Perfect savory/sweet recipe combos for an office meeting?
July 14, 2009 7:36 AM   Subscribe

I've been bitten by the baking bug! I need help figuring out what combination of 2 different recipes (1 savory, 1 sweet) would be perfect for a morning office meeting of 5-6 people that will survive not being refridgerated. Also, simplicity is best since I've only just started to foray into baking. (More details inside.)

I've been scouring various baking blogs and have lots of ideas for what I could do, but I'm falling short on what sort of combination would be the best for this particular problem.

My office has a meeting on Tuesday at 10am with 5-6 attendees. Our normal 'catering' has been a box of donuts and one of those boxes of coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I've baked 2 other recipes for the communal table that have gotten rave reviews from my co-workers. I've also been baking for myself and it seems to be going pretty well. I've previously made cheesecake brownies and chocolate chip cookies. I want to try and make something interesting to bring for the meeting. (Someone else is already handling the beverages.)

I've read the following previous questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

The question (in list form): What should I make (within the following criteria?)

2 recipes with one sweet and one savory.
Able to survive without refrigeration for at least a week (longer is preferable).
Fairly simple recipe. (Detailed is okay, but only with specific instructions.)
Not require special mixers or machines. (I've got an electric mixer, but that's about it.)
Cheap to make.
Not too messy/sticky.
Easy to transport.
Include as many natural ingredients as possible (no fake butter).
No beans.
No alcohol involved (except for vanilla extract).

Not cookies or brownies.
Somewhat healthy. (No applesauce substitutions, ugh.)
Not including expensive or difficult to find ingredients. (Basically, things that could be found at Giant or Safeway [within the state of Maryland].)
Uses up about 1/3 cup of cream cheese frosting.
Not needing plates and/or forks for consumption.
Doesn't make a massive amount of the final product. (I can halve recipes, but I'd like not to.)
Be a nice compliment to coffee.
American measurements (cups, not liters).

Allergies and other dietary restrictions are not an issue. I know that one person likes peanut butter. I've got pans galore.
posted by sperose to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I like this Blueberry Coffee Cake recipe. It calls for 3 ounces of cream cheese, but I think you could make it with less and still be okay.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:42 AM on July 14, 2009

Wow, asking for baked goods that'll survive a week without refrigeration is a tall order. I hope you're not going to be somewhere humid, because mold central.

Anyway, everyone likes banana bread. With nuts or chocolate chips or just plain. It's sweet, but a little savory, too. Great with coffee, and hearty for breakfast. This recipe looks good, but there's really no way to screw it up.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:44 AM on July 14, 2009

A really hearty, chock-full-o-stuff Morning Glory muffin recipe. I like this one.

How about a tin of tangy cinnamon rolls?

Both of these recipes are sweet, but I can't think of anything in the "savory breakfast" category I'd like to eat after it's been sitting around for a week...
posted by pintapicasso at 7:52 AM on July 14, 2009

I don't think any homemade baked goods would last a week, except very crisp, dry things like savory crackers and sweet biscotti. Those would also fit your requirement that the snack be healthy (easier to eat in smaller portions than, say, cake). I've never made memorable crackers or biscotti, but I've seen some tasty-looking recipes on Tastespotting.
posted by Meg_Murry at 7:53 AM on July 14, 2009

If it's tasty enough and not a huge amount of food, it'll be gone in less than a week. I just know from our office that if it does wind up in the fridge--no one will eat it because they'll forget it's around.
posted by sperose at 7:57 AM on July 14, 2009

If you make choux pastry1 it is the basis for both gougere2 and profiteroles 3.

But I agree with oinopaponton that nothing worth making is likely to last a week without refrigeration. Even those Dunkin' Donuts were probably made that morning.

1. puff pastry dough
2. cheese puffs
3. cream puffs
posted by ecurtz at 8:00 AM on July 14, 2009

I'd probably go with savoury and sweet muffins - quick, easy, endless variations on flavours, and will last a few days before going too stale to eat.

At a quick look, there are easy zuchinni muffin and blueberry muffin recipes on Simply Recipes. I'd also second Tastespotting mentioned above as a good place to get recipe ideas.
posted by shewhoeats at 8:28 AM on July 14, 2009

I'd say that banana bread and muffins are what you want to do. Muffins can be berry, oatmeal, carrot bran, etc -- these are both sweetish, but not too sweet. They also last reasonably well in a big ziploc freezer bag and can be healthy. They're also easy to serve and not messy.

