When reason, logic, scientific methods and acute sweetness fail, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Bribery. And not the vulgar cash-based variety, that only works on your garden variety oil-rich despot. This is bribery of the highest order:
MaryBeth volunteered to be her company’s coordinator for Colorado’s Bike to Work Day this year. Of the 60 employees, she was able to convince a mere 15 to find alternative transportation to work this week. Best guess is that about 20% of folks who did sign up probably would have driven a car if they weren’t presented with the opportunity and temptation of a tasty whole-grain chocolate treat. So much for the benefits of exercise.
While you would have thought that getting a bit of exercise one day out of the 200+ per year that they come to work while simultaneously saving a bit of their pricey $4+ per gallon gas would have had them signing up in droves, it took chocolate to get them to do it. Who knows how many would have signed up for a donut…
So next time you need a bit of grease to get the wheels of progress moving again, try a bit of bribery! It works every time as long as you use the right currency.
Here’s what got things moving for MaryBeth’s company, from Oprah Magazine (March 2008):
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375°. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in brown sugar. Stir in apple butter, eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips, walnuts and raisins. Return dough to bowl, cover and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes to an hour. (Note: I left it a full 24 hours)
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough by rounded soup-spoonfuls about 1 inch apart. Bake 13–15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking, until bottoms of cookies are golden brown. Immediately transfer cookies to racks to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.