GTPulse: Holiday Desserts Made Easy at Slabtown Cookie Co.

I don’t know about you, but it’s my favorite time of year and I’m not going to let anything get me down. The holidays will look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean passing up on all of the fun traditions of the season. I’m going to decorate my place for the first time with the all-white, retro Christmas tree of my dreams. I’m going to make cocoa and watch my favorite holiday flicks, shop for local gifts to send out, and try some new, festive recipes. Also, I’m going to eat all the desserts. Pies, crumbles and cakes are all good and well in my book, but it’s the cookies I always look forward to most. Peanut butter blossoms, snowball cookies, grasshoppers, thumbprints with raspberry jam, there are so many varieties of cookies that remind me of the season. Typically I would hunt down a cookie swap at a VFW or a church fellowship hall (best places for swaps, hands down) but with the virus surging, I’m going to have to get my cookies elsewhere. Slabtown Cookie Co. in Traverse City, Michigan has traditional and unique cookies that will has something for everyone.

Katie Otterman is getting ready for her first holiday season as the owner of Slabtown Cookie Co., and she’s excited for the holiday hustle and bustle.

“We definitely have peppermint and chocolate together, that’s a favorite. I just got came up with beautiful, huge meringues and they’re called drifts because they look like snow drifts. They’re filled with either Nutella or lemon-lime curd. They’re really elegant and beautiful, and they freeze really well.”

Coming up with her own unique cookie creations is a passion of hers that she put to work during the quarantine period earlier in the year. A love for baking and a strong desire to do something that could keep her at home with her kids inspired Katie to turn her kitchen into a mad scientist test kitchen. She’s already come a long way from her home kitchen in less than a year.

“It’s changed my life. I got certified to use a commercial kitchen so I can sell retail now. It feels like a true business.”

Every morning she wakes up at five to get a start on the day. Before anything else, she gets her two elementary-aged children off to school and then spends the day baking around five to six dozen each day, with the offerings changing every day. Cookies with beer, potato chips, pretzels, and cereal are spread out through the menu. 

“I love playing with different elements, like cereal, and making something elegant out of it.”

The cookies follow her philosophy for what the perfect cookie should be – soft and chewy, not thin and crispy. 

“I don’t want a crunchy cookie, I do want there to be an edge to it though. But I want the middle to be soft.”

You also won’t find little cookies at Slabtown, another cookie principle she believes in. Each cookie is substantial in size, but if you want to get a taste of all of them, Katie sells bags of broken cookies that she calls Tourist Season. It’s good for sprinkling on ice cream, cake, or on their own as a sampler sweet treat. For those of you who want something a little prettier to bring home, she’s doing holiday cookie gift boxes that can be shipped nationwide or picked up locally. A perfect send home gift for the holidays, or indulgence for yourself.

If you’re bound and determined to make your own cookies this year, her best advice is to freeze your dough until the day you need it. Making all the cookies from scratch in one day is overwhelming for anybody. 

“Dough freezes really beautifully. With cookie swaps, you can still package things up nicely at home and drop them off to someone.”

All of Katie’s cookies are pre-packaged before curbside or contactless pick up at her 228 Monroe Street location. Orders can be made through texting Katie at 312.890.8943 to order or messaging her on Instagram @slabtowncookies. Make sure to look at the menu of the day to see what offerings are available, it’s always changing! Some of her treats are available at Burritt’s Fresh Market in Traverse City too. There are plenty of ways to get your holiday cookie cravings satisfied this season. Share if you dare.

“Cookies are just a happy thing. No one ever got upset over a cookie.”

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Categories: GTPulse