Want to Impress Your Coworkers? Bake for Them

When I first started cooking in my kitchen, I did not have any formal training in cooking. I spent many hours as a child seated in the front of the television viewing PBS cooking shows as well as Food Network. Food Network, and working through the cookbooks of my parents. In high school and in college, I enjoyed cooking for my classmates. However, when I relocated from New York to make food my profession, I wasn’t sure how to go about it.

Then I toured the culinary schools I “staged” (the equivalent of an internship) at a handful of establishments, and then I did a brief stint in catering before deciding that the frantic pace of the job wasn’t for me. However, there was something about the romance of pastry work that enticed me into. Then, I ended up working in an kitchen in the tiny restaurant chain run by a family owned and operated by the help of cooks and bakers across the country.

I sat in the mornings and worked on my own for a couple of hours, and I loved being with my own thoughts. I listened to every show on “This American Life” on my iPod Touch and streamed my most loved local radio station KEXP (Seattle) in the midst of carrying heavy loads of sugar and flour and butter, unloading the cases and, perhaps most importantly baking a plethora of cookies and scones. It’s true that New York City can be tranquil and quiet even at 5 a.m. I was always awed by the first few minutes when the staff at the front of the house came in, and I had the opportunity to show my morning’s work to them.

Once, I was able to master the basics of cooking, but it got boring making the same recipes every single day. Fortunately, there was plenty of opportunity to experiment and have a bit of fun, and I used the opportunity. Even if the new scone flavours and elaborate cupcakes that I imagined never appeared on in the restaurant menus, they provided us all a bit of relief from the daily running at the eatery. I made elaborate cookies to celebrate holidays and honed my cake decorating abilities thanks to the help of my highly talented coworkers who could paint and create so exquisitely. We were all trying to impress one another, and I would always try to bake the best snacks that I could share with my colleagues.

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Opt to make a dish that has an extra something to it.

If you’re in a traditional office There’s no reason why you shouldn’t benefit from the joys that baking for the folks who you work with, especially when you choose an recipe that has a little something extra special such as the one below. These berry-infused blondies that swirl in ooey-goo beautiful. Brown butter provides the nuttiness of toasty, which cuts through the richness of white chocolate. Blueberry provides a burst of lively flavor. They are super-extra-delicious if you can find caramelized white chocolate like Valrhona Dulcey. If you’re scoring points, then you could as well hit it out of the park.

Baking for me was never a job. It was and still is an outlet for me to show my personality. Later, I recall the peaceful early mornings that I used to think up recipes to share with my colleagues. Today, I’m still trying to impress them.

Blueberry Swirl Blondies

The blondies are swirled with blueberry jam and decorated with white chocolate Blondies that are made to delight.

Total Time:1 hour

MAKES: 1 (8-by-8-inch) pan


  • Cooking spray, or butter melted for pan
  • 10-tablespoons (142g) cold butter that is unsalted and not salted.
  • 1 Cup (200g) Sugar packed in dark brown
  • 1 large egg 1 large egg, chilled from the fridge
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt fine
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups (85g) white chocolate chunks or white chocolate chopped
  • 1 cup (75g) blueberry jam well mixed


  1. Set a rack at the center of the oven and heat up to 350°F. Cover a baking pan 8 by 8 inches by spraying cooking oil or apply a brush of melt butter. Line the pan with a piece of parchment paper that is long enough that the edges are hanging over the sides of the pan.
  2. In a small pan or saucepan that has a light-colored interior Melt 8 tablespoons (113g) of butter over a moderate temperature. After melting, cook by stirring continuously, until the milk solids turn a deep golden brown, around 3 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix brown sugar with the remaining two teaspoons (29g) of warm butter. Pour the browned, melted butter over top and mix until it is combined and the solid butter melts for approximately 30 seconds. The mixture will appear somewhat rough and separated.
  4. Add vanilla, egg as well as cinnamon, salt and egg Mix until smooth and shiny.
  5. Whisk in baking powder and baking soda until smooth. Mix in the white chocolate and flour with a spatula. Mix until there are no remaining flour streaks remain.
  6. Transfer the batter into the pan, and smooth the top. Dollop generous teaspoons of jam on the top of the batter and then make use of a skewer or a thin blade to stir jam in batter.
  7. Bake until the top is golden brown and a little wavy in the middle, 25-27 minutes.
  8. Let the blondies cool in a cooling rack. After they are cool then utilize sheets of parchment paper for lifting the bars out from the pan. Slice them and put them in an airtight box at room temperature for up to 4 days.


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