The last time I had a good run was in April, with these fantastic gentlemen.
Let me back up quickly and give you the fast-forward version of the last two years, fitness wise.
May 2009 – Run my third marathon with my amazing mother the day before I graduate. At time of graduation, dancing 12 hours a week, running 35 miles.
July 2009 – Run an awful fourth marathon, again with amazing mother. Swear off marathons for good at mile 25 due to 95 degree heat, sticky asphalt, asthma and sore legs. Decide I will probably run another 26.2 at some point, thirty minutes post-race.
August 2009 – Move to NYC, discover city air + my lungs = asthma. Run about 20 miles a week.
December 2009 – Hike with my family the day after Christmas, on this beautiful mountain, and decide to trail run down. Trip, partially rupture two ligaments in my ankle.
June 2010 – Finally finish PT for ankle, get permission to start running again. Get mono two days later.
September 2010 – Still getting over mono, break foot.
November 2010 – Foot is healed, mono is not. Am told by my physician I am not allowed to run again until I gain some weight.
April 2011 – Think I might be somewhat healthy. Fall down an entire flight of stairs, give myself a concussion. Delay attempting to exercise.
– Decide I must be healthy enough to start using the gym again
. Spend the following week in bed. Doctor says mono is still happening.
– Finally admit that I have been sick for a full year
September 2011 – Cautiously start running again, one mile, three times a week. Promptly develop shinsplints.
And that brings us to now. All of that to say, my last good run was a one-off fluke in April – the good run before that? The marathon the day before I graduated from college.
But the April run was fantastic. A neighbor called me up on Friday night and asked me to fill in as a team member for an ultra-relay. Between five people, we were going to cover 59 miles of the Mt Si Relay
. I, obviously, was not in shape, nor had I trained and the men I was running with ran relays like this as a hobby. Oops? Still, it was fantastic. I ran the first 4.4 at an 8:10 pace and my second 3.4 leg at a 7:45 pace. Boomtown.
Why do I tell you this? Because if I bake this Millionaire’s Shortbread even one more time, it’s going to take a million years worth of good runs to burn off all the calories.
These are, quite possibly, the best, most indulgent cookie you’ve ever had. The brown butter in the crust marries well with the dulce de leche in the middle and the chocolate? Literally the icing on the top. Seriously. These are the cookies that, since I gave them to my residents, have ensured I will pass my OB-GYN rotation. I’ve browned the butter in the crust, because I’m a brown butter fanatic and jimmied the recipe a bit here and there.
Makes one 13″x9″ pan. Allow two hours.
1 cup butter, salted (crust)
2 cups flour
2/3 cup white sugar
2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter (caramel)
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1) Brown the butter (crust) over medium low heat. The butter will melt, then foam up alarmingly, then begin to turn a light brown. Stir continuously, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Put the butter in the freezer to chill until hard.
2) Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 13″x9″ pan with foil.
3) Stir together the flour and white sugar, then cut in the solidified browned butter. Stir in the egg – the mixture will still be crumbly.
4) Pat the mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned. Allow to cool.
5) Meanwhile, combine the butter (caramel) and the sweetened condensed milk in a good sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook until the mixture becomes amber-colored and thick, about fifteen minutes.
6) Spread the caramel over the cooled shortbread crust and allow to cool completely.
7) Melt the chocolate, either in the microwave or in a double boiler. Spread over the caramel-crust combo and allow to cool completely. (This might be sped up in the fridge.)
8) Lift the cooled shortbread out of the pan, using the foil, and cut into bars. Store in the fridge.