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Baked goods for work

Hi everyone!

I want to bake for some people I work with. I am interested in making something individual, so that I can package it up for each person and not have to bring in a big platter of food. My co-workers have very simple taste; I have made whoopie pies, cookies, muffins, brownies etc. in the past. WHile I want the flavors to be simple (chocolate, lemon etc.) I want them to be delicious ( not boxed equivalent). For the holidays, I am definitely looking for something a little more impressive/ has that "wow" factor!

I was thinking about making the chocolate chocolate chip loaf cafe from the new Baked Explorations book. Does anyone know if this is a good recipe?

If not, do you by any chance have other ideas for individual baked goods that will have a "wow" factor?

Thanks

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  1. A chocolate chip loaf cake sounds lovely and you can bake off indiv servings using a mini muffin pan; just adjust your bake time. I use this one: http://nancycreative.wordpress.com/20... as a mini muffin you could fill the chocolate inside the muffin for a gooey center.

    There are mini nutella brownie recipes http://savorysweetlife.com/2010/08/4-...

    and mini pecan pie muffin recipes, http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Pe...

    that also utilize a mini muffin tin, that are super easy and pack a nice rich flavor.

    I'm sure you'll rec' plenty of CH ideas today and do check out this post for a broad range of suggestions: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5770...

    1. not sure on that recipe (havent ever tried it) but what about individual tarts or pies? that would have a big wow factor i think.

      if you're not totally set on baked goods, truffles or fudge is always a good idea for holidays at work, because you can make them really festive and seasonal, as well as very attractive!

      1 Reply
      1. re: mattstolz

        or you could mix up a healthy bag of dried fruits & nuts. I always enjoy rec'ing that because I'll use it to bake with. But it's a nice office snack to have in your desk too!

      2. If you are looking for something "original with wow factor," you might get outside of the baking box and try confections. This year, I'm making Turkish delights for my "small gifts" - you can use orange extract, instead of rose water ... and it should be approachable for people, even with simple tastes.

        http://globaltableadventure.com/2010/...

         
        3 Replies
        1. re: GlobalTable

          Oh GlobalT, those look lovely! I love Turkish delights too.

          1. re: HillJ

            Thank you Hill :) I had to make them a few times to figure out the best technique.

            1. re: GlobalTable

              Do share, what is the best technique?

        2. how bout frosted cake pops?? i always think those are fun, and theyre kinda unique!

          orrrrrr i think people are always super impressed when you home-make things that you never think of doing anything except for buying:

          like donuts.

          Or big soft pretzels or pretzel sticks.... could cover them in chocolate... mmmm

          those are just one of those things that when you think of getting them, you always assume they were bought, never made at home!

          1. How about chocolate dipped apricots or white chocolate dipped pretzels or a combination of the two? I like to give bags of spiced pecans to friends at the holidays. They're always a hit and very addictive. I also make molasses ginger cookies dipped in coarse sugar and package them in festive containers. Adding some crystallized ginger to the batter gives these cookies some extra pizzazz.

            1. Made brownie twix that went really fast. Shortbread, caramel, brownie, nuts, chocolate.

              1 Reply
              1. re: amokscience

                what a great idea. i've have to include PB in mine though because PB twix>>>original twix!!

              2. I like making biscotti because you dip them in chocolate, drizzle chocolate over it, sprinkle nuts on top, etc. and make them look seasonal. If you're doing it for Christmas, you can use dried cranberries and pistachios for green/red. I like to put them in a mug w/ a chocolate covered spoon as a nice package.

                Depending on the number of co-workers you have, I've made quick breads like you're considering in little ceramic loaf pans that Michael's sells for $1 each.

                I also like giving away millionaires shortbread that are like twix bars. I use different recipes for each part but it's a base of shortbread, topped w/ caramel, then melted chocolate on top. You can make your own caramel, or boil a can of sweetened condensed milk to make dulce de leche. I love look of the layers.

                Along this idea:
                http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/choc...

                1. Thanks for all of your recommendations.. I work in a lab where all the food must be completely packaged so that it is not out with the chemicals. If I were to make little tarts how would you package them up?
                  Thank!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Steph648

                    You can buy cellophane at Michael's or any flower shop at a grocery store. Cut to size and tie up w/ ribbon. It will look more festive than if you try and put them in ziploc bags.

                    1. re: JerryMe

                      this would be my suggestion if ya wanted to go with the mini-tarts.

                      since it has to be sealed, have you ever tried baking anything in a jar? heres a couple ideas from foodgawker:

                      Pies:
                      http://www.stetted.com/index.php/2010...

                      Crisps:
                      http://wendolonia.com/blog/2010/06/16...

                      Quickbreads:
                      http://thinkinsidetheicebox.com/2008/...

                    2. re: Steph648

                      Since you seem to be very enthusiastic, you might consider buying something like these. I think you could find something similar for less money at a baking supply store though.

                      http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                      1. instead of giving everyone already-baked treats, you might also consider doing dry brownie or cake mix in a jar. it looks really nice if you layer all the dry ingredients in a clear glass jar, and then you can decorate them if you want to, and include a personalized tag for each one that also provides the directions for completing the recipe.

                        it's a nice alternative at a time of year when people tend to receive so much that's already made - this way if they don't want to eat it right away, they can hang onto it for another time and it won't go to waste!

                        1. Great! Thanks for all of the suggestions. Have any of you ever used these pans from Sur la table:

                          http://www.surlatable.com/product/kit...

                          Do you know if they would leak for a quick bread recipe? They are designed to bake brioche and other types of actual bread.
                          Thanks!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Steph648

                            These are made for batters:

                            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

                            Speaking of brioche, what about doing something along those lines, with bread? That's something special people don't get often.

                            1. re: Steph648

                              I've used the mini loaf version with good success. They won't leak for quick breads and they are pre-greased for the recipient to slice through with no issue. Very pretty packaged.

                              http://www.bakedeco.com/dept.asp
                              if you plan to buy baking papers in a quantity these are a better value. lots of styles and shapes too.

                              1. re: GraceW

                                holy motherload, GraveW...you've got a sugar selection there! Anything in the savory category to recommend?

                              2. Unusual flavor combinations can really get people excited. I have a favorite recipe for shortbread cookies that includes meyer lemon zest and rosemary -- they're unique and delicious! I got the idea from a restaurant/catering company I used to work at that served lemon bars with bits of rosemary in the bottom crust.

                                I also just came up with a scone recipe using diced pear and a spicy chai tea glaze -- it's over in the "What are you baking these days" thread at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7464...