Teta Sylvija’s Monster Cookies (my answer to a cookie potluck crisis)
The past few weeks have been nothing short of hectic. Between an onslaught of holiday functions and the responsibilities at work that have steadily racked up, time seems to have flown by in a tangle of days and weekends smeared into a giant blur. My mind is even more exhausted than my body…as I sit here writing this entry on my phone’s memo pad, as my Google Reader unread list silently grows and grows….
‘Tis been quite the holiday season I must say. More so than last year, that’s for sure. I guess I should give credit to the environment I’ve been absorbed in lately. Working in the seemingly endless shopping pit known as the PATH, being appointed 8th floor Christmas decorating chief, participating in two departments’ worth of cookie exchanges, listening to an endless loop of Christmas tunes courtesy of 98.1 and, of course, the perpetual fall of white frosty flakes that drift by my window daily (and just so happen to be the reason why my poor cousin is stranded camping in Heathrow airport…apparently 20cm of flurries makes for a much more devastating situation in London than it does here) And although this snowy Christmas may have brought about a shortage of international flights, it has definitely not been able to put a plug on the surplus of Christmas treats I’ve been experiencing. From neighbours’ desks, to retirement and anniversary cakes, to the Sweet Temptations store just an escalator ride away and the daily sales at Pharma Plus I just seem to be swimming in sugar.
As I mentioned, working on two different floors for two different departments means two things: two sets of emails announcing the arrival of the daily spread of Christmas goodies…as well as the obligation to participate in contributing to it…twice. It is my first holiday season with the team, and as they have made such a good impression on me, I am determined to do the same. So after perusing through new blog entries in my subscriber, old recipes in our accordion folder, and much brainstorming between Mama and I, I have made my decision.
In an earlier post, I mentioned my love for my family, and introduced you to my Zia Agnese. Now, I feel it is my duty to bring you over to my Lithuanian side. I’d like to start you off with an introduction to my Teta Sylvija (T.S, we call her for short). Over the years, T.S (like my other Teta’s, Zia and my Mociute) has become like a second mother to me. So many of our traditions and rituals have always been celebrated together–annual trips to Wasaga Beach, Christmas ornament shopping at Reeves, weekly sleep-overs (now re-named weekly drink nights), summers spent together poolside and the like… Like my Zia, T.S is quite often the life of the party…and, thanks to her always -over- stocked bar, and her firm belief that a glass should never be anything less than half full, quite often the reason why I never seem to make it to the end of the party…. She is also famous for her spectacular hosting skills…always putting out a spread to impress with fun and delicious dishes featuring the seasons’ finest and the trendiest in healthy ingredients. But despite all this, there are two classic T.S creations that will always bring an instant mental picture of her smiling face to my mind—Teta Sylvia Soup and, more importantly, Monster Cookies.
I remember my first Monster Cookies…it was definitely love at first bite. Even GF requests them multiple times a year. The name says it all itself…seriously…what could be better than a cookie so big that it’s put on par with the one creature that instantly brings to mind enormity.
But I’ll tell you this much, there ain’t nothing scary about these bad boys…well, unless we’re talking calorie count…but that doesn’t even matter this time of year, right??
And not only are these cookies jumbo in size and flavour, but they also make quite a generous batch….
What’s that you say?? Perfect for an office cookie exchange?….
Well! My thoughts exactly:)…
Teta Sylvija’s Monster Cookies
1 stick of unsalted butter softened
two cups of brown sugar
two teaspoons of vanilla extract
6 tablespoons of mix
In a large bowl, combine the above with a mixture. Then mix the following in a separate bowl and add in to the above mixture.
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 box of a 750g box of Harvest Crunch cereal
Add a bag of chocolate chips and two generous handfuls of raisins (I used cranberries to make it a bit more festive feeling) and mix until everything is well combined, and you don’t see any more white chunks of flour. Drop by tablespoon onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
Get ready, you’re going to need some time, and quite a bit of soup to wash and continuously reuse your cookie sheets.
That, or a really really big oven….
…and monster size cookie sheets…