ill wants to hold a bake sale to earn some money for the Marlowe School Scholarship fund. She tells Heather, Tanesha, and Sandy to come to her house with some brownies. Valerie convinces them to hold a contest. This story highlights the Denver Cereal 2012 Brownie Contest Finalists.
The Castle Brownie Contest
“Four more minutes for Jill’s brownies?” Charlie groaned. “How can I possibly wait so…”
He stuffed one of Tanesha’s chocolaty brownies into his mouth and everyone laughed.
“What are you doing?” Nash asked Noelle.
“Well, I…” Noelle had made a sculpture out of the remains of her brownies. “Just because these aren’t my favorite brownies doesn’t mean they aren’t loved. So I…”
“Very sweet,” Sandy leaned over to kiss her cheek.
“Right,” Noelle said. “They are very sweet, but not my favorite.”
Jill’s timer rang and she took her brownies out of the oven. Mike came around the bar with a spoon.
“We have to wait…” Jill started.
Before she could finish her sentence, he dipped into her pan and was blowing on the hot mixture.
“It’s really good…” His mouth was so full of hot brownie he couldn’t finish his sentence. He swallowed and croaked, “Milk.”
Valerie gave him a glass of milk. He drank it down and moved back to the brownie pan. Jill fended him off with a spatula. Laughing, they did a little spoon-spatula fencing before he yelled, “Hey!”
Charlie was dipping into the brownie pan with his own spoon. Mike lunged for the boy but Charlie scooted away with his hot brownie laden spoon. Mike crossed his arms. With the spoon as his weapon, Mike stood ready to defend the pan from invaders.
“Uh Mike?” Valerie asked.
“Yes my beloved,” Mike said.
“You should watch your flank,” Valerie said.
Mike turned quickly to his left where Nash had snuck up to the brownie tray. He and Nash began a battle of the spoons leaving the brownie pan open for Charlie to grab the entire pan. Over Mike’s protests, Charlie carried the warm brownies back to the others.
“These are definitely salty,” Valerie said.
“I like the crunchy top and softer middle,” Delphie said.
“I like that they’re easy to make, fast, and have simple ingredients,” Jill said.
“It’s Mom’s recipe,” Mike said.
“Right,” Heather said. “They‘re like what someone’s mom would make.”
“Megan used to make them for us,” Jill said.
“Oh I remember those,” Tanesha said. “We’d have finals or something. It’d be dumping snow out and we’d be studying like crazy.”
“She’d make these hot amazing brownies,” Sandy said. “It chased the cold and worry away.”
“Remember when Candy took over the baking?” Jill said.
“I can still taste her brownies.”
“Me too,” Heather said.
“I’ve only ever loved one brownie,” Knight Mike kneeled before the emptying brownie pan. “She is thee.”
“What are you doing?” Jacob asked from the door of the loft.
Mike jerked around to look at him. Not sure what would happen, everyone became very still and silent.
“Are you praying to the brownie pan?” Aden asked.
“Son,” Sam said. “Are you feeling all right?”
“I…” Mike hopped to his feet.
Everyone laughed. Valerie kissed him.
“No really,” Jake said. “What are you guys doing?”
“We’re having a brownie contest,” Jill said. “But I’m afraid we haven’t been able to decide.”
“I like these the best,” Katy pointed to Tanesha’s brownies.
“We’ll have to try them,” Jacob passed the plate to Aden and Sam.
“Oh great, we’ll have an odd number,” Jill said.
“I love these,” Noelle pointed to the brownies Heather brought.
“And the rest of you?” Sam asked.
“We like different ones,” Delphie said. “I like Sandy’s brownies.”
“Me too,” Valerie said.
“I love Jill’s,” Mike said.
“What about you?” Aden ruffled Nash’s hair.
“I’m with Mike,” Nash said. “I like the crunchy crust.”
“Charlie?” Aden asked.
“I’m going to have to go with these,” Charlie pointed to Tanesha’s brownies. “They’re very chocolaty and I really like chocolate.”
