Cookie Monster

In the cookie beginning there was the Word.

And the word was Salerno.

Eating a Salerno Butter Cookie is probably my first lifetime cookie experience.  How well I remember those butter-favored pinwheels nestled in their plastic sleeves.

Their Art Deco factory on Division Street in Humboldt Park was (almost) a landmark.

Sadly, it was up for landmark status when in 2015 the order from the city came to tear it down.

But into my life also had come Oreos, Nilla Wafers and Fig Newtons.


I was saved.

Maurice Lenell was an old Chicago bakery favorite in our house, too.

But in 2008, their factory closed, too.  And by 2015, the small outlet that had still been selling the beloved pinwheels, jelly stars, Spritz, Powder Puffs and Almonettes had been shuttered, too.

Back in the late 50’s, when I was a girl scout in Troop 110, Samoa, Thin Mints and Trefoils were my jam.

And in 1976, Pepperidge Farm Lido and Milano cookies entered my cookie world- courtesy of my brand new husband.

In the 8o’s and early 90’s, I was ALL about William Greenberg in New York City.

Their black and white cookie was amazing.  (And kosher.)

But in 1997 I was introduced to Hemstrought’s Bakery in Utica, New York- famous on the East Coast for their delectable half moon cookies.  This intro was courtesy of a new husband.  (Not kosher this time. Neither the cookie nor the husband.)

These days I’ve been eating these.

These cookies are ethereally-light meringues with a heavenly almond flavor.  They crackle and crumble at one bite   If a macaroon and a really good fortune cookie had a kid, it might be this cookie.

Caution:  This confection is NOT for chocolate lovers.  It’s not too sweet or real gooey.

I’m sure I left out many of your favorites, Dear Readers.  Jog my memory if you feel there has been a terrible oversight.

Until then, don’t get caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

Here’s to many more happy cookie-devouring years ahead.

Let there by Light.

This entry was posted in Baking, Childhood, Cookies, Maurice Lenell Bakery, Salerno Bakery. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Cookie Monster

  1. Judy Lynch says:

    The picture at the top brought me right back to kindergarten at Kosminski School where we got to pick our cookies from a big box (must have been Maurice Lennel) for 2 cents. At least, that’s what my 5 year-old memory thinks.

  2. Jess Forrest says:

    I was a Malomar man.
    Still waiting for a 4 way dunk
    Luv ya

  3. Barry Lukoff says:

    My wife and I still miss Salerno’s Christmas “Jingles” and I was a huge fan of their chocolate chip cookies. I always left the box open because I liked them a little stale and soggy.
    Currently I love Walker’s shortbread cookies.

  4. X-1 says:

    Salerno chocolate chip cookies.
    After school I would come home and eat a half a box of cookies plus milk. In those days I always dunked my cookies and calories never were an issue. The good old days.

  5. Susan Alexander says:

    Ellen, this triggered a memory of mine when selling Girl Scout Cookies, maybe around 1949 or 1950. I was confident I would get a lot of sales if I knocked on doors on Woodley (sp?) road, not far from my house and your house. Because there were obviously some very well to do people living on Woodley, judging by the size the houses, I thought I would make a kill. Boy, was I wrong. Besides being sent to the back door several times, I found out maids, cooks or whoever (whomever?) worked in these house don’t buy Girl Scout cookies. Sigh! How could I have known this at age eight or nine? Needless to say, I didn’t go back there the next year.

    • Ellen Ross says:

      Good thinking, Scout Susan. And why are you – and I – up so late? 😴

      • Susan Alexander says:

        Unfortunately, I’m a night owl at heart ever since I was in grade school and stayed up late at night for hours reading under the covers with a flashlight. I really need to become more self-disciplined when it comes to getting to bed at a decent time. Missing half a day of sunlight in the winter while I sleep late is getting old.

        I hope you have a better reason than I do for being up late.

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