, I can't really afford to be sick for two
days from eating something that has spoiled. What do I do?

What sort of spoilage occurs in baked goods, anyway? I know that things
like bread and cookies get stale and stiff, but do they ever get
hazardous to eat?

thanks,

kathy

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Old 03-01-2004, 06:41 PM
frood
 
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Default How long a shelf life do brownies have

3 hours, tops. Less time if the kids find out there are brownies in the
house.

Seriously, I probably wouldn't eat brownies that had been in the mail for 6
weeks. Whoever went to the trouble to make them for you probably loves you
enough to not want you to get sick, either. :-) It makes a great story,
though, and you can both have a great laugh over the brownies that went
around the world!

--
Wendy
http://griffinsflight.com/Quilting/quilt1.htm
de-fang email address to reply


"kathy" wrote in message
om...
Someone sent me some brownies on November 19, and I've just received the
box. They were sealed in Ziploc plastic bags inside the box. They look
and smell okay. How long a shelf life do brownies have when shipped by
mail? They haven't been refrigerated, but they probably have not been
exposed to high temperatures, either. They still feel relatively soft.

Someone went to a lot of trouble to make them and I'd hate to throw them
out. At the same time, though, I can't really afford to be sick for two
days from eating something that has spoiled. What do I do?

What sort of spoilage occurs in baked goods, anyway? I know that things
like bread and cookies get stale and stiff, but do they ever get
hazardous to eat?

thanks,

kathy



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Old 05-01-2004, 10:22 PM
Alex Rast
 
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Default How long a shelf life do brownies have

at Sat, 03 Jan 2004 16:12:06 GMT in 32b17c7c.0401030812.79207a72
@posting.google.com, (kathy) wrote :

Someone sent me some brownies on November 19, and I've just received the
box. They were sealed in Ziploc plastic bags inside the box. They look
and smell okay. How long a shelf life do brownies have when shipped by
mail? They haven't been refrigerated, but they probably have not been
exposed to high temperatures, either. They still feel relatively soft.


Depends on the proportions of ingredients. Very chocolatey brownies made
with chocolate rather than cocoa will last a long time - mine last at least
3 weeks if not more, and that's only until the flavour starts to diminish.
They're safe to eat for weeks more. Very cakey brownies, with a high egg
ratio, have a much briefer shelf life - 3 or 4 days for best flavour.
Brownies made with cocoa don't have nearly the shelf life of those made
with chocolate - typically no more that 1 1/2 weeks. Brownies that have a
large amount of flour don't last long either - 1 week if the flour
dominates over other stuff. Brownies made with butter last less time than
those made with vegetable shortening, while if they were made with oil,
they'll last even less time. So it's all very relative.

What sort of spoilage occurs in baked goods, anyway? I know that things
like bread and cookies get stale and stiff, but do they ever get
hazardous to eat?


Flour stales, then molds. Butter and shortening rancidify. Sugar succumbs
to bacteria, yeasts, and insects. Cocoa stales, chocolate rancidifies -
although chocolate takes a long time to go rancid. Eggs rot, but in baked
items it's a slow process.

As to getting hazardous, yes, eventually they will. If baked items go
mouldy, that's an obvious sign to toss them. A fermented or sour smell is a
very dangerous sign - usually this means yeast has gotten into the sugar.
Large numbers of flies swarming around are definitely bad news.

Moisture is critical. If a baked good is very moist, it will often spoil by
molding, fermenting, or other ways that mean they become dangerous. Dry
baked goods, OTOH, will get stale quickly but take a LONG time to be truly
dangerous.

Is what you have safe? Probably. But by this time they'll be pretty
tasteless. Unfortunately, it would seem the trouble the person went to to
make them got wasted through indifferent shipping. I would throw them away.

