Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ahhhh.....the Sweet Taste of Victory

Sorry to all my faithful readers out there (all 3 of you). I have been slacking and haven't posted anything in awhile. Well, a girl has a right to take a break after a marathon, now doesn't she?

Ahhhh....the marathon. If you would have asked me within the last two miles of the marathon if I would ever want to do a marathon again I would have said, "Are you crazy?!!!!" But now it looks like tons of my friends and even the possibility of my freshman HS bball coach will run again next year and of course that means I have to run. Of course.

It truly was an amazing event. The crowds of people in NYC cheering us mere running mortals on was inspiring, uplifting, and just plain awesome! It was a party all the way until the end (although those last two miles all I could hear was my little running coach voice in my head saying, "Just keep running, just keep running!" in the Finding Nemo voice and "You're almost there!!!! Just keep running!!!!") My sister called later in the day and asked how I did. I set her up with, "I got a medal!" She said excitedly, "You did?!!!!" And I said with a devilish grin on my face, "Yep! Along with everyone else who finished." Ha!
But there IS one contest where I won. The Brownie from a Box vs. The Brownie from Scratch competition. It all started last year with the reception desk at my office debating which tastes better. We all were pretty sure the boxed version tasted better because we all have eaten some nasty homemade versions. Well, I volunteered to make some from scratch and Maggie said she would make some from a box. They had to be simple without extra fudge, peanutbutter, M&Ms etc in it. Well, I had never made brownies from scratch before and I was very intrigued to see what I could do. I researched them online and stumbled upon the NY Times Supernatural Brownie Recipe. Well, long story short....Maggie's brownies bombed and mine were truly supernatural. In a taste test mine won all the votes and the heart of my coworkers. I have made them numerous times after because of requests for the utterly splenderifc brownies. (Oh, and I didn't win a medal, but I did win a little McDonald's toy of a zebra on wheels. Woohoo!!!!)Supernatural Brownies
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, such as muscovado (Erika's Extra Note: light brown sugar works fine as well)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or 3/4 cup whole walnuts, optional

1. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and line with buttered parchment paper. (Erika's note: This recipe is so buttery I've never needed to use parchment paper.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Cool slightly. In a large bowl or mixer, whisk eggs. Whisk in salt, sugars and vanilla.
2. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Fold in flour just until combined. If using chopped walnuts, stir them in. Pour batter into prepared pan. If using whole walnuts, arrange on top of batter.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until shiny and beginning to crack on top. Cool in pan on rack.
Yield: 15 large or 24 small brownies.
Note: For best flavor, bake 1 day before serving, let cool and store, tightly wrapped.
Bake well and prosper!!

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