Everyone is talking about Cindy’s cookies.

Below is an article that appeared on the front page of the Connecticut Post in December 2003. 

Marathon bakers 

Recipients praise cookie queens 


FAIRFIELD - Sandra Lee’s and Cindy Slipko’s annual cookie-baking marathon yields thousands of delectables after 20 hours of non-stop mixing, rolling, baking and dipping. 

“When we do something, we do it big,” Lee said of this year’s recent bake-a-thon that stretched over two days in her Flower House Drive kitchen. “Every year, it gets bigger and bigger.” 

Lee and Slipko, who first started baking cookies together 21 years ago, now give them away. Among the lucky recipients are relatives, friends, teachers and students at the Christian Heritage School in Trumbull, and members of Black Rock Congregational Church, where Lee is a children’s choir teacher. 

“We give to a lot of people,” Lee said. “This is the season to give.” Lee said she and her friend produced 7,000 treats during the marathon session. 

Lee, who moved from Long Island to Fairfield 14 years ago, is proud of the cookies she and Slipko make every Christmas season. 

Lee said they’re made from scratch using only the finest ingredients, including light and dark Merkin’s chocolate that Lee buys by the case

in New Jersey, and Scharffen Berger, a pure dark chocolate. 

For the karova chocolate cookie, Lee and Slipko mix the Scharffen Berger chocolate with French sea salt. 

“The combination of chocolate and French sea salt makes the cookie fantastic,” Lee said. “It’s a chocolate lover’s dream.” 

“You’ve got to use the real good chocolate or the cookie won’t taste right,” Lee said. She estimates that all the ingredients cost between $700 and $800. 

Lisa Herrera, a credit manager at Empire Scientific in Deer Park, N.Y., and a yearly cookie recipient, said people in the office line up when Slipko’s husband, Spencer, brings in batches. 

“When he comes in with his trays, we do nothing but attack,” Herrera said. “There’s no words to explain the flavor.” 

Craig Massaro, manager at Lupe’s Drug Store on Black Rock Turnpike, said he especially likes the chocolate-covered pretzels that Lee brings in every December. “They’re delicious. We enjoy them very much,” Massaro said. “It’s a very kind gesture.” 

The women’s annual cookie fest started after the two met more than two decades ago. 

At the time, Slipko’s mother-in-law, Mary, had a kidney stone, and Lee was working in Long Island Jewish Hillside Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. 

Slipko said she was touched by Lee’s concern for her mother-in-law and thanked Lee with a batch of cookies made from Mary’s recipes. 

Lee, who always had a knack for cooking and baking, knew a good cookie when she tasted it, and Cindy Slipko invited her new friend over for a day of making cookies. 

The friendship and cookies have continued every December since, Lee and Slipko said. 

“We love each other. We’re like sisters. We’re very, very close,” Lee said. “We look forward to this day annually. It is our day. Even though we’re working it’s still pleasurable because we’re together and that’s meaningful to us.” 

Lee and Slipko said they lived two towns away in Long Island before Lee moved to Fairfield from Baldwin, N.Y. 

Now, Slipko makes the trip up to Lee’s kitchen every December from Merrick, N.Y. 

In the beginning, Lee and Slipko made only a few hundred cookies. But the tally climbed as word spread about the Long Island natives’ skills in the cookie department. 

“One person tells another,” Slipko said. 

Lee isn’t worried about the expanding holiday cookie total. 

“We both grew up in families that love to cook,” Lee said. “I could stay in the kitchen and just cook and bake all day long. I just love it.” 

Lee and Slipko are now shipping their cookies to such far-flung spots as China, Holland and Germany, where Lee’s husband, Andrew, a wholesale horticulturist, has business clients. 

Slipko said she sends cookies to Iraq to Pfc. Cindy Foley, a friend of her daughter’s and member of the U.S. Army Reserves. 

Lee said her husband describes their kitchen as “one big fat cookie sheet” after the annual bake-a-thon because of all the butter and flour on the floor. 

“By the end, we’re slipping and sliding on the floor,” Lee said. 

Delectables baked this December included Linzer tortes, English Shortbreads, chocolate-dipped logs, pecan balls, spice balls, toffee cookies, chocolate cookies, kolachy cookies, Christmas tree cookies and spritz cookies. 

“A little bit of love goes into each cookie,” Lee said. “This is New York-style baking at its best.”