--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)
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Old 07-01-2004, 11:43 PM
a dog
 
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Default How long a shelf life do brownies have

Hello Kiwi :-)
Don't be afraid to ask the person who sent them if they'll be alright


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Old 11-10-2010, 02:05 PM
ibe ibe is offline
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Posts: 2
Default

Hello Alex!

You seem to know alot about Brownies! I am new to baking and I am trying to make brownies for a friend that just moved to Africa. I can simply use the Jiffy package but I dont know how long that will last in the mail. Do you have any advice on the right portions I can use so that my brownies do not stale in the mail?

Thanks!!


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Old 11-10-2010, 02:07 PM
ibe ibe is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Rast View Post
at Sat, 03 Jan 2004 16:12:06 GMT in 32b17c7c.0401030812.79207a72
@posting.google.com, (kathy) wrote :

Someone sent me some brownies on November 19, and I've just received the
box. They were sealed in Ziploc plastic bags inside the box. They look
and smell okay. How long a shelf life do brownies have when shipped by
mail? They haven't been refrigerated, but they probably have not been
exposed to high temperatures, either. They still feel relatively soft.


Depends on the proportions of ingredients. Very chocolatey brownies made
with chocolate rather than cocoa will last a long time - mine last at least
3 weeks if not more, and that's only until the flavour starts to diminish.
They're safe to eat for weeks more. Very cakey brownies, with a high egg
ratio, have a much briefer shelf life - 3 or 4 days for best flavour.
Brownies made with cocoa don't have nearly the shelf life of those made
with chocolate - typically no more that 1 1/2 weeks. Brownies that have a
large amount of flour don't last long either - 1 week if the flour
dominates over other stuff. Brownies made with butter last less time than
those made with vegetable shortening, while if they were made with oil,
they'll last even less time. So it's all very relative.

What sort of spoilage occurs in baked goods, anyway? I know that things
like bread and cookies get stale and stiff, but do they ever get
hazardous to eat?


Flour stales, then molds. Butter and shortening rancidify. Sugar succumbs
to bacteria, yeasts, and insects. Cocoa stales, chocolate rancidifies -
although chocolate takes a long time to go rancid. Eggs rot, but in baked
items it's a slow process.

As to getting hazardous, yes, eventually they will. If baked items go
mouldy, that's an obvious sign to toss them. A fermented or sour smell is a
very dangerous sign - usually this means yeast has gotten into the sugar.
Large numbers of flies swarming around are definitely bad news.

Moisture is critical. If a baked good is very moist, it will often spoil by
molding, fermenting, or other ways that mean they become dangerous. Dry
baked goods, OTOH, will get stale quickly but take a LONG time to be truly
dangerous.

Is what you have safe? Probably. But by this time they'll be pretty
tasteless. Unfortunately, it would seem the trouble the person went to to
make them got wasted through indifferent shipping. I would throw them away.

--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)

Hello Alex!

You seem to know alot about Brownies! I am new to baking and I am trying to make brownies for a friend that just moved to Africa. I can simply use the Jiffy package but I dont know how long that will last in the mail. Do you have any advice on the right portions I can use so that my brownies do not stale in the mail?

Thanks!!
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Old 25-10-2010, 08:52 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 23
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathy View Post
Someone sent me some brownies on November 19, and I've just received the
box. They were sealed in Ziploc plastic bags inside the box. They look
and smell okay. How long a shelf life do brownies have when shipped by
mail? They haven't been refrigerated, but they probably have not been
exposed to high temperatures, either. They still feel relatively soft.

Someone went to a lot of trouble to make them and I'd hate to throw them
out. At the same time, though, I can't really afford to be sick for two
days from eating something that has spoiled. What do I do?

What sort of spoilage occurs in baked goods, anyway? I know that things
like bread and cookies get stale and stiff, but do they ever get
hazardous to eat?

thanks,

kathy

If they are stored in an airtight container in the open - 3 weeks. If they are refrigerated in an airtight container - 4 weeks. Or you can freeze them and heat them up when you get an urge for one - up to 6 months....


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