Boss’s Day, Oct. 16, gives everyone the green light to brown nose.
And brown-nosing never tasted this good: Debra Yampol, originator of Soul Surfing Pizza in Skokie, has the perfect brownie recipe for fall. Her “Hang 10 Brownies” showcase caramel and pretzels, two popular fall foods.
“Salt, sweet and smooth chocolate; seriously, what could be better?” Yampol asked.
All of the components of the brownies can be made from scratch or by taking short cuts, like melting caramels in a little water to make a drizzle sauce.
Hang 10 Brownies will be available at Soul Surfing Pizza for Boss’s Day — and also for Sweetest Day, Oct. 19.
“As much as Boss’s Day is a day to appreciate the boss, Sweetest Day doesn’t discriminate who it celebrates, but rather is a holiday which offers us the opportunity to remember the sick, aged and orphaned, and also friends, relationships, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed during the past year,” Yampol said.
It’s no surprise that Yampol honors what some call the “greeting card holidays.” She loves them. She once even submitted a recommendation to a well-known greeting card company, suggesting they establish a Grandparents Day. They did. As for Boss’s Day, the first was held in Deerfield 55 years ago. Patricia Bays Haroski, a secretary for State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, registered National Boss’s Day with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She chose Oct. 16 — the day Boss’s Day is still annually celebrated — because it was her father’s birthday, and at the time he was also her boss. In 1962, Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner proclaimed Boss’s Day an official holiday.
“To Chicagoans, Boss’s Day should mean a bit more than it may to the rest of the country, since it began in Deerfield,” Yampol said. “Taking a single day out of our lives to thank those who have given us jobs and environments and the ability to pay our bills is a worthwhile thing. To do so by taking the time to create something personal makes it all the more meaningful.”
But if you want to treat the boss to lunch instead, there are plenty of options. Market House on the Square owner Mark Westcott said he’s a huge fan of the Lake Forest restaurant’s beef stroganoff with house-made pasta.
For other bosses, Westcott’s picks from his menu range from healthy to guilty indulgences. For health-conscious bosses, he recommended the Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Almonds and Beet Paint. For a guilty indulgence, he suggested the Whitefish Sandwich. Basil, sweet chili vinaigrette and shallots pack the sandwich with flavors that have won the restaurant awards.
But for those still not convinced the holiday is worth their while, consider following in Yampol’s footsteps — submit an idea for a new one.
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
12 ounces milk chocolate chips (semi-sweet chips also work)
In medium bowl, add together butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Add eggs, individually, making sure each egg is thoroughly beaten in before continuing on to the next egg.
In a separate bowl, add together flour, cocoa and salt. Stir until blended. Slowly add dry ingredients to liquid mixture and continue to stir until blended completely. Mix in chocolate morsels.
Spread batter over chilled caramel and pretzel crust (see separate recipes for caramel and crust). Cook for 30-35 minutes (depending on your oven, you may want to check the brownies after 25 minutes). Add frosting.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for non-stick pans)
Place large handfuls of pretzels in plastic zipper bag. Seal bag, and use a rolling pin or other heavy object to crush pretzels until there are 1 1/2 cups of crushed pretzels. Combine crushed pretzels with brown sugar (about two tablespoons) and butter (about 1/2 cup). Press into bottom of pan. Bake for eight minutes.
1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Combine first three ingredients and place in medium saucepan. Cook over a medium-low flame until mixed, stirring lightly but consistently to prevent burning and to allow thickening (for about five minutes).
When product has obviously thickened, add vanilla and cook one or two minutes more.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 cup milk
Place first four ingredients in medium mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, continuously remixing batch until texture and taste are to your liking. Spread on cooled brownies.
— From Debra Yampol, Soul Surfing Pizza