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Meeting-friendly snacks to bake


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#1 Anna N

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:23 PM

Help me choose meeting-friendly snacks to bake

I have repeated ad nauseum that I do not consider myself a baker. I love to make bread but cookies, bars, quick breads, coffee cakes and their ilk are just not my forte. When I'm successful I ascribe it to magic not skill.

My son-in-law has asked if, every two to three weeks, I could provide him with a snack to take to his sales meeting.

I was tempted to decline but decided that a challenge might be fun.

I have loads of cook books including baking books, a reasonable batterie of cake/muffin pans and baking sheets. I have a Bosch compact mixer and a reliable oven.

He requested that the snacks be:

Meeting-friendly
Non-gooey
Nut-free
Not too crumbly
Not require refrigeration
Be easily transportable
Enough for 6-8 people

My specs are:
Doable by a novice
Not requiring exotic and expensive ingredients (I have a very well-stocked pantry)
Could tolerate being made a day or two ahead

What say you, bakers?



.
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#2 emmalish

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:30 PM

Well for a non-baker (which you're NOT, how can you say that when you're a bread baker??), I'd say bars might be the easiest to make. But many of them tend to be gooey or crumbly by nature (especially the layered ones). Brownies and blondies are dead simple to make and you can play around with plain ones or add different inclusions (chocolate chips, coconut, etc).

 

I think cookies will be the most forgiving. If you over- or under-bake them, they'll still be edible (just crunchier or chewier). They're individually portioned already. And there's a never-ending variety to choose from. The more you bake, the fancier you can get – with sandwich cookies and decorated roll-out cookies (if you want to spend the time).


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#3 heidih

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 05:01 PM

I think chocolate chip cookie variants really touch home and give most/many people a smile.

 

Quick breads sliced so they are 2 to 3 bite friendly also come to mind - I love a pumpkin bread in a loaf pan and have served it in that sort of setting with the slices in 4's. Goes great with coffee. Banana bread is in the  same vein but I have found more and more folks that recoil from nanas


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#4 Kerry Beal

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 05:55 PM

I have a buttermilk quick bread recipe that is like the Fine Cooking Bakeshop muffins - you mix and match the add ins to suit what ever you have in your pantry or need to get rid of.  Making something like that every 4th or 5th time with different add ins - they wouldn't even realize it was the same recipe!


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#5 JeanneCake

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 06:14 PM

Maida Heatter's California Fruit Bars are an easy bar to make; you mix brown sugar and egg over heat until the sugar melts, add flour and plumped dried fruit (the original calls for fruit and nuts, and there's a variation with just pecans) and bake in a foil lined pan.  It's basically a blondie with yummy fruit. I like it best with apricots and it was always a hit when I brought it to our Thursday lunch seminars.  The recipe is probably available online but it's in her Book of Great American Desserts

 

I think variations of cookies would be excellent.  Going back to the book above, the Chocolate Gobs are divine.  As are the Raspberry Brownies.


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#6 DianaM

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 06:46 PM

I can recommend these financiers, 4 ingredients, dead easy and very tasty (can be made in regular muffin pan as well, just adjust the baking time):
http://bakingattiffa...nal-financiers/

I like scones as well, they can be made with a nice cheddar and there you have some savoury stuff for those without a sweet tooth.

#7 Shelby

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 06:49 PM

http://smittenkitche...raisin-cookies/

 

This recipe NEVER fails.  I've doubled it and tripled it.  Cookies are perfect every time.


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#8 FauxPas

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 06:49 PM

Kerry's recipe sounds perfect for what you want, as well as the other suggestions! I was just going to say that there are lots of lemon and orange loaf recipes and they tend to freeze very well so you can double recipes and so forth. You can bake some cookies and take a loaf out of the freezer if you want to offer variety for one meeting. You can add things like cranberries or dried fruit. 

 

I like mini-muffins because regular muffins are just too big at times. And muffins don't have to be sweet, they can be savory. Ham & cheese, corn or cornbread muffins with peppers (not necessarily hot peppers!), sun-dried tomatoes, etc.

 

I used to make peanut butter and banana muffins - I think I started with a version of a peanut butter muffin and substituted banana for some of the oil.

 

I'm not really giving anything special here, I'm afraid. (I was going to mention scones as well.) 


Edited by FauxPas, 02 April 2014 - 06:50 PM.


#9 Kerry Beal

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 06:55 PM

I can recommend these financiers, 4 ingredients, dead easy and very tasty (can be made in regular muffin pan as well, just adjust the baking time):
http://bakingattiffa...nal-financiers/

I like scones as well, they can be made with a nice cheddar and there you have some savoury stuff for those without a sweet tooth.

