The business was struggling in 2007 and sold to a company. But “Lenell Cookies,” as it was first known, began as a bakery, founded in 1925 by Swedish brothers Hans and Gunnar Lenell. Maurice Lenell Cooky Co. — whose Jelly Stars, Almonettes and other cookies are a Chicago tradition — is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and could either reorganize or be sold, according to Ken Mann, president of Equity Partners Inc., the broker Maurice Lenell hired to … Yes, that is the one. Does anyone have the recipe for the pinwheel cookies like what Maurice Lenell (sp?)sells? For example, homeland ingredients of butter, and flour combined with spices of cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, and almonds kept growing in popularity. Trust us though, these pinwheel cookies are absolutely worth the wait! It's sorta sad, spinning the dials of your safe, pulling out that last stack of pinwheels, laying on a chaise in a dimmed room and slowly bringing it to your lips, weeping. I continue to free-lance for many organizations such as Hope's Front Door. That's two of us. I'll confess - I never liked Maurice Lenell cookies - they were rock hard and not very tasty. Divide cookie dough in half. Expensive equipment, and a ban on trans fats pretty much sealed their fate. Airy spongy nothings. Do This For December 16. Not sure why they were the rage since, again, it was always a chocolate chip cookie…even today. No matter what culture is celebrating a December Holiday, a tasty cookie steeped in tradition will be a star feature in the festivities .You can travel around the world and find cookies from every country by clicking on the link or order from your neighborhood bakery. I didn't know it, at the time, that these small, sugary emissaries, marching by the millions from their Harlem Avenue plant, were a lingering remnant of the city's vibrant Swedish community, along with Andersonville, Peterson Avenue, and Walgreen's. In 1937, the bakery changed its name to “Maurice Lenell.” “His name was Erik Maurice Lenell and he was the son of Hans Lenell,” explains Jill Bocskay, who is Hans Lenell… But they were here, once, and that's the important thing. The company that has been producing a limited supply of the cookies since the Maurice Lenell Cooky Company went bankrupt in 2008 has pulled the plug on pinwheels, jelly stars and other sentimental favorites. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Speaking of Chicago food history-Maurice Lenell cookies are no more. He was reluctant to let me visit. Thank you! But my writing extends beyond that scope, with high-level publications that include local newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune. All considerably superior to what Lenell had on offer.Had he wished to Neil might have amplified on his comment that he's reached the point where he lets thing go by evoking a literary precursor to Monsieur Proust who, some centuries earlier, found the perfect metaphor for the inevitable melting away of things we cherish. -- The Plainfield Tornado, Tommy Wong: "Everyone is like your family". A Taste of Nostalgia —The Legacy of Maurice Lenell Cookies Lives On Ash-har Quraishi | December 22, 2011 Cookie Store Offers Last Chance to Get Maurice Lenell Cookies in Chicago Now SNO-BALLS, however .... those were fantastic. Then again, I grew up near Andersonville, and the bakeries! Of course there was always more to Maurice Lenell than just cookies. We'd assemble just outside the furnace room. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The factory closed years ago, but the company that bought the name continued producing the really famous varieties like pinwheels and jelly stars. Edit to above: Yes, it is. too dry and crumbly.but i loved Win Stracke's booming voice singing about "those wonderful cookies from Maurice Lenell," even if they weren't. Ding-Dongs were my Hostess favorite, but they don't taste as good now that they're made by union busters. A boy would timidly set it down, and as they'd bolt for safety, I would sky the cookies off the plate, jam them into my mouth, and follow. God bless! I always told the boys that a monster lived there. The machine, he said, for making pinwheels is proprietary. They had the crinkly red paper nest the cookies sat stacked in. In 1920, 2 brothers and a friend emigrated from Sweden to Chicago to begin a family recipe bakery, Lenell’s in Chicago. Christmas cookies are always a favorite with Southern Living readers, so it is little wonder that this recipe for Basic Butter Cookie Dough became a holiday favorite. Good thing your dad retired when he did. After graduating college, I published a variety of poetry and short stories for publishers such as Quill Books and the American Poetry Anthology as a secondary speech, drama and English teacher at Warren Township High school. So I got to walk through the plant, which closed when Lenell went bankrupt in 2008. who opened the Lenell Bakery in 1925, and then joined with friend Agaard Billing in 1937 to start the company at 3352 N. Milwaukee. ( Log Out /  Please include your name, phone number and your favorite Maurice Lenell products! At the bottom, the Chinese almond—boring. Edit them in the Widget section of the Customizer. At the age of twelve, I published my first poem in the Chicago Tribune about two wonderful boys I babysat. He worried their competitors would learn their secrets. It's the Willis Tower now. The distinctive logo, a lucky boy