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Homemade Gifts: Expectations vs. Reality

There’s no doubt about it, homemade gifts are on the rise.  As of December 31, 2014 Etsy had over 54 million registered users and Pinterest had over 70 million registered users.  That’s a lot of people shopping for, selling, and trying DIY gifts!  And it makes perfect sense.  A homemade gift can be cost efficient, from the heart, and tailored to specific recipients.

But what starts as a well-intended idea for a handmade, homemade gift can often go astray.  Here’s what we’re talking about.


But don’t worry!  You CAN give a homemade, handmade gift that not only looks beautiful, but also is sure to please whoever receives it.  Our nearly half pound cookies are made fresh by hand in 13 flavors.  Need a gift for a cookie lover with a food allergy?  We offer 4 different flavors in certified gluten-free and nut-free cookies.

So don’t rule out a DIY gift, just leave the Y to us.  Whatever your budget or the level of personalization you’d like we have the perfect gifting option.  Check out our wide range of flavors and packages and place your order today.

Why Are Carol’s Cookies Special?

It doesn’t matter what new technologies have emerged or how much business has grown over the last four decades, Carol’s Cookies always has, and always will be handmade. We’ve grown from Carol’s home kitchen to now our fourth and biggest bakery yet, but we’ll never change Carol’s original homemade recipe.

We understand that there are a lot of cookies on the shelf, and we want to make sure ours stand out.  We always use the best ingredients, from our Ghirardelli chocolate to the fresh hand-cracked eggs. Our cookies aren’t machine-driven or mass-produced.  Each cookie is handmade by one of our bakers so you can taste the all natural ingredients in every bite.  We take pride in the fact that no two cookies we bake look exactly the same.  You wouldn’t expect identical cookies out of your own home kitchen.  And that’s all we are: a home kitchen with a phenomenal one-of-a-kind cookie recipe that’s expanded over the course of years to a bakery with over 30employees.

One taste of one of our nearly half-pound, handmade cookies and we’re sure you’ll see what makes Carol’s so special.  So, sit down, kick back and enjoy a Carol’s Cookie and let us know what you think and share with a friend!


Autumn Up Your Baking

We love this season (as you can see from our blog post last year: The Joys of Fall) there’s something about a crisp fall day, a glass of warm apple cider, and our snickerdoodle cookie that is what dreams are made of.

But our love doesn’t stop there.  We love fall decorations, the holidays, and the flavors (pumpkin anyone?).  And from our experience, so do a lot of you!  We wanted to share with your some of our favorite tips, tricks, and ideas for fall-themed cooking and baking.

Use fall colored candies instead of chocolate chips in your baked good recipes.  Same flavor you’d expect but with a little crunch and a very fall feel.

Add pumpkin to everything and anything!  We like to substitute pumpkin for butter and oil in things like breads, cookies, and muffins.  But we also can’t get enough of pumpkin chili, pumpkin hash and eggs, and pumpkin “noodles”!  Poodles anyone?

Use pumpkins as a fun way to serve food and drinks!  A cleaned hallowed out pumpkin takes a little work, but we think it’s worth it for such a festive serving option! They are great for dips (or to hold that pumpkin chili!) and even drinks.

What’s the color most associated with fall?  Orange of course!  You can use orange food dye in a variety of food items to give them a fall theme.  Soft boiled eggs, whipped cream, cream cheese, cake batter, popsicles, water, ice cubes, yogurt…you name it, making it orange automatically makes it feel so seasonal.

Of course there are tools you can buy that make whatever you’re making into a fall shape as well.  We love these pumpkin shaped muffin tins!

Or with a little imagination, patience and skills, you can make plenty of you favorite foods and treats look like fall things.

Have you tried any of our favorite ideas before?  How did they turn out?  Or do you have your own autumn inspired dish to share with us?  We’d love to hear.  Send us a message via facebook, twitter, or email!

