Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Thank Yous

I work for a research firm to the energy industry. We do things like put a value on the stocks of oil and gas companies and maintain a database of mergers and acquisitions across all energy sectors. My job is to guide clients through the use of our website, do searches for them, and do some administrative work for them like set up trials, add new users, and send out contract renewals. (I did say in my profile that my day job was boring. Don't say I didn't warn you.)

I know my company's website inside and out, but I don't always know the technical stuff. Sometimes a client will call with a complicated financial or geological question that I just can't answer. That's when I have to ask our analysts.

There are three chief analysts at this company who have made my job much easier during the year. They answer the mind-blowing questions clients throw at me. They hold clients' hands when they're totally confused and upset. They try to explain things to me in layman's terms when I'm just not getting what a particular report is talking about. I could not do my job without them.

I want to thank these analysts in a special way. In the past I have often bought them small boxes of chocolates. This year I decided to make it more personal and bake cookies instead. I know my coworkers always appreciate it when I bake cookies. How can they not appreciate a batch of cookies they can keep all to themselves.

Since I like to poach recipes from other people's blogs, I opted to make chocolate crackle cookies as recently shown in Colloquial Cookin'. Chocolate crackle cookies are always immensely popular because they look pretty and delicate on the outside, but pack a nice rich, deep, dark, gooey chocolately punch. The year I won the company bakeoff, it was a batch of chocolate crackle cookies that was my only serious competition (sadly, I haven't won the bake off since that year). I knew these would make my favorite analysts happy. I wanted to give them out today because one of the analysts doesn't work out of this office and he's in town this week for the company Christmas party (which I won't be attending because I'm taking my niece to the The Nutcracker tonight).

The best and worst thing about this recipe is that the dough has to be chilled overnight. It's great to be able to do the most work when you know you have time. Then all you have to do is pop them in the oven when you need to use them. It's a big time saver. It was a big advantage for me when I made the chocolate chip cookies with the aged dough for Kevin's birthday. The problem with having cookie dough in your fridge overnight is that it's SO FREAKING HARD not to eat all the dough before the cookies are baked.

I followed Claire's recipe pretty much by the book except I used vanilla and I used all semi-sweet chocolate (I had to shop in the crap supermarket that didnt' have bittersweet).

They certainly look lovely

All packaged up and ready to be distributed

It was not easy driving these to work this morning. I could smell the chocolate in the car. I kept them in the back seat so I couldn't reach over and eat them during the drive. I can't say I wasn't tempted to reach back.

They made it intact to the office and the analysts were quite pleased with their gifts. My favorite reaction came from one analyst who looked into the bag and said, "Yay. Breakfast!"


Sue said...

I'm definitely trying that recipe. They look gorgeous. Those folks are so lucky to have you doing the thanking.

You reminded me of the Jimmy Fallon computer expert character on SNL. People would ask him to show them how to do something. He would harrumph and grab the keyboard from them and do it you're lucky you have nice people to help you.

The Blonde Duck said...

How sweet of you! They look great!

noble pig said...

Oh yum, they are beauties, very holidayish.

Maria said...

They look amazing! Nice work!

Stacey Snacks said...

Homemade cookies and treats are always the nicest holiday gifts.
The recipients will love these!

We Are Never Full said...

you crack me up! i'd prob. end up eating the dough too. in fact, you've got me thinking that i should steal your idea of making these and giving them to coworkers. you wouldn't mind, would you? these looks SO good.

Peter M said...

Ooooh, I'm telling...knicking a recipe and all!

The cracked look works for me and that lil' French maid knows a thing or...deux!

Complaint Department Manager said...

Funny, I'm the same way with cookie dough. I also can't be trusted with stuff that comes right out of the oven. Cookies and brownies are at their absolute best when they're still hot.

Wow, you work for the man. I'll try not to hold that against you. Even if you are a part of the grand conspiracy.(just playin')

Colloquial Cook said...

Rachel!! Seriously!! Did you not try ONE??? Did you manage to drive to your workplace and not eat one??? Mh. I suppose being bored on the subway is my excuse for taking a head start on my coworkers :-)
I'm so glad you enjoyed making them!

Adam said...

Those look awesome Rach. I like the powered sugar on them, it's like crackly snow :)

This is a great way to show your coworkers you totally appreciate them. I'd be careful though, they might start expecting cookies for analytical brainpower :)

Bunny said...

This are so pretty, I've never made these before but i need to!

Darius T. Williams said...

This is a great thing to do!

Emily said...

Lovely cookies!
I tried making some like these last year, and they were horrible. :/

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Sue - My coworkers do harumph a bit. Let's just say cookies are a way to make them a little less pissy when I ask them for something.

Stacey - I was lucky that they did love these. Each bag had 12 cookies and by lunch time one analyst had eaten all but one of them.

WANF - Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so please, bake away!

Peter - Indeed she does. Do all French people have a pastry gene?

CDM - Alas, tis true. I work for grand conspiracy. No one is quite sure how a liberal treehugger like me ended up in this business, but what's interesting is that my company is fairly well peppered with liberal treehuggers.

Claire- I'm not crazy. I did try one. Kevin even tried two. I am not so cruel as to not save a couple for the folks at home before I take baked goods to work. However, having eaten one, it was hard not to raid the stash and try more.

Adam - I'm afraid that's already happened. It's become like that episode of Friends in my office where Monica made homemade candy for the neighbors jsut to be nice, adn the next thing you know they are bangingn on her door demanding more.

Emily - I can't imagine you making anything horrible!

Thanks everyone for your sweet comments. NPI

Lo said...

What a great gift! Those cookies really ARE gorgeous... and if they taste even HALF as good as they look...

I think homemade gifts are da bomb.

RecipeGirl said...

Your cookies look beautiful. I just love it when people give gifts that are homemade. So thoughtful. I don't get many of those as not many of my friends do that sort of thing!

jessica said...

I made a batch of these and they were fantastic!