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Joy of Cookies: Sweet Treats with a Book Look

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The setting at the San Antonio Country Club was elegant and the service excellent for a cookbook and kitchen shower I attended a couple of weeks ago.

The top attraction at such events is, of course, the radiant bride-to-be. On the food side of things, it was a tray of cookies on the refreshments table that stole the show.

This famous cookbook title decorated one of The Cookie Lady's frosted sugar cookies.

The sugar cookies, frosted with famous cookbook titles, such as “Joy of Cooking,” Julia Childs’ “Art of French Cooking” and “The Fanny Farmer Cookbook,” weren’t just there for looks.

“It took me years to develop that recipe,” said Sandy Kelso, co-owner of The Cookie Lady, at 1031 Patricia Ave.  As any cookie baker knows, as simple as a sugar cookie might seem, a perfect recipe is a masterpiece indeed. So, we didn’t push (well, not too hard) for Kelso’s recipe, as it is an important part of her livelihood.

Kelso partners with her daughter, Hallie Rodgers at the store. The business has been in operation for six years and in addition to decorated cookies, Kelso and Rodgers and three full-time bakers, plus other part-time staff,  make a full lineup of other cookies and baked goods, such as muffins and cakes. Their chocolate chip cookies are the top sellers, with the oatmeal, dried cranberry and white chocolate cookies coming in second. She also makes snickerdoodles, two other types of oatmeal cookies, pecan sandies and more.

“We don’t do any cake decorating. We bake the cakes, but send them out for the decorating,” Kelso said.

The frosted cookbook cookies go for around $1.50 each. Decorated cookies in general are between $1 and $2, says Kelso.

Kelso also gets big orders from companies such as USAA, plus weddings and other special orders. Without a doubt, Christmas is Kelso’s busiest time.

“By mid-November, we’ll be totally booked, but we do keep a waiting list,” Kelso says.

That’s more than two months away, but I’m getting in line now.

Contact Kelso at 210-342-6428.

Photograph by Catherine Boone

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