“Oh wow,” Aden said after taking a bite of Heather’s brownies. “These are… intense, Southwest.”
“They’re very you,” Sandy said.
“Very me,” Aden said. “Yes, this is my vote.”
“Jake?” Valerie asked.
“I think I’m rooting for the home team,” Jacob said. “Plus, these remind me of Jill. She makes them sometimes when I come in late from Hockey.”
“Sam?” Delphie asked.
“Can I vote for all of them?” Sam asked. “They’re really good.”
“Where is everyone?” Sissy yelled from the kitchen.
“Up here!” Sandy yelled down the stairwell.
Sissy ran up the stairs.
“Honey’s in the kitchen, can you…?” Sissy asked.
Mike and Jacob went down to get Honey. When they returned, Sissy was agreeing with Noelle. She liked Heather’s brownie best.
“Honey will be our tie breaker!” Jill said.
“Oh boy,” Honey said. “I don’t think I can pick. They’re so different. What did everyone pick?”
“We have three for Heather’s brownie – Noelle, Aden, and Sissy. We also have three for Jill’s brownie – Mike, Nash, and Jacob.”
“But two for the others?” Honey asked.
“We were hoping you’d be the tie breaker,” Jill said.
“Oh, okay, well…” Honey looked at Heather and then Jill’s brownies.
“You should tell us the truth,” Sam said. “Don’t lie.”
“Uh… Okay. Well, I actually like Tanesha’s brownie,” Honey said. “It’s really chocolaty and yummy.”
“I guess that didn’t help,” Honey said. “Sorry.”
“We need one more person,” Valerie said.
“Hello?” Jeraine said from the kitchen.
“Does he count?” Tanesha raised an eyebrow. They laughed.
“Yes, I count,” Jeraine laughed. “What are we counting?”
“Which brownie you like,” Tanesha said.
“I’m not a huge fan of brownies, so…”
“You cannot chicken out,” Mike said.
“Yes, man up and pick a brownie,” Jacob laughed.
Shaking his head at Mike and Jacob, Jeraine took a tiny piece of every brownie.
“My manly opinion is this one,” Jeraine pointed to Sandy’s brownie. “It’s a little lighter.”
“What did I say?” Jeraine asked.
“We’re hopelessly tied,” Jill said.
“I kind of like that,” Sandy smiled. “We each make great brownies; they’re just different from each other.”
The women smiled at each other.
“I’ll put the money into the scholarship fund,” Valerie said.
“Great!” Jill said. “That’s great. You guys ready to go?”
“Go?” Jacob asked. “Go where.”
“We’re going to have a bake sale at the Marlowe school,” Jill said.
“Didn’t we just eat the bake sale?” Charlie asked.
“Not a chance,” Tanesha said. “My girl told me to bring two plates. I have another plate of brownies in the car.”
“Me too,” Heather said.
“I have ours downstairs,” Sandy said.
“I have some cupcakes downstairs,” Delphie said.
“I made a pie for dinner,” Valerie said. “But I can bring it.”
“Do you mind?” Jill asked Mike.
Jill took another pan of brownies from the oven and plated the rest.
“Let’s go,” Jill said. The men followed the woman out of the loft.
We were also hopelessly tied. These finalist recipes were so very different from each other that we were simply unable to come up with a clear winner. The more people we asked, the more tied we became. This year, we’ll have four winners:
- Liz, the Moonlit Chef, of Cooking by Moonlight, won the Katy’s Super Chocolaty Brownie award.
- Jo Rose won the Light as a Feather Brownie award.
- Barbara Keibel of Creative Culinary won the Dreamin’ brownie award because we tasted Southwestern dreams in her brownies.
- Tinkerbell won the Mom’s Best Brownie award for her easy to make, simple ingredient brownie.
What can we say? They are all winners. Expect to see these recipes in our books! We’ll be in touch with the winners this week to let them know what exciting prizes they won!
See you next year for another brownie contest!