Not much beats a tasty combination of butter and sugar, especially if you were a CPS kid slogging through a long day of algebra and history. The iconic shortbread cookies are known for their signature three-finger indentation, made in cafeterias across the city from elementary schools to high schools.
The cookies were scrapped when mass-produced cookies were cheaper to distribute, not to mention there is no way the cookies would adhere to today’s nutritional standards. Now, “No dessert-like items shall be served as part of any school meal,” according to the CPS Local School Wellness Policy.
But luckily, those who have a craving for a nostalgic treat have multiple options for taming that sweet tooth.
Cheryl Crockett operates Crockett’s Cookies at Kitchen Chicago, a shared kitchen space in West Town. She makes both the original recipe and with peanut butter and distributes them to Walgreens and Whole Foods across the city. Even more convenient, she sells them at her online store.
“I made a point to maintain the imprint of three fingers, which ups the nostalgia factor,” Crockett told the Tribune. “People bite into my cookies and are transported back to their elementary school cafeterias. I regularly receive emails from customers thanking me for taking them back to the carefree days of childhood.” Having grown up on the South Side, she knows exactly what the cookies are supposed to taste like.
Lady Di’s Bakery run by Diane Devroe is another option. She opened her bakery in 1998, spending her life savings and leaving $2.40 in her bank account, working up to 20 hours a day while still raising three kids as a single parent.
“I spent a lot of time crying and praying,” she said. “I was always a hands-on parent, and I felt guilty that I was investing so much of my time in the business.” Now, she distributes her cookies to restaurants and convenience stores across Chicagoland, sending out 20,000 containers every three days.
Whether you’re looking to buy these cookies yourself or want to share the joy with your children who don’t have the chance to have them in their own schools, this recipe was released in perfect time for the holidays.