Many muffins are made with applesauce and are very good, it's not a bad sweetener. Juice is also good in muffins.
posted by jeather at 8:30 AM on July 14, 2009

How big is your office? There are 5-6 people in your meeting, is that the whole office? In my experience, any sort of cake, muffin, cookie, brownie, or quick bread set out in an office kitchen or break room in an organization with at least a few employees will be reduced to crumbs in a couple hours. So, say your recipe yields 12 servings (maybe one loaf of banana bread?), 4 slices get eaten during the meeting, and the remaining 8 are put in the break room. By the end of the day, there will be at most one half of one slice left if someone felt guilty about taking the whole last slice. (It's ok to throw out the stale last piece of cake, I promise.) I'd strongly recommend Orangette's banana bread

Savory things are a tougher sell because it feels like real eating, whereas a little bite of something sweet is just a little treat.
posted by Meg_Murry at 8:36 AM on July 14, 2009

This is the super easy banana bread recipe I've been using. I sometimes throw in a handful of chocolate chips or some nuts.

Pumpkin bread might be a good option for those who don't like things as sweet.
posted by BlooPen at 8:42 AM on July 14, 2009

Scones. One with some type of fruit (blueberry, cherry, peach, whatever) and then another with bacon and cheddar cheese. Or just cheese.
posted by Atom12 at 8:49 AM on July 14, 2009

There's 4 people in the office always, but 2 people are coming down for the meeting from the main campus. We may be able to give away some leftovers to our couriers and maintenance folks.

Thanks for all the help. I've been browsing that damn Tastespotting site all day and it's filling me with all sorts of ideas.
posted by sperose at 8:54 AM on July 14, 2009

What about danish? I don't know how hard or easy they are to make, but one cheese danish recipe and one fruit danish recipe would work well, and you would be able to thin down your cream cheese frosting to make a drizzle for it.
posted by Night_owl at 9:59 AM on July 14, 2009

For a morning meeting, it might be nice to make something breakfast-y like scones. You can make one sweet-type and one savory type, so you can make two different types of dishes without having to buy tons of different types of ingredients.

I have made these ham & cheese scones and they were fairly easy. The recipe says it serves 8. You can look for other scone recipes online (do what I do, see what tastepotting has to offer on the subject).
posted by nuclear_soup at 11:12 AM on July 14, 2009

If you like TasteSpotting, you should also check out FoodGawker :)

I've been eyeing these Good Morning Muffins from Pioneer Woman for a while, but haven't had the opportunity to make them yet. I'd bet they would be good. (She has a lot of other awesome recipes, too: Orange Marmalade Rolls, Monkey Bread, French Breakfast Puffs, etc.)
posted by geeky at 11:57 AM on July 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

A brioche dough or sweet pastry is extremely versatile. I just made brioche buns filled with a blueberry and cream cheese filling that were a huge hit (self link to recipe). Depending on the butter content, the dough itself can be a pain to work with, you have to keep it cool or it starts melting in your hand, but once baked, they function exactly like doughnuts in ease of serving and lack of mess but are far more delicious.

The sweet pastry link above links to several ideas for pastry as well, but really you can do just about anything with it. There is a link to a recipe for a bacon pastry slice that you can use as your savory half. Make sure to watch the awesome video to learn how to work the dough. Learning the french fold is a _huge_ part of bread baking.
posted by hindmost at 1:28 PM on July 14, 2009

Not even slightly healthy, but good, and uses up the black bananas that occasionally get missed at the bottom of the fruit bowl (chuck em in the freezer till you're ready to make a cake)

Cream 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar. Mix in two eggs, two mashed bananas and a tsp of vanilla. Mix 1 tsp baking soda with 1/2 cup milk, mix into sugar mixture. Stir in 1 3/4 cups of SR flour. (recipe also calls for a pinch of salt, but I always forget). Put in greased 8" square tin. Bake in moderate oven for 3/4 hour or until top firm.

Icing: Beat 1/4 cup butter until pale, beat in a few tbsps icing sugar, add juice of half a lemon. Beat in more icing sugar until it holds it's shape and tastes good. (a cupish, maybe?) You could probably use your cream cheese icing, but the lemon tastes good.

Easily cuts into 18 slices. Though people will probably eat two.

If you're going to leave it on the table, I suggest putting it in an airtight container. (If it's clear, people will still be able to see the goodies.)
posted by kjs4 at 8:38 PM on July 14, 2009

Oh, and for the savouries, I would just take in a dip and some crackers. (Assuming crackers mean the same thing in your version of english.) I really think that two lots of baked goods is way too much food for six people.
posted by kjs4 at 8:42 PM on July 14, 2009

The winners turned out to be: Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins and Peppery Bacon Cheddar Scones. (I found nice clear containers while scrounging for a bigger muffin pan at my folks' house and so they'll just go in that and hang out in the fridge after the meeting.)

I had a bakeoff at my house over the weekend and made a bunch of recipes and those two turned out the best (and actually go really well together, heh).

(Props on the Foodgawker and Tastespotting recs though. I now feel I will never be strapped with what to make for dinner ever again!)
posted by sperose at 10:24 AM on July 20, 2009

« Older What is the current state of the art in MAME...   |   I have a block of tempeh that's mocking me. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.