Carol’s Baking Hacks

Carol’s Baking Hacks


You don’t want just anyone baking for you- it’s best to leave the cookie making to the professionals!  But if you must take it into your own hands, you can learn a thing or two from those that knock their way around the kitchen.  Here are our Top 10 Baking Hacks for the Best Cookies.


10. Don’t scoop your flour!  Most people take a big scoop of flour out of the container (or pour flour into the container), which results in the flour being packed down more than it should be.  Too much flour equals a hard cookie that doesn’t spread.  Gently spoon small amounts of flour into your measuring cup and then scrap off the excess.  Or better yet- use a scale!


9.  Keep cookies soft and moist with an apple wedge in the container!  This is a great hack and should be known as well as keeping the avocado pit in your guacamole to keep the brown away!

8.  We make sure to always use the freshest ingredients- a little trick that makes sure your cookies taste the best.  Test your eggs to see if they’re fresh: Fill a bowl up with cold water and place an egg in it.  If the egg sinks, it’s fresh.  If it stands on point, it’s good but nearing the expiration date.  If the egg floats to the top, toss it.

7.  Don’t put away still warm cookies.  Letting your cookies cool COMPLETELY ensures that your cookies won’t let moisture fill the container, which gives you soggy, stuck together cookies.


6.  If your brown sugar is brick hard, microwave it with a wet paper towel covering it for 20 seconds to soften it up.


5.  Keep your kitchen clean by using a paper plate to cover your mixing bowl.

4. Try to keep the weight of your cookies consistent so they bake more evenly.  You can use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop.  But make sure and spray the scoops with unflavored cooking spray to keep dough from sticking and making your cookies a true match in size.  If you notice the dough starts sticking again, simply re-spray!

3.  If a recipe calls for softened butter but you’ve forgotten to set the butter out, run a glass over hot water and put it over the butter.  It will soften your butter and is easy to watch to make sure your butter doesn’t melt which will have adverse effects to your cookies.


2.  Eggshells fall in?  A problem we’re all too familiar with since we hand crack eggs for our cookies everyday.  Use either a large part of the egg shell or wet your finger and dip it into the bowl, the egg shell fragment will be drawn to the shell or your wet finger making it easier to get out.


  1. The best hack to ensure you’ll have the best cookies in town?  Just order some of ours shipped directly to your door.  We’ll even make it easier on you, here’s the link: http://www.carolscookies.com/order-cookies/


What’s your favorite baking hack that ensures your best-made cookies?  Let us know by emailing: info@carolscookies.com

Carol's Corporate Gifts- The Ever So Personal Thank You!

Carol’s Corporate Gifts- The Ever So Personal Thank You!

After our busiest holiday season ever, we were so thankful that not only do so many people send our cookies as gifts to friends, families, and loved ones, but also that so many corporations do as well to thank their clients and friends.  We wanted to reach out to the companies that come to us for their corporate gifts to get a better understanding of why they think of us and what we specifically deliver for them.

Why are Carol’s Cookies the perfect gift for your clients?

Carol’s Cookies is a personal treat to Flaherty’s Flooring- why would we not share this with our customers as a “Thank You!” for allowing us to be a part of their home.

-Flaherty’s Flooring America

The Carol's Cookies experience is amazing.  Customers, coworkers and suppliers remember them for a long time! –Advanced Systems Group

While sometimes gifts are given during the holiday time, other companies choose to give a gift directly after a job was carried out.  Forbes contributor John Hall makes no secret how essential it is for businesses to stay top of mind with their clients.  So we asked,

Why is sending Carol's Cookies to your clients/customers such an important step in your customer appreciation strategy?

Given that we have a very transactional business with relatively large number of customers, the gift giving process is an added assurance that the customer will hear from us after the (the transaction).  Customers are delighted to receive a gift that they don’t expect. Both the quality and size of the cookies adds to the value of the unexpected gift.  We frequently get thank you notes saying things like “you didn’t have to do that.” – Home Carpet One


Scott Hartley of Talk Business Magazine wrote his “5 Top Tips When Choosing Your Corporate Gifts” and his number one tip was to choose a gift that you would be happy to receive.  So naturally, our last and final question to our corporate clients was to:

Pretend you’re opening up a gift tin of Carol’s Cookies for the first time.  Describe your reaction in 20 words or less.