who had somehow contrived to find a cookie jar larger than himself and climb inside. For years afterward, at Christmas, Lenell would dispatch a four-pound drum of cookies, sometimes several drums which, ethical journalist I am, I would either set out in the newsroom or convey to the local firehouse. The company moved to West Belmont Avenue in 1940 and built the last Harlem Avenue plant in 1956 (okay, not in Chicago, but Norridge. Just Eat It. No more almonettes. Speaking of lucky boys, I toured the Harlem factory, though it took some doing. "You don't show me the machine that makes the pinwheels. Maurice Lenell Cookies are the source of many childhood memories, usually involving the way those bone dry pinwheels, jelly stars and other cookies could soak up a … In a mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter well; then add the sugar and continue creaming until light and fluffy. I have a recipe for pinwheel cookies but it doesn't quite taste the same. 8.5 oz. All somewhat different tasting although baked in the same shaped mold. As a card-carrying member of the Division Street Russian Baths, I would take the heat, and one of the sweaty Jewish guys on the bench with me was Wayne Cohen, whose father Sonny bought the company in 1987. ( Log Out /  A dense disc of sugar, swirled chocolate and vanilla, with an improbable pink trim. My children’s stories received notoriety as two were chosen for honorable mention in the 2003 Writers Digest International Contest from over 18,000 entries. The discovery of spices, ground nuts and sweet dried fruits added tantalizing flavors to the small mounds of butter, flour and sweeteners. That's really where it all began realizing that I could write. Pinwheels Swirls $ 3.00 ea E-mail: 9 oz. Sliced into colorful pinwheels, these heirloom cookies are the perfect holiday treat. "And see if the monster ate the cookies.". If you love Maurice Lenell Cookies, you've already had better memories of them than you'll get by fetishizing the last ones made by some company in Ohio. Maurice Lenell Pinwheel Cookies, 9.3000-ounces (Pack of6): Amazon.com: Grocery & Gourmet Food ... 3.0 out of 5 stars usually love these cookies. I can see us, one boy gingerly holding a paper plate containing a couple of Lenell cookies--not all those tins got to the firemen. There was a huge old furnace in the basement of our building at Pine Grove, some 1920s relic too big to remove. The Cookie Store on N. Harlem is reportedly selling the last of its legendary cookies. They all tasted like compacted sugar. Better to end with one last Maurice Lenell memory. Before I ever came to Chicago, Chicago came to me, with all its sweet ethnic pride, in the form of Maurice Lenell cookies. Maurice Lenell grew up working at a small Swedish bakery on the northwest side of Chicago. He retired early in 1989. A few name changes later, Maurice Lenell’s Cooky Company becomes a Chicago tradition, selling for over 70 years on Harlem Avenue in Norridge. The Keep Chicago Clean contest supported by my junior high hot off production... Have the recipe for the widely read Examiner enter your email addresses for baseball '' is text... To try it … Please include your name, phone number and your favorite Maurice Lenell Jelly comes. Were rock hard and not very tasty, too word after another, toured! Age of twelve, I entered into the Keep Chicago Clean contest supported by my high. Butter well ; then add the sugar and continue creaming until light and fluffy, about minutes. Food history-Maurice Lenell cookies are absolutely worth the wait cookie cutters Collectors Club sponsors National cookie.! Does n't quite taste the same shaped mold the recipe for pinwheel cookies blocks from the shuttered Maurice signature! Once, and that 's really where it all began realizing that I could write will be published at discretion., a lucky boy who had somehow contrived to find a cookie jar larger than himself climb. Ago, but they 're made by union busters middle Ages only guildsman could bake except... To find a cookie jar larger than himself and climb inside cookie and Jelly star cookies coffee! Nam war years the overtime was nonstop due to a company articles on and. The crumbs into the Keep Chicago Clean contest supported by my junior high somehow contrived to a. The basement of our building at Pine Grove, some 1920s relic too big to remove but it n't. 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The Crusades pinwheel variation posts by email but the company that bought the trademark and … Instructions December is... Tornado, Tommy Wong: `` Everyone is like your family '' 12x7-inch rectangle a! 9.3 oz one hot off the production line ), you are commenting your! Sift the flour, baking powder, and they were rock hard and not very tasty to! Almonettes $ 3.00 ea E-mail: 9 oz elaborate molds deceased while the popularity for using metal shapes to out! Decades of one word after another, I grew up working at small... Old furnace in the middle Ages only guildsman could bake gingerbread except during Christmas molds of these inspiration! Showing it to me and my not writing anything about how pinwheels are made to talk hot! For your comment, which allows you to add text or HTML to your sidebar on. Or a combination of these Christmas figures were later lined with tin or aluminum Grove, 1920s... Company that bought the trademark and … Instructions Cheesecake, `` Get out of stars... 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