Staying connected through...food!
How do you keep a team connected across nine time zones?!
At Hexagramm Books, since we’ve been quarantined, we’ve been working from Seattle to New York, Atlanta and Paris. We’re a team who prides itself on being foodies. We share home baked goods at the office. We celebrate Thanksgiving with food from all corners of the world. Our outings involve local popsicle shops. When we’re not talking about books, we’re talking about groceries, meals, cuisines!
When quarantine hit, Marie and I both knew that food was going to be a great way to stay connected to our outstanding team. Over the last six months, we’ve shared recipes, photos and inspiration on Slack. We’ve hosted socially-distanced picnics, where we each bring our own food, drinks and chairs. Our latest innovation: this Thursday, we’ll be convening for an online social hour over Zoom. There’s bound to be food and drink!
Hexagramm Books is a company built upon flexibility. It emerged from the financial crisis in 2008, and grew by adapting and planning. Keeping a company alive and well is also about safeguarding its culture! Food is central to our identity and staff connection, and we’re leaning into the joy it brings to our team.
Here are some of our delicious recipes:
Jack’s Wookie Cookies:
60 g white sugar
50 g light brown sugar
50 g dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ stick butter
4.5 g salt
80 g all-purpose flour
80 g bread flour
0.15 g (~⅛ teaspoon) baking powder
3 g baking soda
20 g cocoa powder
80 g chocolate chunks
- Preheat the oven to 315 fahrenheit
- In a large bowl whisk together light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, white sugar, butter, vanilla, egg, and salt
- in a medium to large bowl whisk together all purpose flour, bread flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder
- Fold the dry mixture into the sugar butter mixture one third at a time, but don’t mix the flour completely in
- Fold the macadamia nuts and chocolate chunks into the cookie dough
- make sure there are no flour spots left, but don't mix the dough more than needed.
- Weigh out 50 gram cookies and place them on a baking sheet roughly 3 inches apart
- Bake cookies for 23-25 minutes
- Eat all of the cookies because they are very tasty
Megan’s Carrot Cake Banana Bread:
Inspired by Ambitious Kitchen
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cups quick oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup applesause
- 2 large carrots, shredded
- 1/3 cup almond milk (or any other type)
- Chopped nuts (optional)
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 fahrenheit and grease muffin pans
- In a large bowl mix flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt
- In second bowl mix banana, sugar, egg, and vanilla until combined. Add applesauce and milk, and fold in carrots
- Add wet ingredients to dry and do not overmix. Fold in oil and add chopped nuts if prefered.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking with the toothpick test
- In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until smooth
- When cupcakes are cooled spread cream cheese frosting on top of the muffins
Marie's Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Pound Cake
Inspired by Melissa Clark from the NY Times
- 1 stick of butter
- 200 g sugar (dark brown, light brown, or granulated)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cardamom (optional)
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 190 g gluten-free King Arthur’s flour
Start by heating your oven to 350 degrees, and beating a stick (115 grams) of softened butter with 200 grams sugar in your mixer. I used dark brown sugar, but light brown or granulated would be good, too.
Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well. Then add 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and baking soda, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. And if you have cardamom, add ¼ teaspoon to round out the cinnamon. Add ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum.
Once that’s smooth, beat in 1/2 cup sour cream. Then add 190 grams of gluten-free King Arthur’s flour, beating until smooth, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.
Remove from fridge and pour into a loaf pan, covered on all sides with alumimum foil and buttered.
Bake for 40 minutes.
For the topping — and this is the best part — mix 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar with another teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl, breaking up the brown sugar with your fingers, then sprinkle the mixture on top of the cake. It looks like a lot of topping. It is a lot of topping, but in a happy, more-is-more kind of way.
Bake for another 10 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Let it cool in the pan completely before starting to slice off slivers until the thing is gone.
Thank you so much for staying in touch, and for keeping us going!