Sadly won't pass the nut free.  Excellent idea on the cheddar scones - and I know Anna has a fabulous Cheddar Muffin recipe too.



#10 DianaM

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:09 PM

Sadly won't pass the nut free.


Ooops. That's what reading diagonally will do to ya. :-p

#11 curls

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:21 PM

Definitely add Dorie's World Peace Cookies to the baking rotation.  http://doriegreenspa...variations.html


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#12 janeer

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:28 PM

I must be the only meeting-goer because I wAnt to know: what time are these meetings? I'd make something different for morning vs afternoon meetings

#13 emmalish

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:50 PM

I must be the only meeting-goer because I wAnt to know: what time are these meetings? I'd make something different for morning vs afternoon meetings

 

Really great point. 


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?


#14 Mjx

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 12:31 AM

Well, not baked, but how about fudge, or some other candy? The not-too-crumbly thing, combined with the other requirements may make finding suitable baked options a bit tricky.


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#15 pbear

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 01:16 AM

I suggest bumbles, which is my term for small, bite-sized biscuits.  Easy to make, easy to store and easy to reheat.  Can be as simple or complex as you wish.  Complex meaning incorporating herbs, bacon, cheese, etc. 



#16 Anna N

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:18 AM

I think chocolate chip cookie variants really touch home and give most/many people a smile.
 
Quick breads sliced so they are 2 to 3 bite friendly also come to mind - I love a pumpkin bread in a loaf pan and have served it in that sort of setting with the slices in 4's. Goes great with coffee. Banana bread is in the  same vein but I have found more and more folks that recoil from nanas


Chocolate chip cookies will surely make it. Banana bread not so much. My son-in-law would likely eat it before he reached the office.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
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#17 Anna N

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:19 AM

I have a buttermilk quick bread recipe that is like the Fine Cooking Bakeshop muffins - you mix and match the add ins to suit what ever you have in your pantry or need to get rid of.  Making something like that every 4th or 5th time with different add ins - they wouldn't even realize it was the same recipe!


Must get you to send me this, please.
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
My 2004 eG Blog

#18 Anna N

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:21 AM

Maida Heatter's California Fruit Bars are an easy bar to make; you mix brown sugar and egg over heat until the sugar melts, add flour and plumped dried fruit (the original calls for fruit and nuts, and there's a variation with just pecans) and bake in a foil lined pan.  It's basically a blondie with yummy fruit. I like it best with apricots and it was always a hit when I brought it to our Thursday lunch seminars.  The recipe is probably available online but it's in her Book of Great American Desserts
 
I think variations of cookies would be excellent.  Going back to the book above, the Chocolate Gobs are divine.  As are the Raspberry Brownies.


Thanks. Will try to track down these recipes.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
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#19 Anna N

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:22 AM

I must be the only meeting-goer because I wAnt to know: what time are these meetings? I'd make something different for morning vs afternoon meetings


Sorry. Morning meetings.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
My 2004 eG Blog

#20 Anna N

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:23 AM

Kerry's recipe sounds perfect for what you want, as well as the other suggestions! I was just going to say that there are lots of lemon and orange loaf recipes and they tend to freeze very well so you can double recipes and so forth. You can bake some cookies and take a loaf out of the freezer if you want to offer variety for one meeting. You can add things like cranberries or dried fruit. 
 
I like mini-muffins because regular muffins are just too big at times. And muffins don't have to be sweet, they can be savory. Ham & cheese, corn or cornbread muffins with peppers (not necessarily hot peppers!), sun-dried tomatoes, etc.
 
I used to make peanut butter and banana muffins - I think I started with a version of a peanut butter muffin and substituted banana for some of the oil.
 
I'm not really giving anything special here, I'm afraid. (I was going to mention scones as well.)


Good points about mini muffins. Thank you.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
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#21 Anna N

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:25 AM

http://smittenkitche...raisin-cookies/
 
This recipe NEVER fails.  I've doubled it and tripled it.  Cookies are perfect every time.


Thanks, Shelby. Added to my list.
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#22 Anna N

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:26 AM

Sadly won't pass the nut free.  Excellent idea on the cheddar scones - and I know Anna has a fabulous Cheddar Muffin recipe too.


How could I have forgotten the cheddar muffins.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
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#23 Anna N

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:30 AM

Well, not baked, but how about fudge, or some other candy? The not-too-crumbly thing, combined with the other requirements may make finding suitable baked options a bit tricky.


