Our Smiley Cookie has taken many shapes since we introduced it in 1986. Trees, bunnies, stars, dinosaurs, flowers, hearts and fish are all fun, but I was really in the mood for something different. Something with more flavor. Something that really said wintertime and holidays.
During a meeting with our menu development team, we discussed popular holiday cookie recipes both from retail and our childhoods. As a child, I remembered my grandma making wonderful pumpkin pies and lots of great cookies, but nothing filled the house quite like the smell of her gingerbread cake (topped with cool whip) and gingerbread cookies! She would cut them in a variety of shapes and let us decorate them with icing and candies, but my favorite was fresh from the oven, still a little warm and soft....mmmmmm! That’s when we had it…Gingerbread! Those were the inspiration for our newest cookie, Gingerbread Smiley.
We spent some time working on the recipe to get just the right balance of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and molasses. Flavorful, but not too much “burn your tongue” ginger. After landing on the perfect recipe, we added our own special Eat’n Park touch….A smile, piped onto each cookie by hand.
Obviously, I’m pretty excited about the addition of our Gingerbread Smileys. Now that they are baking fresh in our restaurants, that smell reminds me of Christmas at grandma’s every day!
If you’ve had a chance to give them a try already, leave a comment here and let me know what you thought.
Executive Chef, Menu Development