This is an archived article that was published on in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Over the past decade, The Tribune has published seven recipes that are similar to treats sold at the now departed, beloved ZCMI bakery. We're publishing recipes for Chocolate mint brownies, Chocolate sandwich cookies, Raising-filled cookies, Date-filled cookies, Almond cookies, Coconut haystacks and Caramel brownies again today.

Chocolate mint brownies


Butter for greasing the foil

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate

1 ounce semisweet chocolate

1/2 cup butter

2 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsifted all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Peppermint filling

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 to 3 drops of green food coloring, optional

Chocolate glaze

1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with a strip of aluminum foil, overlapping the edges for easy removal; butter the foil.

For the brownie layer, in a double-boiler (or microwave), melt the chocolates and butter just until blended. Combine the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl, beating until the sugar is dissolved. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and the chocolate-butter mixture. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until just done. Cool completely. Freeze if desired.

For the peppermint filling, combine the powdered sugar and butter. Blend in the milk and peppermint flavoring. Add the food coloring, if desired. Place over the double-boiler (or set bowl over a pan half-filled with 120-degree water) and stir until smooth. Spread evenly over the brownie layer. Chill in the refrigerator while preparing the glaze.

For the chocolate glaze, melt the chocolate and butter over a double-boiler (or microwave) and stir to blend smoothly. Spread evenly over the mint layer. Chill until set (or freeze, securely wrapped, for up to 2 weeks). Cut into squares.

Servings • 32 to 48 small square brownies

Source • Adapted from Zo Maraffio

Chocolate sandwich cookies


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon mint extract


2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon mint extract

Red or green food coloring

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium-size bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, beat together sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in egg, then vanilla and mint extract.

Beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Divide dough in half; shape each into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 3 to 4 hours.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut each log into 1/16-inch-thick slices. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until almost firm. Do not overbake. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.

To prepare filling, beat together confectioners' sugar, butter, milk and mint extract in a medium-size bowl until a good spreading consistency. Tint frosting with food coloring. Spread flat side of half the cookies with filling. Top with a plain cookie. Chill until set.

Servings • Makes 2 dozen

Source • Colleen Scott,

Raisin-filled cookies


2 cups raisins

2 cups nuts, optional

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grind raisins and nuts together. Combine that mixture with remaining ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture is thick; cool.

To make the dough, combine the butter, eggs and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla. Sift together the flour, soda, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk to make a firm dough. Roll dough out thinly ( 1/8 inch) on a floured board and cut into 3-inch rounds. Put a teaspoon of cooled filling on half of the rounds and top each with another round, crimping edges together. Make a small vent in each cookie and bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

Date-filled cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup sour cream

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt


2 (8-ounce) packages or 3 cups dates, chopped

1 1/2 cups water, or more if needed

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup walnuts, chopped, optional

To make the dough, beat butter until soft. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat together until well creamed. Add sour cream, and mix well. In a separate bowl, stir together 4 1/2 cups flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Mix well. Chill dough overnight. (You can speed-chill the dough by spreading it onto a cookie sheet so it is 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, and then place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.)

For the filling, boil the dates, sugar and water until thick. Stir in nuts. Let filling cool.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll chilled dough onto a floured counter to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles. Place a heaping teaspoon of date filling onto each circle. Fold in half, lightly pressing edges together. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Servings • 5 dozen.

Source • The Lion House

Almond cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup almonds, finely ground in a blender or food processor

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Dash of salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 (8-ounce) can or tube marzipan

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in egg white and almond extract. Add in flour and almond mixture, a little at a time, until a workable dough is formed.

Shape dough into 3/4 -inch-round balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on lined baking sheet. With the bottom of a glass, that has been dipped in a little bit of flour, flatten each ball until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Press a 1/4 -teaspoon ball of marzipan (that has been flattened) into the center of each cookie.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until set but not browned. Remove from the oven and dust with powdered sugar. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Servings • 2 to 3 dozen.

Source • Brenda Hopkin, The Lion House head baker

Coconut haystacks

6 1/2 cups flake coconut

1 1/2 cups dates, chopped

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

13 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 cups granulated sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the coconut, dates, walnuts, salt and vanilla in mixing bowl. Set aside.

Combine egg whites and sugar in the top of a double boiler. Place over simmering water and heat until mixture is very hot (between 200 and 220 degrees on a candy thermometer), stirring constantly. Add hot sugar mixture to coconut mixture. Blend well. Mixture should be fairly stiff.

Using a small ice cream scoop, form into balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.

Servings • Makes 3 dozen.

Source • Brenda Hopkin, The Lion House head baker

Caramel brownies


3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

Caramel-pecan layer

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

3 tablespoons water

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups pecans

Semisweet chocolate, for garnish

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch-square metal baking pan, knocking out excess flour.

For the brownies, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolates and butter stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, then stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition until mixture is glossy and smooth. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Spread batter evenly in prepared baking pan. Bake in the middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack.

For the caramel-pecan layer, bring sugar, corn syrup, water, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Then boil, without stirring, until mixture turns a golden caramel color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add cream and vanilla (mixture will bubble and steam). Stir in the pecans and immediately pour over the brownie layer, spreading evenly. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Melt the semi-sweet chocolate. Spoon into a small plastic bag and seal, forcing out excess air. Squeeze chocolate into 1 corner, then cut a tiny slice off corner to form a small hole. Squeeze chocolate decoratively over brownies.

Chill the brownies, loosely covered, until caramel and chocolate are firm, at least 4 hours.

Just before serving, cut brownies into 1-inch squares and remove from the pan while still cold, then bring to room temperature.

Servings •Makes 5 dozen

Source • Marie English