Late last week I had the tremendous pleasure of meeting and speaking with Christine McCrae Kelly the owner and artistic muse of Lily’s Cookies. I would like to say that I got an “exclusive” behind the scenes tour of Lily’s Cookies, the venerable cookie bakery located on McCullough in the historic Monte Vista area of San Antonio. However, the making, baking and decorating of all of Lily’s Cookies’ tasty treats are front and center for any guest to witness. As I walked into the small, yet incredibly charming storefront, I saw a group of ladies working diligently but happily on trays and trays of cookies. I have to admit the Keebler elves did come to mind. But what also hit me was a wonderful wafting aroma, with hints of cinnamon and vanilla, butter and sugar. The smell of childhood and magic.
Catching my eye immediately were all the delightful cookies decorated for the season. Frightened black cats with purple sugared hairs on end; bright orange pumpkins vines trailing; green witches and white Frankenstein brides with hair streaking black, purple and pink; the amazing Dia de los Muertos skulls colors bursting. These beautiful cookie creations do not magically appear with a wave of a wand. Not hardly. All are hand crafted, requiring hours of labor, immeasurable talent and skill (Christine holds an MFA from the Chicago Institute of Art), more than a pinch of love and, happily for us, pounds of butter.
The only exception is the relatively new high-tech addition of a graphics machine which allows Lily’s Cookies to scan an image into a computer which then generates the design onto sheets of edible sugar paper which can then be cut and placed onto frosted cookies. Perfect for a very intricate design. Now that’s magic!
As you can see, Lily’s Cookies has more than one trick up its sleeve. While their decorated cookie creations make up a majority of their business, Lily’s Cookies also offers a wide variety of cookies from their “cookie bar”, including Hello Dollies, lemon bars, chocolate chip, Mexican wedding, the cowboy – a tasty mix of oatmeal, pecan and chocolate chip, the ranger – essentially a cowboy with cornflakes, lavender or rosemary shortbreads, and a wonderful honey cookie made with locally sourced honey from the Gretchen Bee Ranch in Seguin. All are exceptional, but I especially liked the pumpkin bar they are offering through the holidays, a sweet and spiced taste of Fall.
The Halloween cookies are available through this week, with Thanksgiving and Christmas cookies making their appearance in November. Have something special in mind, say for a birthday, wedding, shower, or corporate event? Custom orders can be placed two weeks in advance. For more information about Lily’s Cookies and their amazing cookies, check out Lily’s Cookies’ website. They are currently working on an updated website (due out at the first of November), which will allow customers to place an order online.
It was a real treat to finally meet Christine and visit Lily’s Cookies (and I am not just saying that because she let me eat so many of her delicious cookies). Before leaving, I couldn’t resist buying some of those bewitching Halloween cookies to hand out to children at an event I was attending later in the evening. They were a huge hit – the kids couldn’t believe their eyes and big smiles appeared out of thin air. Bring some magic to your next event, or walk in and experience the magic firsthand, with the enchanting creations of Lily’s Cookies.