Food News

A Dream of a Brownie Contest

On a recent, unseasonably cool afternoon, I drifted away into one of those vivid naptime dreams, the ones where you wake up and think for a second that what you just went through was real. There was a knocking, no, a pounding at the door, as if Grendel were on the other side. I tried making my way to the door, but the floor surface was like that of a waterbed; the door seemed to get farther away as I sloshed forward. I realized that I was hungry, but my turn toward the kitchen was interrupted by more thunderous knocks. I finally managed to make it to the door and open it. The letter W was standing there, looking as impatient as a letter can be, and holding a blue cloth bag with two white boxes in it. I tipped W, who before leaving informed me that the W was short for the W Fort Lauderdale and that it had come to remind me about the new hotel's Bliss Spa and, more specifically, its in-spa brownie buffet. I was told that within each box was a brownie -- one from Lola's Cup Cakery on East Las Olas Boulevard, the other from We Take the Cake on North Federal Highway. I was to Be the Fudge of the two as part of a Battle of the Broward Brownies! I tried telling W that I didn't live in Fort Lauderdale, but it replied that since it was a dream, I was lucky I didn't end up in Milwaukee -- plus, hadn't I heard that W was coming to South Beach in the spring? In fact, at this point I was beginning to doubt that this was a dream, but then W added that eating brownies would be a way to satisfy a client's sweet tooth in between his triple oxygen facial and carrot-and-sesame body buff. That couldn't be real.

I tried closing the door, but W stuck its angular foot in it and let me know in no uncertain terms that it wasn't done speaking. The brownies would be judged at the W booth during the 15th Annual Spring Fling Family Fun Day this coming Saturday, April 11, from noon to 3 p.m. at Children's Museum and Memorial Park in Boca Raton; and then at the Las Olas Wine & Food Festival from May 1 and 2, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale. And the winner will be announced at 8 p.m. on May 2. "You think I'll remember all this?" I asked. W handed me a piece of paper with the necessary details, another with all sorts of praise for the 4,000-square-foot Bliss Spa, a couple of photos and, as I've said, the brownies. I bent down to pick up one of those boxes so I could put it to my ear to see if it was ticking, and when I looked up, W had vanished.

I gobbled the brownies, and although I admired Lola's Cup Cakery's innovative take, it was more of a great cupcake than great brownie. We Take the Cake's brownie was rich, fudgie, and, well, a wonderful brownie (it took the cake).

You have probably guessed by now that when I awoke from my dream, there were brownie crumbs all over the pillow.

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Lee Klein