Want to know the fastest way to ingratiate yourself to coworkers? Bring them things. Sweet things.
A few years back I realized the secret to becoming the Most Popular Girl at Work: treats. Human beings are not built to sit at desks for 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week, regardless of windows, decent lighting, Aeron chairs or widescreen monitors. We’re meant to be outside, hunting boar and sowing fields (thanks a lot, Industrial Revolution.) The modern office worker is subject to unnatural shifts in physical rhythm and flow. As such, people in offices get hungry. Hungry people get cranky. (Just ask Muff). Cranky coworkers are unpleasant. Bring some pleasant back to your office with treats and see your popularity level soar.
Rice Krispie Treats
So simple, so damn delicious. A wacko tango special that even the most discerning food palettes can’t resist. I make mine with lots of Plugra butter and 2 packs of marshmallows. Makes a HUGE difference.
6 tablespoons Plugra butter
2 packages (10 oz) regular marshmallows (not the minis, they melt and burn too fast)
7 cups Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal
1. Butter a 13 x 9in. baking pan
2. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows, stirring continually until completely melted. Turn off from heat.
3. Add cereal. Butter a spatula and stir until well coated.
4. Coat your hands with butter and evenly press mixture into the pan. Let stand for 30 minutes. Cut into 2-inch squares using a buttered knife.
Ghirardelli Square Brownies
JAPril taught me this recipe and it’s a winner every time. Insider tip: use brownie mix. Nobody knows the difference.
1 1/4 cups Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa
1 1/2 Milk Chocolate with Caramel Squares Bag, 5.32 oz
1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cups unsalted butter or margarine, melted
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Stir eggs with sugar and vanilla. Add melted butter.
3. Sift ground chocolate with flour, baking poweder, and salt. Stir into egg mixture.
4. Spread half the batter into a greased 8″ square pan. Place chocolate squares in a single layer on top of batter. Cover the squares layer with the remaining batter.
5. Bake 20 to 30 minutes
6. Remove and let cool, cut into 16 squares.
Bacon Peanut Brittle (a.k.a Pig Candy)
If you don’t already know, bacon and chocolate make a fabulous couple. Mazel Tov!
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 Tbs pure ground ancho chili
Pinch of ground Cayenne pepper
1 cup whole salted, roasted peanuts
2 cups cooked, crumbled Applewood bacon, fully rendered and drained well
2 Tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 tsp baking soda
1. Butter a baking sheet with about ½ tablespoon of the butter.
2. Place sugar and corn syrup in a large, heavy 4 or 5 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stir the sugar and corn syrup until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly and pale golden brown.
3. Add ground chile and cayenne and cook for 2-3 minutes longer, or until the sugar mixture has reached the hard-crack stage, about 300ºF if you are using a candy thermometer.
4. Take off the heat and working very quickly, stir in the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of butter, then beat in the baking soda.
5. Add the peanuts and bacon and mix well. Immediately pour onto the prepared baking sheet—it should even itself out, but if it doesn’t, smooth with a spatula and let cool.
6. Break the brittle into pieces by giving the entire tray a sharp slap on the kitchen counter.Store brittle in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.