Friday, October 26, 2007

Move Over, Mrs. Fields




I wasn't one of those teenage girls who hung out at the mall with my friends eating big giant cookies and drinking soda while window shopping for clothes. I was working at a fabric store and taking extra classes to get through the torture of high school as quickly and as quietly as possible. I tried my best to fly under the radar - and I think I succeeded. I have met old teachers and former classmates whom I knew right away, but who haven't a clue who I am unless I happen to sneeze. Didn't I mention that I have a very distinctive sneeze?

It wasn't until college, when I was a bit more comfortable in my own skin, and had given up on the constant dieting that I discovered the joy of a really big cookie. I was working in a mall at the time and living on dorm food. My parents had paid for the meal plan, because it was required, but I had classes during mealtimes and was rarely on campus for meals during the weekend. I really got tired of the disgusting bagged lunches that I could request if I had the forethought to make plans more than a week in advance. Like that was going to happen very often!

Some of my co-workers introduced me to 'lunch on the cheap'. Either a hot bowl of take-out soup or a single big cookie that would provide enough nourishment to get me through my hours without too much difficulty. My own Mum's cookies were wonderful - my favorites being Mum's Munchers, a kitchen sink kind of cookie, and Dad's cookies, a soft chewy spice cookie. But Mum's cookies weren't BIG, and her cookie jar was a long way away! There was something about those BIG cookies. You could eat one, knowing that it has enough dough to make three, and still fool yourself into thinking 'I've just had A cookie...'.



It wasn't long before I realized that there really is something to that 'freshman 40' they tease about - I think I found all 40 of those mysterious pounds in the first 12 weeks! I also began to really resent the 1/2 hour of work one cookie represented in cost and eventually gave them up in favor of cheap and nutritious soup and salad.


Fast forward to my life as a pastor's wife. It involved a lot of baking. I love baking and I really enjoyed sharing my baking with all of the congregations that we served. For a while I was on to wonderful rich recipes for super sweet squares that everyone seemed to like. Pretty, elegant, easy and 36 'treats' from one pan. I don't do nearly as much baking now that we are not in ministry, at least not as much 'fancy' baking. Muffins, quick breads, brownies and biscuits are my standbys. I still like to make squares occasionally, but for a sweet treat, I am all about cookies. Maybe it's because of the children. They are my cookie monsters!

When our Dreamer was involved in a city soccer league a few years ago, the parents were asked to bring treats. She requested 'giant' cookies, so I scooped my usual chocolate chip cookie dough with my ice cream scoop and voila! Big Cookies! Our AWANA groups also loved it when I made huge cookies for treats during special occasions. They brought back some pretty fond memories. I've lately been experimenting with other cookie doughs, like my Chewy Oatmeal Cookies, and good old Snickerdoodles. The kids loved the novelty of really Big Cookies.


A few weeks ago when I found Big Fat Cookies at Sam's Club for $10, I had to buy the book! It's been frustrating because I have been looking at the recipes and just waiting until my foot was well enough to bake up a storm! There has also been the time factor. I have quickly made my old standbys because these recipes are a bit more complicated - I actually had to read and follow directions! Some of the wait also involved our need to do a 'staples' type shopping trip. Thankfully the ingredients are, for the most part, common and available.






This week the wait has ended! Big fat cookies fill both cookie jars, and they are wonderful. Our favorites so far are 'super-sized ginger chewies' and 'totally chocolate chocolate chip cookies'. We shared some with friends this afternoon and I think they agree - yummy! Lest you think we are going into massive cookie production, each batch only makes 12 big cookies. I am limiting myself to 1 per batch - eaten very slowly with a big glass of ice cold milk or a hot cup of tea.


When I think of all the expensive mall cookies I once bought, they pale by comparison! They weren't baked with love, after all. It really makes a difference!

Edited: The Historian says my title choice is a bit braggy and boastful, but I didn't mean it to be - it was just for fun! Since the recipes are not my own, and I am humbly passing on information about some really yummy cookies that we are enjoying thanks to the fine work of Mrs. Elinor Klivans, author of my new favorite cookie cook book, I'll leave it with this note. Just smile, please!

6 comments:

  1. Your cookies look so good! I didn't know you were a pastor's wife! That's what I am. :)

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  2. Hi Heather - isn't it interesting how much we have in common? The Historian was in ministry before we were married and we took our first pastoral call a few months after our wedding. We've been out of full time ministry for 3 years now, but are involved in our local church. This seems to be where He has us for now, but we continue to be open to His leading.

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  3. i had to laugh when you wrote about your sneeze. one time i tried to sneeze like you do and i nearly blew out my eardrums!

    i hope you are all well =)

    nancy

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  4. Oh Nancy - I'm glad you didn't hurt yourself! There is a reason that I sneeze the way I do - if I didn't I'd have a problem with bleeding. I've had my nose cauterized twice by a doctor and I still need to 'coo' rather than 'ach-choo'! It doesn't hurt me at all and actually really comes in handy on an airplane or after swimming!

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  5. HI, how about posting that molasses cookiee recipe from the cookie book? Elizabeth

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  6. Hi Elizabeth - I wish I could, but there are these pesky little things called copywrite laws, and I do my best to follow them! I only post recipes that I have altered or come up with myself - or recipes of my mum's which don't come from books but from friends. I hope you understand!

    I have found the book on our inter-library loan catalogue so maybe it will be in your library too! If not - the $10 I spent on it at Sam's Club was well worth it!

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