The indulgent smell of warm, homemade cookies is a holiday staple.
For 20 years, the Joy of Cookies: Cookie Tour has showcased the local shops and restaurants in Lawrenceville and their homemade cookie recipes. This year, the tour welcomes 11 new locations to the tour which takes place Dec. 1-3 along Butler Street and Penn Avenue.
Of the 53 participating locations, 40 will bake between 100 and 120 dozen cookies each as part of the Cookie Tour, yielding about 48,000 cookies for participants to snack on while holiday shopping. The other 13 stops will act as take-a-break stops throughout Lawrenceville for you to refuel with lunch, coffee or cocktails.
More than 6,000 attendees are expected to visit the various stops, highlighted by new additions Eleventh Hour Brewing, Round Corner Cantina, Banh Mi & Ti and Disappearing Ink, and old favorites Paul Michael's Design, Gerbe Glass and Gallery on 43rd Street.
“When the event started, it really showcased the neighborhood as a destination for local businesses,” says Rachel Webber, district coordinator of the Lawrenceville Corporation. “The Cookie Tour brings in people outside of the neighborhood and even outside the city who might not come to Lawrenceville to shop.”
On Saturday, the tour coincides with Light Up Lawrenceville, with a popup Cookie Mall at the Boys & Girls Club at 4600 Butler St. The Cookie Mall will host a bake sale benefiting local nonprofits, music and pictures with Santa.
The Cookie Tour began as a holiday open house in 1997 at Jay Design Soaps & Gifts, which closed in 2015. The cookie-stop element was added to the tour in 2000, blurring the lines of how long the event has been around.
“A lot of people disagree if [the tour] is in its 20th year,” says Webber. “Some people count the original idea which started in ‘97, but other don’t count until 2000 when the cookies were added.”
Throughout the weekend, take note of your favorite cookie stop, because the Joy of Cookies Cookie Trophy is back. The trophy, designed by Cookie Tour alum Paul Bierker of Paul Michael Designs, will go to the cookie stop with the most mentions on social media. Tag a cookie stop and take-break stop in each district: Penn Avenue and Lower, Central and Upper Lawrenceville, and you can win a Cookie Basket.
The Cookie Tour is free for attendees and will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, however, attendees are encouraged to check specific stores for differing hours. For more information and what shops will be participating, view here.