Monday, February 28, 2011
How was everyone's weekend?
I made it through my 5k! I'm still alive and kickin'! I gave myself 36 minutes to do the 5k (about 12 minute miles - I was pretty lax on myself), and I finished in 33:51! Not bad for only going on one practice run in a month and a half.
It was actually an exhilarating race. Over 10,000 participants and I finished 5610 out of them! So heck, I had to just give myself a pat on the back. And I guess I have something to work towards for next year!
And another awesome surprise, when I got home on Friday night from work, I came home to a big package from Foodbuzz sitting on my desk. Puzzled, I had to quickly open it up. And to my astonishment was a Flip Video Camera and a variety of Newman's Own Salad Dressings and Tomato Sauces. So thanks to Foodbuzz and Newman's Own, I get to make a 5 minute video on a recipe using one or more of the products that takes 30 minutes or less. So watch out for it soon, because it'll be the first video on the blog! And I'm sure not the last!
Anyway, what won the poll last Friday? Well it was a 3 way tie! I couldn't just pick one over the other, so I decided to do all 3 over the course of the next 2 weeks. I'm not going to reveal all of the winners at once, that way it's a little bit of surprise! So obviously, the first revealed winner was in the "Girl Scout Cookie" category, and being that Samoas are my absolute favorite Girl Scout cookie, I had to give them a shot!
Adapted from The Sweet Life's Recipe
1/2 cup sugar
1 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla
2 cups flour
large pinch of salt
3 cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
12 oz. chewy caramels
large pinch of salt
3 tablespoons whole milk
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a 9 x 13 pan with aluminum foil.
For shortbread, in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
Slowly add in flour and salt until mixture is combined. The dough will be really sticky.
Using hands, press dough into an even layer in pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Carefully lift foil from pan and place on wire rack to cool.
While waiting for shortbread to cool, you can prepare the topping. Unwrap caramel candies and place in microwave safe bowl along with milk and salt. Heat in microwave for about 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir occasionally. Watch it carefully so that the caramel does not burn. Allow caramel to slightly cool and then fold in toasted coconut. Mix well.
Once shortbread is cooled, spread caramel and coconut mixture atop shortbread in an even layer. Place in freezer to cool, about 10 minutes. Once cooled, cut into evenly sized bars.
Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat, in 30 second intervals, until chocolate is completely melted. Dip the bottom of each bar in chocolate and place on wax paper lined baking sheet (a small enough sheet that can fit into the freezer/fridge)
I chose the "abstract" way of decorating the top of the bars, just use a fork and quickly drizzle over bars for a nice effect. Alternatively, you can place the melted chocolate into a piping bag and decorate as you wish.
I dare you to have just one. It's damn near impossible. Wanna bet? I'll win every time, I know it! =)
Andy absolutely loved these. I asked him whether they were better than the actual Girl Scout cookie version, and he put it nicely - "You can't really compare them to the actual Samoa because they're different. These are more like a cookie bar." So then of course (I just had to ask), I replied to that by saying "Well what would you rather have?" You bet your ass he said that he'd rather have these! So go on... try them for yourself! See you guys tomorrow!
P.S. - details about my first giveaway get unveiled tomorrow too!