Cookie mix

13 Dec

I am a bit stumped about what to give to the kids’ teachers as a holiday gift this year.  Back home I’m predictable as the sun: coffee gift card.  Because I know I need a cup of coffee or two to get me through the day with my kids, and I made them myself from scratch and am pretty attached.  I’d give their teachers liquor cards if I didn’t think that might be misconstrued.

But, hmm, in England, what’s the norm?  Someone told me that “American” gifts are appreciated because they are different.  That gives me cause to raise my eyebrows because — really? — I haven’t noticed that unusual, unpredictable, and ‘different’ is considered a good thing here.  But, you know, being American, anything I do is going to be different, probably.

I had the fantasy of making cookie mixes a la Bakerella, but then I remembered how upsetting people find it when I wish them a nice day.(*)  How much worse might it be to give a gift that forces them to bake in order to enjoy it?

Also, I don’t have a color printer, or sueded leather ribbons, or jars, or that much energy and talent, so, whatever.

I did make one for myself, just for fun:

Oldest child stared into it, whispering: “It’s a jar of sweet sugar, all for me.”  Back off, kid.

Instead of making more of these we decided to simply bake up the cookies for the teachers.  Pros:  American, cookies, easy.  Cons:  American, cookies, easy.  But these are my very own recipe, and include not only chocolate chips, not only chocolate chunks, not only m&ms, not only pecans, not only two kinds of sugar, but all that and butterscotch chunks.  I don’t care what kind of day you are having, you open up a jar of butterscotch chunks and your day is now amazing.

Ahem.  Anyway.

Each of the kids gave the jar a good shake for luck and to mix up the dry ingredients, and then we added the butter (oh yes) and eggs.

Small scoops on to trays and in to the oven:

And a few minutes later, here’s your army of cookies:

Arise!  Arise and go forth!

A simple wrap job with gift bags from Michael’s which somehow made it over the ocean tucked into a box somewhere:

We’re passing them out tomorrow.   As I ask so often in this blog:  wish me luck.

(*)  For example:  When checking out at the grocery store, customer and cashier will engage in an stream of ‘thank you’ and cheerfully high-pitched ‘bye-bye’ that is apparently endless.  A dozen bye-byes in and I start to wonder if I should just grab a chair and put up my feet.  Bye-bye!  Thanks!  Bye-bye!  Bye!  Thank you!  Bye!  But a complete conversation stopper: “Have a nice day.”  This earns stares.  I can almost see them thinking.  And I swear to god this is what is going through their brain:

What do you mean ‘have a nice day’?  What, to oblige you, I have to have a nice day?  Who are you to tell me what to do?  Have a nice day?  What the hell do you mean by that?  Have a — seriously, are you insane?  Are you mentally ill?  My day is none of your business and you are a horrible rude idiot.

And what they actually say is


Because, as far as I can tell, when an English person wishes to let you know you are an idiot, they ignore you.

But since this gets me out of the checkout line in less than four hours, I’m cool with it.  Anyway, I really do wish they would have a nice day.  I mean, damn, they’ve got to put up with people like me.


7 Responses to “Cookie mix”

  1. Zazzy December 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    The cookies look great and I, for one, would appreciate the mix. Still, if they don’t like “have a nice day” maybe the baked cookies are a better choice. Interesting cultural differences.

  2. Tesni December 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    I’m English and I say ‘Have a nice day’ to shop assistants. Normally goes down fine, they say ‘Thanks, you too’ and then I leave.

    Those cookies look fantastic! Any chance of sharing the recipe?? I’m still trying to find the perfect cookie recipe and this looks like it could be a winner.

    • Monique December 14, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      Fair enough! My mind reading may be on the fritz but the dead silence and stare are a repeated phenomena I can’t explain. Maybe my accent sounds weird, so no one knows what I’m saying??

      This particular cookie mix is a family secret (oooooo) but it’s just a basic butter cookie recipe with added tasty bits — you might try

  3. Nancy Jones Cyr December 14, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    WOW….the cookies look fabulous!!!! Hug the kids for me, please.
    Tell them that George and Nita are bringing the usual Christmas gift from me to each of them….No more of the “Unbirthday Stuff”….
    Love each of you in a very, very special way..Don’t forget me while you are enjoying your life in the UK….I really enjoyed the ten days I spent in London some years ago..

    Aunt Nancy

    • Monique December 14, 2011 at 11:59 am #

      Hi Aunt Nancy, of course we won’t forget you while we’re over here! I wish you could come visit (when it is sunny and warmer) — I always think of you when I pass the flower sellers. =)

  4. Sarah December 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Family secret, huh? Well, just promise (if) when we cross paths you’ll make me some. Also, thought you should know that my boys’ teachers received Monique’s Pumpkin Muffins for Christmas this year. Also dropped off a big plate of them for all the other teachers, and garnished everything with Hugs Pretzel treats and Rolo Turtles. Everything was a hit – especially the muffins! So, thank YOU for the inspiration!

    • Monique December 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

      Mmmmmmmm, pumpkin!! With rolo turtles — mmm! Mmmmmmmm! It’s not really secret, if you take your favorite chocolate chip recipe, increase the flour and butter a bit, and add pecans, m&ms, butterscotch, whatever you like, then you get this.

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