Saugatuck, Michigan


The Cookie Basket Recipes from Wickwood's Kitchen

Everyone loves cookies!! Especially at the Holidays. The fun of baking with friends or as a family including every age and generation, amidst clouds of flour and sticky fingers while laughing, singing and sharing memories is a tradition many of us hold dear. A combination of favorite Family recipes sparked with a new cookie or two keeps everyone tasting the batches as they emerge from the oven. Cookies are one of our favorite gifts as they reflect so much thoughtfulness. We always put them in a Cookie Basket, a tradition we began at The Silver Palate. Just fill a ribbon trimmed basket with cookies of all kinds and they are perfect for a gift or the centerpiece on the buffet table at a Holiday Open House. We like to cluster the same kinds of cookies together, on end and in high and low shapes, small and heaping piles . . . alternating dark and light for texture and movement. Lush and abundant is the key, high and low to make them look luscious.

At Wickwood our Afternoon and Evening Sweets . . . generous cookie plates . . . is the way we love to indulge our guests. They may include Pecan Squares, Toffee Bars, Spicy Chocolate Wafers, Butterballs, Tiny Chocolate Chippers, Dark Chocolate Bites, Vanilla Sables, Raspberry Shortbread Bars, Almond Bark, Chocolate Jumbles or Three Ginger Cookies alongside some Chocolate Bourbon Truffles and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. We do love our Sweets.

"Today I will live in the moment unless it's unpleasant, in which case, I will eat a cookie!"      --- The Cookie Monster


I remember the day we created these in the kitchen of The Silver Palate . . . It was just before our first Thanksgiving and we were sending out samples of our "Everything but the Turkey Menu" to the local New York food press. The messengers were waiting to deliver their packages, the kitchen smelled of butter, toasted pecans and caramel and when the first batch of these heavenly squares were tasted by all, we knew we had to include them in the Cookie Baskets. They were still warm when they left our kitchen.

The next Wednesday we were the lead story on the NYT Food page with huge photos of our pies, cookies and leaping off the page were the Pecan Squares. It was our first big story and we were overwhelmed with orders! Our two bakers and anyone with a free moment worked night and day while my Dad built shelves (after he located a lumber yard in NYC) for cooling as quickly as he could. It was a wonderful nightmare and one I treasure.

• Butter, for greasing the pan
• 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
• 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 2/3 cup (approximately 11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
• 1/2 cup honey
• 3 tablespoons heavy cream
• 1/2 cup light brown sugar
• 3 1/2 cups shelled pecans, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 12-inch baking pan.
2. Make the crust: Sift the sugar and flour together. Cut in the butter, using two knives or a pastry blender, until fine crumbs form. Pat the crust into the prepared baking pan Bake until golden brown, 20 minutes; remove from the oven. Leave the oven on.
3. Prepare the topping: Mix the melted butter, honey, cream, and brown sugar together. Stir in the pecans, coating them thoroughly. Spread over the crust.
4. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25 minutes more. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

36 squares

"The jar is empty?! You took all of the cookies?!
Were they crying to get out?" --- Charles Schultz


Over the years, these have become the classic Coconut Macaroon recipe yet they always taste fresh. Today, we love to dip or drizzle them with dark 70% melted chocolate . . . just a little goes makes them dazzle on any cookie plate.

• Butter, for greasing the cookie sheet
• 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a cookie sheet well.
2. Mix the flour, coconut, and salt together in a bowl. Pour in the condensed milk and vanilla and stir well to make a thick batter.
3. Drop the batter by quarter-cupfuls onto the well-greased cookie sheet, allowing an inch of space between the cookies Bake until golden brown, 20 minutes. Remove from the pan at once and cool on racks.

About 1 1/2 dozen macaroons

"A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand."
                --- Barbara Johnson, Ford Model, 1968


The day we opened The Silver Palate, this classic was front and center. We made them large as dinner plates and sold them for $1.00. No one had ever seen cookies that large, and they sold like crazy, right alongside Chocolate Chip Cookies the same size. Today, we like them much smaller, but the size is up to you. Sometimes fifty cent size is perfect, sometimes 2” or 3” in diameter. Size them according to your audience and time them according to your own taste . . . entirely crispy or soft in the center. Just test a few first and time them carefully and you're on your way. Be sure to have the cold milk nearby!

• 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the cookie sheets
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 3 cups quick-cooking oats
• 1 cup raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease 2 cookie sheets.
2. Cream the butter and both sugars until fluffy. Add the egg and beat thoroughly. Mix in the water and vanilla.
3. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda; add to the egg mixture and mix well. Add the oats and raisins and mix.
4. Form the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake until the edges are done but the centers are still soft, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool.

25 to 30 large cookies


The Holidays are a wondrous time for all of us who are or want to feel like a kid again. At the Silver Palate we were the first on our block to sell giant cookies and they were always a best seller. The technique couldn't be simpler. Apply it to your own favorite cookie recipe or try it on the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe. The resulting cookie is spectacular --- a real handful.

After you've made the basic batter, use an average-size ice-cream scoop for portioning the dough. Drop the ball onto a greased cookie sheet, wet your hand with water, and SPLAT the dough ball out into a 5-inch round. Repeat with remaining dough and bake to desired crispiness.

"A friend is someone you’ll give up the last cookie for."
                                                       --- The Cookie Monster



The Inn


Wickwood Inn
510 Butler Street • Saugatuck, Michigan 49453-1019
Telephone: (269) 857-1465 or 1-800 385-1174