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Why Cookie Sandwiches Are Here to Stay

A collection of dessert cookie sandwiches with buttercream filling

When I began The Crassy Cookie nearly five years ago I had one goal in mind and that was to pursue a suppressed passion I’ve always had – baking. Most of my twenties were spent in survival mode (another story for another time) and between working two to three jobs while going to school full-time, hobbies and interests were left to lie dormant. The weekends were for running errands, catching up on laundry, working my side-hustle (babysitting) and attempting to squeeze in sleep where I could. This created a cycle of stress, unfulfillment, overwhelm and anxiety in me that reached a point where I could no longer keep up. For those who may not know, in my twenties I worked as a preschool teacher and a professional nanny; positions that typically keep one overworked and underpaid (again, another story for another time).

Baking was something I did once a year, around Christmastime and I always enjoyed the peace that came from all that is pleasant about baking. There is something about the solace of being in your kitchen, creating something beautiful and delicious for no other reason than to enjoy it. Baking requires a sequence of tasks that dictate order yet invite creativity through flavor, texture, color, all while tickling the senses. The process of baking insists that you remain in the present moment, to move slowly, pouring and measuring, avoiding any mishap and then to pause and wait for the result of what was so carefully made. I understand how many would find this chaotic but this is what quells my anxiety and provides a sense of freedom and escape.

A collection of dessert cookie sandwiches with buttercream filling: dark chocolate, mocha, rose wine, salted caramel

Early in 2018, after the holiday season came to an end and we were full swing into the new year, I had reached a point of complete burnout and exhaustion and was looking for any way out. The time off during Christmas allowed me to bake more creatively than other years and I felt in my element however the return to work brought me back to reality. If we know each other personally, I’ve shared the following part of this story with you so read along, smile, and nod or simply skip ahead. I came home after a particularly difficult day, in tears and my now-husband looked at me and asked, “If you could do absolutely anything, right now, what would it be?” and I shouted through my tears, “I just wanna bake some damn cookies!”. This led to a conversation about how we could make this happen, what it would take, and we came up with a very loose plan of putting this dream into action. We decided it would be easier for me to find a part-time nannying position while I worked on establishing my home bakery. Less than a week later, I put in my notice at work and began baking my new menu.

Cafe Au Lait dessert cookie sandwiches. A cookie sandwich with espresso, mocha and a vanilla buttercream filling
Cafe Au Lait Cookie Sandwiches

This all sounds so simple and I would love to tell you how it just came together in the blink of an eye but I was really taking these changes as they came, improvising where I needed to and this included transitioning from two nanny positions until I found the right fit. I was offering a range of drop cookies to cupcakes to shortbread. I had a few customers already, a pop-up market planned and two orders for shipping. There were all sorts of mistakes and mishaps that occurred as with anything new, and changes were made along the way as I improved on baking, packaging, and customer service. After several months of taking orders, we decided to take a small break and head to the cabin on the lake to recharge. If I’ve learned anything in this small business endeavor, it’s to never quit but to rest when you’re tired. This is also where creativity and new ideas take shape.

While out on the lake, floating in an inner tube I was reflecting on my best-selling cookie so far which was a banana cream pecan cookie sandwich. It was a recipe I had baked and adapted over time. It’s a delicious cookie with a classic flavor profile and it’s the only cookie that kept getting ordered repeatedly. The other cookies were good, if not great but it was this cookie that was keeping me in business. The recipe was not overly complex: butter, sugar, fresh banana, and pecans with a thick, fluffy vanilla buttercream filling in between; it’s no wonder why it easily became a favorite. It then occurred to me that it may be possible to use this recipe as a baseline and to create other cookie sandwiches of different flavors that would result in a whole new menu of cookies. I spent much of the last few days at the lake planning new cookies, combining flavors and reconfiguring the Banana Cream Pecan cookie sandwich recipe. Over the following weeks, recipe development took my little kitchen and apartment by storm. I had a selection of cookie sandwiches that made a small, rounded out menu and I began to sell them. The cookie sandwiches, although humble in appearance, began to do well and I had built a small but solid clientele in our neighborhood.

Banana Cream pecan cookie sandwiches made with fresh banana and pecans and a vanilla buttercream filling
Banana Cream Pecan Cookie Sandwiches

Following eight months of running my home bakery and nannying, I realized I needed to take The Crassy Cookie full-time. It was at this time, Andrew and I also realized that we were quickly growing out of our apartment, and in need of a slower-paced life. We decided to make the very spontaneous decision to leave Alexandria, Virginia and buy a home in the country. After settling into our home in the town of Stafford, I started The Crassy Cookie back up and much to my surprise, the orders came in quickly. After celebrating a year in business, I participated in my first craft show which did exceedingly well. The orders kept coming in and the excitement from this success led me to bake a wide variety of things, including a monthly tasting box which became very profitable and also succeeded despite the pandemic. It was during this wild wave of wins I was riding that my passion for baking and love of cookie sandwiches began to dwindle. I was no longer chasing that creativity and passion but striving for profit and numbers.

Lemon poppy seed dessert cookie sandwiches
Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie Sandwiches

I’m sure anyone will agree that 2020 was a challenging year and for us, the year before and the year after were our most difficult times. By the end of 2021, life called and we knew it was time for a change. You can read more about that here! We decided to sell our home, make the necessary changes and that included taking a year off from orders. This past year of closing orders was absolutely the best thing I could have done for my health, my creativity, and my business. Taking the entirety of 2022 to shift the focus on myself and our future, paved a way back to finding happiness again. I am now committed to the idea that I am only going to create what truly sparks joy and when it comes to baking, the core of that joy will always be found in cookie sandwiches. What does that look like for my home bakery? It means scaling back, dedicating myself to only making cookie sandwiches and loving every moment of that.

Dessert Rosé Cookie Sandwiches made with Rosé wine reduction, a vanilla buttercream infused with rose water
Rosé Cookie Sandwiches

While I absolutely love trying new recipes and baking my favorites, I prefer to share them with others through my blog and social media platforms. The purpose of pursuing only cookie sandwiches as a home bakery is to remain authentic in my creativity and intentional with my baking. I began The Crassy Cookie as a creative outlet and a way to find new purpose which has led to developing a cookie that is unique unto itself and one that I am extremely proud of. It is my hope that those who share in my cookie sandwiches enjoy them as much as I do. I am thankful for every opportunity that has brought The Crassy Cookie to where it is now, and I am eagerly anticipating its next avenue of growth.

Dessert Cookie Sandwiches, The Crassy Cookie, located in Spotsylvania Virginia. A home bakery.

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