Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Baking for Co-Workers

One day last week, a co-worker casually mentioned: “it’s been a while since you brought in cookies.” Well, that challenge did not go unheeded. Ask and you shall receive. With a three-day weekend approaching, I quickly flipped through some books to decide which baked goods should make the cut. Since Martha Stewart's Cookies is still fresh and new on the shelf, and since I want to try pretty much every cookie in it, I picked two from it for this occasion: Blueberry Bonanza Bars and Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies. Also, in honor of one co-worker’s birthday, I made Caramel Topped Tea Cakes from Cupcakes! by Eleanor Klivans.

I made a slight change in the execution of the cupcakes. Instead of making mini-muffin sized cakes and dipping the bottoms in caramel so as to serve them upside down, I made regular-sized cupcakes and poured the caramel over the tops. The yellow cake batter with sour cream makes a yummy cupcake. The caramel sets into a slightly crunchy state like a praline. Next time I’ll top them with some pecans and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt. Why didn’t I think of that sooner?

The granola topping for the Blueberry Bars yields a bit more than you need. After they’re cut, the topping that’s not stuck to the blueberry jam falls off, and they’re a little messy. I was worried that they were too sweet, but several people commented on their deliciousness. One person asked for the recipe.

Naturally, Kurt sampled each item at home, and his favorite was the Blondie. The cream cheese mixture is very runny, so the swirl action was not as I expected. Also, it’s not very noticeable in the light colored batter. They are delicious though. One co-worker was certain she was tasting rum in them, but on further reflection she decided it was just really good vanilla. I used Central Market’s organic vanilla but no rum this time.

The cookies and cupcakes disappeared quickly without a single complaint.


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