It seems I missed something important in all the Frappuccino hullabaloo yesterday: An epic-sounding Salted Potato Chip Crusted Brownie is available at Starbucks now, because apparently adding two new Frappuccinos and the coffee-flavored whipped cream of my dreams to the menu wasn’t already enough. What’s more, the treat is in support of an awesome cause: Created by Dog Tag Bakery, a Washington, D.C.-based bakery that makes up one arm of the nonprofit Dog Tag Inc., it aims to raise awareness for veterans causes during Military Awareness Month. It’s only available from May 1 through June 4, though, so you’ll have to act fast if you want to give it a taste test.
Founded in 2012, Dog Tag offers a five-month fellowship program for service-disabled veterans, military spouses, and caregivers aimed at aiding the transition back into civilian life and setting up its alums for entrepreneurial success. The bakery provides work experience as part of the fellowship — but, as the Washington Post noted in 2017, it’s not just about developing commercial kitchen-related skills. “The veterans scoop cookies and make coffee, learn knife skills and proper food-handling techniques,” wrote Mary Hui in her profile of the organization. “But they also get trained in skills like cost analysis, fundraising, marketing and product development, with the aim of equipping the fellows with all the necessary skills and know-how to succeed in the private and nonprofit sectors, said Meghan Ogilvie, the CEO of Dog Tag Inc.” According to WaPo, 57 alums in six cohorts have graduated from the program as of November of last year, a number of which have subsequently launched businesses of their own.
Starbucks has long been a longtime supporter of Dog Tag; indeed, they share similar values when it comes to aiding veterans and military spouses. (Because let’s face it: For all the praise heaped on the military and those who serve in it, the United States government has an abysmal track record of supporting veterans once they return home. If the government isn’t going to do it, somehow else has to.) In 2013, for instance, Starbucks committed to hiring 10,000 vets and military spouses by November of 2018 — and when they reached that goal over a year and a half early, in March of 2017, they pledged to hire a total of 25,000 by 2025.
So, it’s no surprise that the two entities would team up in aide of their common cause — which is where the Salted Potato Chip Crusted Brownie comes in. In honor of National Military Awareness Month, which kicked off on May 1 and includes Public Service Recognition Week from May 6 through May 12, Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 11, Armed Forces Day on May 19, and Memorial Day on May 28, Dog Tag created a “special limited-edition brownie for Starbucks customers to help raise awareness for veteran causes,” according to a post on the nonprofit’s website. The treat starts out with Dog Tag’s classic brownie recipe, then tops the whole thing off with “a salted potato chip crumble.”
Um, yes, please.
Although I have been a longtime devotee of both potato chips and chocolate, I have only recently hopped on the potato-chips-and-chocolate-AT-THE-SAME-TIME bandwagon. My gateway treat was this chocolate bar from Hammond’s which includes both potato chips and bacon; it was truly a transformative experience, and I have eagerly been mashing together chips and chocolate whenever possible ever since. Dog Tag’s take on the comb? It sounds chef’s kiss-worthy, so you’d better believe I am going to make an effort to hunt it down while it’s available.
The Salted Potato Chip Crusted Brownie can be found at over 8,000 Starbucks locations nationwide right now; it arrived on May 1, and it’ll be there until June 4 (or as long as supplies last). It’ll set you back around $3.95. Oh, and hey, if you're in the DC area, you can visit the Dog Tag Bakery itself, too; it's located in Georgetown. While the potato chip brownie is exclusive to Starbucks, you can nab their original brownie there, along with a whole bunch of other tasty-sounding treats. Who's up for a coffee break?