“So you’re one of those obsessed runners, aren’t you?” was one of the first things my date remarked to me as he picked me up for our date. Yes, he barely knew me, but since I had gone for my long run earlier that morning in a light snow flurry, he already pegged me as “obsessed.” And where was this blue-eyed boy taking me on our first date? Obviously to brunch.
Ironically, running isn’t my biggest obsession... food is. There is nothing that makes me happier than out-of-this-world brunch (banana nut flapjacks or huevos rancheros - mmm) or dessert (anything goes). And beyond just being obsessed with eating all these amazing foods (thank god, I run), I love baking. My love of baking is probably the reason I manage to maintain so many friends when I stay in on a Friday night to run early in the AM on Saturday. They know that during the week, they'll see me for dinner and dessert. What's your obsession?
The question remains though, now that I’m taking my running more seriously and am trying to achieve a time goal, how can I limit my sweets? Or do I even try to? Cutting out sweets would be taking away an integral part of my identity! Yesterday was all about a post-holiday bake-off at my company in which I made pecan squares. I thought they were phenomenal but will whole-heartily admit that the winner of the "best taste" title for Oreo truffles definitely deserved it.
And although this isn’t a recipe for running success, it is one for happiness:
Ant's Pecan Squares
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole pecans, toasted & tossed with 1 tbsp butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 pan with foil, grease.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt. Cut in 2/3 cup of butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the prepared pan, and press in firmly.
3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
4. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, corn syrup, 1 cup total brown & white sugars, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the pecans. Spread the filling evenly over the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.
5. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into bars.
*Note- After these cooled on a rack for about 3 hours, I put them in the freezer for 30 minutes. This made the cutting process super easy.