When I was little, we had a tiny ski house in a small town called Jamaica, Vermont. We skied at Stratton Mountain during the day, and on days when either the snow was crummy or it was too cold to ski, we used to trek into Manchester, VT to eat, window shop and maybe catch a movie. One of our favorite places to visit with Mother Myrick’s. When we first discovered Mother Myrick’s, it was a candy store that sold the most amazing buttercrunch, fudge, chocolate-covered pretzels and marzipan. Over the years, they expanded their product line and introduced ice cream and baked goods. I coveted those white boxes with brown lettering on top and loved peering inside to assess the different treasures.
My parents sold the Vermont house a long time ago, and I haven’t been back to Jamaica or Manchester for years. Mother Myrick’s slipped from my mind, until one day last year I saw a post on Facebook of my children’s cousin, holding a linzer heart cookie of all things, thanking Mother Myrick’s for making the most amazing cookies.
I looked closely at the picture in sheer disbelief. What is she holding??? Is that, oh my lord…yup, it’s true…a linzer heart! I literally felt like I found a long lost relative.
My relationship with this cookie is unique, and the history of how I came to have the recipe is pretty incredible (to me). The bakery in Vermont where I used to buy them went out of business years ago, and there is no one I can go back and talk with about this cookie. When I saw the picture of the same linzer heart cookie being sold at Mother Myrick’s, I knew I had to investigate.
Only, I didn’t. Daily life took over and while I thought of reaching out to Mother Myrick’s to find out more crossed my mind every now and then, I didn’t take action until a couple of weeks ago. January at Bisousweet is linzer heart central as we make so many hearts in preparation for Valentine’s Day.
Determined to see if I could find the creator of this recipe, I sent the store a message on Facebook. Much to my surprise, I received an email back by the end of the day. Yes, the owner was happy to speak with me, and yes, those were in fact the same cookies that I was making.
Two weeks ago, I spoke with the owner, Jacki BAKER (could her last name be more perfect?!) and she shared how the raspberry almond hearts came to Mother Myrick’s. They hired a pastry chef who I believe was from Switzerland (don’t quote me), and it was his recipe. They have sold these cookies for years and they continue to be popular (although, not as popular as their buttercrunch candy). Jacki could not have been nicer, and even offered to give me a tour of their candy facility the next time I happen to be in Manchester. I wish I had asked more questions while I had her on the phone. I was caught off-guard by her call…no pen, no paper, only my dilapidated memory to rely on for any ‘facts’.
I have to wonder…was this the pastry chef who originally shared his recipe with the pastry chef who gave it to me? I’ll never know for sure, but I loved finding a long lost relative, and discovering another piece of the linzer heart story.
Here’s the terrific news for ALL of us: Mother Myrick’s sells her stuff online. I highly recommend checking out the website (and the store, if you happen to be strolling through Manchester, Vermont). I promise you – it is worth every single calorie.