Friday, December 18, 2009

Baking up the night - cookie gift boxes for the office

Earlier this week, I completed my annual baking-night where I embarked to bake up some fresh treats to present to my employees and other key folks at the office in lieu of holiday cards or other trinkets. Last year, I took on a rather complicated set of recipes that kept me in the kitchen well past 1am 2 nights in a row in order to crank out those goodies. While I see the sacrifice as part of the sweat equity that puts more meaning into the gifts, I only have so much energy and can't do late night activities that require dexterity and concentration as well as I used to think I could (I'm sure I can just more clearly see what an idiot I am at 1am).

This year, I only had one night to get it all done, so I dispensed with anything that needed overnight chilling or would require fillings and multiple components. This meant skipping the awesome cookie recipes from my quasi mother-in-law (like date-nut pinwheels) due to their labor intensity and my tendency to screw the recipes up along the way.

I prepared last weekend by doing most of my grocery shopping, ensuring I had enough flour (I only use Gold Medal Unbleached all-purpose, since their profits pay my mortgage) and sugar on hand and getting my gift box materials together. I skipped the overpriced stuff at Container Store, and found perfectly good stuff at Litin Paper in North Minneapolis for cheap (gift boxes, bows, labels, etc). J found me some cello bags at Target and that was just what I needed to save me from a frustrating night of wrapping things in Saran Wrap. Completion time this year from turning on the oven to packing the last box - 6 hours (8pm - 2am). At least it was all done in one night. This year's box had 4 items - links to the recipes follow:

Spiced Ginger Cookies

Chocolate-Hazelnut Gooey Butter Cakes

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (J the BF ate 6 of these in the first hour they came out of the oven)

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

All boxes were well received by the lucky 12 who got one this year. I hope the 12th person sees hers. She may have left for the holidays by the time I put it on her desk. Otherwise, she will have a nasty surprise awaiting her in January.

Happy holidays.


Addie O said...

I love cookie recipes! Thanks for sharing. BTW - It's been a long time since I've seen you. Any chance you are headed out to SF for a visit any time soon?

DM said...

Hey Addie O - be sure to check out the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe - it's awesome and is now among my standards.

An SFO visit is waaay overdue. I skipped my regular fall trip this year, but I've got a list of new eateries I'm dying to try. I'll hit you up when I'm out there next.