So you’re finishing up your Christmas shopping, happily checking everyone off of your list and then it hits you: what about my co-workers? Sure a lot of them can be complete and total idiots, but ’tis the season to be forgiving (and to ignore the fact that some of your co-workers – thankfully none of mine – have the charm of a poisonous snake) and what says “let bygones be bygones” like homemade treats? Also, they’re a heck of a lot cheaper than giving everyone gift cards….
I had decided to make gift bags of baked goodies a few weeks ago, so on Thursday night I pulled out a ton of ingredients to make dozens of cookies for my co-workers. Let me tell you a bit about my co-workers. I have worked in a lot of offices and have dealt with everything from an older co-worker telling me “I haven’t had the pleasures of a woman in years but would love to start again with you” (did I mention this man was TEN years older than my father) to a female co-worker who was caught “getting cozy with” our boss in the parking lot (just a few weeks after her return from her honeymoon might I add). So it’s refreshing to work with a group of people who are genuinely nice and make me laugh consistently. I have often baked Christmas goodies as gifts to co-workers but I really wanted these bags to be special because they were going to very special people (insert heart warming Christmas “awwwww” here). As I was going through my boundless cookie recipes, I settled on making each co-worker a dozen cookies of four different varieties. With the Boy as my taste tester, I rolled up my sleeves and got to baking.
I knew immediately the Teaism inspired Salty Oats cookie would be included in my gift bags because my co-worker DW loves them. Not your average oatmeal cookies, these little gems are the softest, most flavorful oatmeal cookies I have ever had. Topped with a sprinkling of kosher salt, the sweetness of the cookie is offset with a salty finish. They are always a hit, so it was really a no brainer to include them. Even better, one recipe easily makes 3 dozen cookies and they’re a snap to make. And when you’re making more than 10 gift bags, those two factors push a cookie up to the top of the list!
Who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies? I mean seriously, who doesn’t? And honestly, I don’t think I want to know anyone who doesn’t like them. Pete over at Pete Bakes reminded me of the classic Tollhouse Chocolate Chip cookie recipe and the words “yields 3 dozen cookies” on the recipe solidified it for me: these cookies were going in the bag! Just like the Salty Oat cookies, these chocolate chip cookies were a breeze to make and the classic Tollhouse recipe didn’t fail to disappoint.
When I brought in some Christmas sugar cookies to work a few weeks ago, they were a hit so I knew I’d have to include them in my bag. Unlike other sugar cookies, you don’t have to refrigerate this dough before baking them and they make a LOT OF COOKIES! They yielded so many, the Boy was able to make off with a baggie full for his own co-workers (and they were a hit mind you…not to brag or anything – okay I’m bragging a little). I will admit that by the time I got around to making the sugar cookies I was a bit tired, so I didn’t decorate them. But they were still a hit!
I wanted to include a unique cookie in the bag, but wasn’t sure which one. As I was aimlessly wandering on the ‘net (NOT while I was at work mind you), I stumbled upon Joy’s Buttery Cherry Jam Cookies on Foodproof.com and was in love. They looked light and (as the title suggested) buttery and who doesn’t love cherry jam? Sure the first time I would be making them would be for the gift bags, but I trust Joy’s palate and the recipe (yet again) yielded a number of cookies. It also helped that the recipe was easy peasy and didn’t require too many ingredients. I used a local brand of cherry preserve that I love slathering on scones, so I highly suggest using quality cherry jam for this recipe.
I’ve made baked goodie gift bags for people before and it’s always ended up in late night scrambling for more flour and tears at the amount of work still left to be done at 1 am. This time, however, I was armed with a plan and four recipes for cookies that were tasty but not labor intensive. All the gift bags were done by 10 pm and I even had enough time left over to torture the Boy with an episode of Criminal Minds. But for those who aren’t baking inclined but still need a last minute gift for a foodie in your life? Head on over to DCFoodies for a few last minute gift ideas from yours truly!
I’m in Georgia visiting family this week for the holidays, so the posts may be few and far between this week. I’ll be busy making the Red Velvet Cupcakes for Christmas dinner and helping my mother make the stuffing and sweet potato souffle, which leaves little time for blogging. But I’ll be back next week testing recipes from Daphne’s Christmas gift
and deciding the menu for my New Year’s Eve pajama movie party (for two), complete with a signature cocktail to toast in 2009! Happy Holidays!
As a tip of my hat to my Northern bloggie buddies who are engulfed in snow (and because I wish I was there to play in it), my blog is “snowing” until January 4th! Thanks WordPress for such a cool feature!