Thursday, July 31, 2008

Spicy Girl: Spicy Cookie

I'm not just a baker.  I'm an employer.  Ray and I often marvel at our luck with our staff.  They're dedicated, smart, funny and mostly on time.  But this isn't Wall Street; we're not offering the big bucks or stellar career paths. It's a bakery/café for God's sake.  So the time comes that many of our employees have to move on to bigger and better things. 

The end of summer is the time when we start to re-staff.  Our crew is making plans to go back to school.  So we put out ads.  We need semi-literate go-getters who are in possession of all their front teeth and have a limited criminal past.  I add this last part because we made the mistake of hiring a felon once.  Not that there's anything wrong with dabbling in a little grand larceny when you're a youngster. Happens to everyone.  But in this case, we could have saved ourselves a lot of pain had we Googled the scamp.

So now we've taken to doing a quick search.  Just in case.  Young people, they're prone to drunken hi-jinks and lately everyone is documenting their youthful indiscretions and posting the evidence online.  I've got no problem with that.  I once did a backbend in the middle of a local watering hole at college after a sloppy date with Mr. Bacardi.  I was hosting a little shindig called "Jamnesty" to raise money for Amnesty International and to get signatures on petitions in hopes of securing the release of poor souls trapped in foreign prisons for speaking their minds.  Or maybe for posting drunken pictures of themselves.  A local made me an offer, "Girl, I'll sign that thing if you do a backbend over that rope."  It was a red rope dividing bar area from the dance floor.  I'm a dedicated human rights activist.  And I was very drunk.  Problem is I'm not limber.  So once I got myself into the backbend, I couldn't get out of it.  I wish I had a picture of that moment because I've never been able to do a backbend since.

Long story longer than it needed to be, bottom line is that I understand and expect to find embarrassing pictures online. What I don't expect is to find a close-up of a prospective employee's lady parts.  Posted not by some evil ex-boyfriend who took the pictures unbeknownst to the poor girl but by the proud owner of the coochie herself.  On a popular public forum. Multiple pictures.  And once the pictures loaded, I said what any slightly open minded but really kind of
prudish woman would say, "Oh for f*ck's sake."

By all means, be proud of your nether blossom.  Take pictures if you like.  But I've got to wonder about your judgment if you plaster them like billboards on the information super highway.  And I'm sure you'd say that if you were working in my establishment that you'd keep your bits under wraps.  But how can I be positive?   And what if I find you posting a picture of one of my pastries in a compromising position?  I don't think I can live with that.

In conclusion, yes.  Prospective employers Google you.  So keep those pictures of your private parts private, unless you're applying for a position in the oldest profession.  Please, post away.  But if you're torn, if you need an outlet for your spicy side but don't want to resort to taking a zoom lens to your family jewels, here's a recipe for a very spicy cookie.  It'll take the edge off.


1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 stick butter, room temp
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon all-spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup chopped crystalized ginger
2 1/4 cups flour

Cream sugar, molasses and butter in a large mixing bowl until light.  Molasses makes this a little runnier than most creamed batters, so don't worry.  Add the egg and beat until fluffy.  Put the dry ingredients, except the crystalized ginger, in a bowl and whisk so they're all combined.  Add slowly to the wet mixture and mix until a stiff batter is formed.  Just before everything is well incorporated, add crystalized ginger.

Flatten the dough onto parchment.  Place on a sheet pan and cover with saran.  Refrigerate for a few hours.

Preheat oven to 350.  Roll out dough on slightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick.  Use a round cookie cutter and transfer cookies to a sheet pan covered with parchment. Sprinkle with sanding sugar (if you like).  Bake cookies until crisp.  About 10 minutes.