When Dan and I first got married, we spent a good bit of time in Winston-Salem visiting his family. And upon our arrival there were always three things waiting on us: homemade snack mix, Moravian Sugar Cake and Moravian Cookies. Dan’s Grandmother Livengood would drive all the way out to Clemmon’s for Mrs. Hane’s Moravian Cookies. Every single cookie at Mrs. Hanes is still rolled, baked and packaged by hand, just like Mrs. Hane’s mother taught her.
On my recent tour of Winston-Salem, I took my first tour of Mrs. Hane’s Moravian Cookies. We sampled our way around the facility and even tried our hand at rolling and cutting cookies. That’s not easy work, guys!
Mrs. Hane’s is only one stop on the new Historic Moravian Cookie Trail in Winston-Salem. When you’re making plans this fall, take a trip to Winston-Salem! Tour some wineries, check out their hot culinary scene and of course, plan your Cookie Trail path.
The thin, flavorful cookies highlighted in this cookie tour, were brought to Winston-Salem by the Moravians. The devout religious group, originally from Eastern Europe migrated to the area in 1753. The temperate climate, fertile soil, and abundant water, made the area perfect for their new life. They settled around 100,000 acres of what is now the heart of Winston-Salem. The Moravians were an incredible bunch of people, with a reputation for arts, culture and innovation.
Moravian Cookies were originally referred to as “cakes” in the earliest recipes and were baked mainly during the Christmas holidays to be shared with family and friends. Though the cookies have become quite thinner over the years, the signature ginger cookies are still made with dense, dark molasses, ground ginger and cloves. If you’re strolling through The Fresh Market or other specialty grocery store, you might see some of the other flavors of Moravian cookies that have evolved over the years too including sugar, lemon and chocolate.
We also popped in to Winkler Bakery in Old Salem on our tour of the historically rich city. The bakery in Winston-Salem’s historic Old Salem community is more than 200 years old. The bakers here are still making Maravian Sugar Cake and Bread using the same methods and tools as the family did when they first opened the bakery.
Dewey’s Bakery was one of my favorite places to visit Winston-Salem during our early visits. When you walked in the door and breathed in, your stomach would immediately start demanding cookies. Since 1930, Dewey’s has been baking up a variety of confections and cookies.During the holidays, multiple Dewey’s pop-up shops appear around North Carolina offering Moravian Cookies, Sugar Cakes and Cheese Straws for holiday shoppers. In 1992, Dewey’s started Salem Baking Company which bakes and distributes more than a million pounds of Moravian cookies nationwide annually.
During my culinary tour of Winston-Salem, I met Salem Baking’s Executive Pastry Chef, Alison Turner, who showed us how to make delicious hors d’oeuvres using a variety of Moravian cookies, gourmet cheese and jams.
If you can’t make it to Winston-Salem for your own tour of the Moravian Cookie Trail, you can order cookies directly from Mrs. Hane’s or run by our local Fresh Market for some of Salem Baking Company‘s cookies.
I can’t wait for my next gathering! I’m going to snag a recipe or two from this recent Country Living article which features a few party ideas from Chef Alison using the Moravian Cookies.
Many of the Winston-Salem chefs have incorporated Moravian Cookies in their fare. You never know where the tasty sweet will pop up!
For questions or help planning your next visit to Winston-Salem , go to www.visitwinstonsalem.com.