Thanks, Michaela. Tried to make fudge many times in my younger days and it was always a failure. Not sure I'd attempt it again. Maybe I'll get lessons from Kerry when we head north this summer.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
My 2004 eG Blog

#24 Anna N

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:32 AM

I suggest bumbles, which is my term for small, bite-sized biscuits.  Easy to make, easy to store and easy to reheat.  Can be as simple or complex as you wish.  Complex meaning incorporating herbs, bacon, cheese, etc.


Intriguing. Can you point me to a recipe?
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
My 2004 eG Blog

#25 cakewalk

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:07 AM

Biscotti might be good for this. They're easy to put together and last forever; or you could bake the loaf and then freeze it before slicing for the second baking. I tend to like biscotti with nuts, but there are many nut-free biscotti recipes, or just leave them out, biscotti are very forgiving.



#26 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:54 AM

In France there's quite a trend for savoury cakes; salmon, olives, ham, lardons, herbs, dried tomatoes, cheese, onion... it's a firm, loaf-style cake that can be sliced. If the idea appeals let me know what sort of flavouring ingredients you prefer and I will happily translate a recipe or two (or if you speak French, just Google recette cake salé, or do so then use Google Translate).

 

Pinwheels could also go down well.

,


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#27 Darienne

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:17 AM

I would like Kerry's quick bread recipe also, please.


Darienne


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#28 pbear

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:15 AM

Intriguing. Can you point me to a recipe?

 

Of course.

 

Bumbles

 

I no longer recall why I call these bumbles but the name stuck.  They make a great party snack and are good with soup.  As mentioned, they're simply American-style biscuits done bite-sized.

 

                       4 c   all purpose flour

                    4 tsp   baking powder

                    1 tsp   salt

                    2/3 c   lard and/or vegetable shortening

                1-1/2 c   buttermilk (or sour milk)

                 2 tbsp   whole milk (or buttermilk)

 

Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in shortening until mixture has texture of cornmeal.  Add buttermilk all at once; stir quickly just until dough follows fork around bowl.  Knead dough gently, 10 to 12 strokes. 

 

Roll out 1/2 inch thick; cut into 3/4 inch squares and roll into balls; place on parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet.  Brush with whole milk.  Bake in 425 degree oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.  May be frozen; thaw, then reheat 5 to 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven.

 

Variations:  With the buttermilk, add 2 c grated cheddar (8 oz) (reduce shortening to 1/2 c) and/or 8 slices bacon (8 oz) (chopped, sauteed and drained) or 8 oz breakfast sausage (crumbled, sauteed and drained).  Or, add 2 tbsp caraway seeds or 4 tbsp chopped fresh sage, thyme or other herb.


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#29 djyee100

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 12:20 PM

...or if you speak French, just Google recette cake sale...

 

 

Here's one recipe in English. I've seen them named as  cake salé and cake aux olives. Real good, though maybe a little heavy-duty for morning pastry.
http://lapetitepoele...ve-cake-recipe/

 

Anna, since you like to bake bread, have you considered sweet breads and rolls? You can make ahead, freeze, then defrost before service. If your son-in-law has access to an office microwave, he could warm the breads or rolls before service. I'm thinking of something like this, cinnamon knots that are popular at a local bakery:
http://www.supereggplant.com/?p=415



#30 Anna N

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 12:26 PM

Of course.
 
Bumbles
 
I no longer recall why I call these bumbles but the name stuck.  They make a great party snack and are good with soup.  As mentioned, they're simply American-style biscuits done bite-sized.
 
                       4 c   all purpose flour
                    4 tsp   baking powder
                    1 tsp   salt
                    2/3 c   lard and/or vegetable shortening
                1-1/2 c   buttermilk (or sour milk)
                 2 tbsp   whole milk (or buttermilk)
 
Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in shortening until mixture has texture of cornmeal.  Add buttermilk all at once; stir quickly just until dough follows fork around bowl.  Knead dough gently, 10 to 12 strokes. 
 
Roll out 1/2 inch thick; cut into 3/4 inch squares and roll into balls; place on parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet.  Brush with whole milk.  Bake in 425 degree oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.  May be frozen; thaw, then reheat 5 to 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven.
 
Variations:  With the buttermilk, add 2 c grated cheddar (8 oz) (reduce shortening to 1/2 c) and/or 8 slices bacon (8 oz) (chopped, sauteed and drained) or 8 oz breakfast sausage (crumbled, sauteed and drained).  Or, add 2 tbsp caraway seeds or 4 tbsp chopped fresh sage, thyme or other herb.


I bet these are big hits. I know with a bowl of soup I'd be on the greedy side! Thank you.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
My 2004 eG Blog