To celebrate National Cookie Day on December 4, we asked Mary Jo Banwart, owner of Cookies, etc. to guest blog for us. We got lucky and she even included a delicious recipe PLUS a special offer (see below)! Enjoy!
My mom is 95 years young and a baking fiend. She’s definitely old school, which is fine by me, because her fresh-from-the-oven goodies (can’t you smell the vanilla and sugar wafting thru the kitchen?) have to not only taste good, they have to look good too. She has grocery bags of recipes ripped from magazines and tests those using church potlucks attendees, funeral dinner mourners and harvest crews as her critics. So when I heard that December 4, is National Cookie Day, I knew it really was a day to honor my mom, Marge.
Mom taught home-economics in 1943 and precision was the key. She taught all four of her daughters to bake from scratch and take pride in what we made. Blue ribbons were highly sought after at the 4-H fair and no effort was too minimal to get the perfect result. If your first batch didn’t meet the Marge test, and, because you desperately wanted to go to bed you dared utter the words “good enough,” you may as well have washed your own mouth out with a bar of soap. Good enough simply, well, wasn’t.
So after my oldest sister had a chance encounter with Debbie Fields (Yes, the Mrs. Fields) in California, she reported back that the cookies were good, but nothing we couldn’t do. But selling only cookies from a store…who ever heard of such a thing in 1982? Lucky for us the entrepreneurial spirit ruled in our family. For several weeks we met each Sunday afternoon in my mom’s kitchen each bringing our best batch of cookies. Needless to say, it was “game on” as we competed for taste and appearance. A list was formed naming those recipes that passed the Marge test (with my dad’s blessing), and as a family we decided we were going into the cookie business. Cookies, etc. was created.
Momma Marge believes in baking from scratch. And, so do we. At Cookies, etc. we still crack each egg and measure our premium chocolate chips by the cupful. But here’s the thing, our customers don’t have to bake from scratch because we do. So the next holiday party you attend take a Holiday Wreath Fruit Pizza—we’ll make the cookie from scratch and you put on the finishing touches.
Holiday Wreath Fruit Pizza
15 in. sugar cookie completely topped with lemon cream cheese frosting (Order from Cookies,etc. one day in advance of pick up—don’t forget to request the frosting)
2 baskets of raspberries or medium strawberries, washed and dried on a towel
Peel and slice kiwi. Arrange overlapping slices around outer edge of the cookie to resemble a wreath, leaving a 6 inch gap at the top. Form a bow with the berries placing them firmly in the frosting filling the gap at the top. Nestle berries in three groups of three around the wreath making sure to secure them in the frosting. Refrigerate. Best served within hours of being made.
…and to all a good bite. It will definitely pass the Marge test.
Happy National Cookie Day! Friday, December 4 buy a regular Cookies, etc. cookie and get the 2nd cookie for $1! Enjoy one special per customer per visit.
217 Main 2801 Grand Avenue Depot Deli & Cookies, etc.
Clear Lake, Iowa Ames, Iowa 526 Main Street, Ames, Iowa
You can also order delicious cookies to be delivered locally in Clear Lake or Ames, or shipped anywhere! Click to learn more.