Race report! plus Bacon-Bourbon Brownies. For real.

Marathon Day! I peeked out the window when I woke up to discover … rain. The weather forecasters were right. I was not happy. They’re never right! 40 degrees + rain = not fun. We held out hope that the rain would let up by the time we got out to the start. We prepped our cute, matching race ensembles the night before – hey, we ARE girls!

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Well, unfortunately, it never stopped raining. Okay, we had no rain from miles 15-20 but, by that point, who cares? We were already soaked, freezing, and miserable. The race folk had worked quickly and pulled together some “Run for Boston” shirts that they were handing out. It was so cold, we wore them the entire race!

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Even though it was raining, people still came out to cheer us on, which was AWESOME! Because we really needed it. And, security was out in full force. We really appreciated that AND the cops were super awesome. They were even cheering us on. I’ve never run a race where the cops were so involved. I wish more were like that!

So, the altitude didn’t kill us but the rain and cold tried to. We weren’t really out for time but we are stoked with our finish. Unofficial time? 4:29:33. We’ll take it!

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Brownies!
And, before I blogged at Cooking with JenS, you could find me at The Connoisseur Chronicles. This recipe is from back then. Brownies. With Bacon and Bourbon. You’re welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

Three words. Bacon. Bourbon. Chocolate. All in one dish. Seriously. Thank you Food and Wine Magazine! Bacon-Bourbon Brownies with Pecans. Boy, is that fun to say, or what?! Bacon-Bourbon Brownies with Pecans. Mmmmโ€ฆ..what more could a girl ask for? (Okay, the nerd in me wishes pecans were instead named something that started with the letter โ€œbโ€ โ€“ alliteration is so much fun!)

This recipe is from the August 2011 issue of the magazine. Yep, Iโ€™ve had this magazine for maybe 4 days and Iโ€™m already making recipes out of it! It is seriously packed with delicious sounding grub, this recipe topping the list! AND, you know how we LOVE bacon so it HAD to be done! After all, everythingโ€™s better with bacon.

The best thing about these brownies โ€“ except for the bacon and bourbon, of course, is that they are from scratch. Now, donโ€™t get me wrong. There are some seriously awesome brownie mixes available in your local grocery store โ€“ hello Ghirardelli! โ€“ but brownies from scratch are just so amazing. They tend to be rich, dense and decadent. Basically, theyโ€™re everything a brownie SHOULD be! And these definitely meet that criteria. The bacon adds a saltiness that contrasts the chocolate and the pecans add a crunch that compliments the smooth density of the brownie itself. Really, this is HEAVEN in a bite! Okay, more than one bite and Iโ€™ve definitely had more than one brownie so far. Donโ€™t judge me.

Now, I wanted the good, salty stuff for this recipe, so I bought some applewood smoked bacon. YUM! Plus, you have to reserve nearly ยผ cup of bacon grease to add to the recipe and turkey bacon just doesnโ€™t produce that. No, donโ€™t be grossed out โ€“ it really adds to the richness of the brownie. And no, this is NOT low-fat. Itโ€™s a brownie, for goodness sakes!

Letโ€™s talk about the bourbon. If you like to lick the beaters, you will definitely taste the bourbon in the mix. Mmmmmโ€ฆ.just enough to add to the flavor but not enough to make you tipsy. I used Bulleit โ€“ a delicious frontier bourbon whiskey in an old-school glass bottle recommended to us by my brother-in-law โ€“ thanks Monte! Hope youโ€™re not mad I used two shots for other than drinking! Um, and no, donโ€™t ask me why itโ€™s a โ€œbourbon whiskeyโ€. I used to think they were two different things but, apparently not. And, while weโ€™re on that subject, why the heck is scotch a โ€œscotch whiskey?โ€ Seriously, could alcohol BE any more confusing?! Oh waitโ€ฆ.donโ€™t answer that. You, of course, can use the bourbon (whiskey) of your choice.

The bottom line is… bacon, bourbon and chocolate are a divine combination that EVERYONE โ€“ especially chocoholics โ€“ should try. Recipeโ€™s down there. Youโ€™re welcome.

Happy drinking (bourbon), cooking and eating!

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Bacon-Bourbon Brownies with Pecans
ยฝ cup pecans
ยฝ pound sliced bacon
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
ยฝ cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
ยผ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ยฝ cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350ฬŠ. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on 2 opposite sides. Spray the paper with vegetable spray. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.

2. In a skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and let cool; reserve 3 tablespoons of the fat. Finely chop the bacon.

3. In a saucepan, combine both chocolates with the butter and stir over very low heat, until melted; scrape into a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in both sugars with the reserved 3 tablespoons bacon fat. Beat in the bourbon. Add the eggs and salt and beat until smooth. Sift the cocoa powder and flour into the bowl and beat until blended.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the bacon and pecans on top. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the brownies are set around the edges but slightly wobbly in the center; a toothpick inserted into the center should have some batter clinging to it. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares or rectangles, serve and do a happy dance.

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One thought on “Race report! plus Bacon-Bourbon Brownies. For real.

  1. Pingback: Running, keeping logs and is there such a thing as too much honey? | A Hungry Runner

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