Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Goldies" for the Globes

A couple of posts ago, I was blathering on about the short list of things that I wanted to accomplish over my winter break, but I neglected to mention the most important goal of all--to see all of the Golden Globe-nominated films before the awards. That's always my goal over winter break, and I never fully realize it, because I live in a podunk town where smaller-release films are slow to come, if they ever come at all, and one can only afford to travel to Montreal and Burlington so often! But I did pretty well this year, and I'll surely be sitting pretty come Oscar time.

So far, my favorite films of the year are The King's Speech and The Social Network (my money's on one of them for Best Picture). I think Best Actor will go to the dishy Colin Firth for playing the tongue-tied monarch, George VI, and Best Actress will be Natalie Portman for the beautiful but creepy Black Swan. The Fighter had an interesting yet predictable story, but absolutely marvelous performances, so I am rooting for Christian Bale as a crack-addicted ex-boxer for Best Supporting Actor and Melissa Leo as a tough-as-nails, opportunistic mother and boxing manager for Best Supporting Actress.

Who knows how the awards season will actually play out, but one thing is for sure--I will have a fitting and thematically-appropriate menu!  Tonight, for example, my Golden Globes dinner will include: Mixed Green Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese, Almonds and Golden Delicious Apples, Teriyaki Pork Steaks, Creamy Golden Egg Noodles with Broccoli, and for dessert, Golden Yam Brownies (I might just call them "Goldies").  I found the recipe for these "brownies" doing a search for the word "golden" on All Recipes. In doing do, I came across these unusual treats made with...wait for it...YAMS!

I read all of the reviews before starting out (always a good idea), and many of them commented that the "brownies" were a bit bland and very, very sweet. So I followed their advice and added a little spice (cinnamon) and cut back on the sugars (from a total of two cups to one and a half). Oh, and I added a cup of chopped pecans because it seemed like the right thing to do. ;-) The recipe calls for a powdered sugar glaze, too, but even after cutting the sugar in the bars themselves, they were plenty sweet without the topping. However, as close as these come to the carrot cake family, I think I might try a cream cheese frosting in the future.

Whatever you're snacking on tonight, enjoy the Globes! And get out there and see some of the nominated films! (The winter is long, and most of you probably can't get outside to do stuff anyway.)

Sweet Potato "Goldies"
(Source: adapted from All Recipes)

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar (I cut this to 3/4 cup)
1 cup white sugar (I also cut this to 3/4 cup)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
*I added 1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups peeled and finely shredded yam/sweet potato (the finer the shred, the better)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Glaze (optional):
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish*.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in the shredded yam. Spread the batter evenly in the greased baking dish.
3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center, comes out clean. Mix together the confectioners' sugar, butter and milk until smooth. Spread over the brownies while they are still warm. They will absorb some of the glaze. Serve hot or warm.

*I baked these in my fabulous Baker's Edge brownie pan, and they took 35 minutes.

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