Overwhelming excitement at viewing the most delicious, inviting cookies I have ever seen.  The hardest part is deciding which type to eat because they are so big you can’t take two (not every time at least). –Home Carpet One

Mind blowing.  Memorable. - Advanced Systems Group

This will be difficult to do.  First reaction is “Ah”. The tins are beautiful and the personal note is just that, “Personal”. Then you wonder if the cookies can be as delicious as what you see.   That first bite is “Amazing!” So my 20 words or LESS are:

“Ah”; “Personal” and “Amazing!” - Flaherty’s Flooring America

Seems like they all would be more than happy to receive a tin of our cookies for a gift!

So, does your company send out corporate gifts?  What have you sent in the past and have you ever considered sending cookies?  Let us know: info@carolscookies.com

If you would like to order your own Carol's Cookies as a thank you gift or just for yourself visit our order page!

Ask Carol Anything!

It’s obvious that the one thing people care most about - after the actual taste and size of our cookies - is the creator of our cookies: Carol! Every time we have a candid photo, a sampling event, or an update about Carol we’re overwhelmed by the positive response, enthusiasm, and care Carol’s Cookies fans have. We wanted to give you, our fans and cookie lovers alike, the chance to ask Carol any questions you might have about her personally, her cookies, or her business at-large with a series of posts called #AskMeAnything.

We reached out to all of you via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to find out what you wanted to know and got the answers straight from Carol. In case you missed it, we wanted to share some of our favorite questions, and Carol’s honest answers with you now.

Q: Jamie D asked: What were you involved in before you made cookies?
A: I was a social worker.

Q: Peter M asked: Do you use a convection oven?
A: We use big commercial ovens, which are convection.

Q: Cheryl F. asked: How do you come up with new flavors?
A: We marry flavors we like in other desserts and find ways to create that flavor in a cookie.
We're working on a few fun new flavors now! Stay tuned.

Q: Stephanie D. asked: Besides your own…do you consider any other cookies to be your favorite?
A: I love Wedding Cookies...full of nuts and dry but sugary. Something about those cookies brings me back to my childhood.

Q: Nicole F asked: Why do your cookies taste so much more amazing than any other cookie ever?
A: We use pure ingredients like farm fresh butter, premium chocolate, and we still crack our own eggs. Oh, and we still make our cookies by hand unlike most of the cookies you'll find in a store.

And of course, there were some questions Carol couldn’t answer. Hey- she said #AskMeAnything, she didn’t say she would answer everything!

Q: Nacy S. asked: would love it if you could answer this though...how do you get the cookies to stay so thick and puffy?
A: That's a trick I just can't divulge, taking it to the grave with me!

Did you miss the postings across our social media channels but still have a question to ask Carol? Now’s your chance! We’ll take all other questions by simply posting on our facebook page, tweeting to us with @CarolsCookies remember to use the hashtag #AskMeAnything or email us at info@carolscookies.com. Carol wants to hear from you! #AskMeAnything.

The #CookieSelfie Challenge

We want to hear from you!  More specifically, we want to see you!

We know Carol’s Cookies' fans are a unique group of fun, creative people who are passionate about our handmade cookies.  You might choose us because you like that we’re still a mom & pop operation making our cookies each morning by hand, or your priorities might be only eating whole, natural ingredients that you can pronounce, or maybe you are just so smitten by our Toffee Crunch that there’s no turning back.

Whatever the reason may be, one way or another you’re all about eating our cookies!  Well, now we want to see it for ourselves!  Show us how you enjoy your Carol’s Cookies.  Maybe with milk, before your dinner, or shared with a friend?  Or show us where you enjoy your Carol’s Cookies.   At a Pearl Jam Concert, a Blackhawks game, on top of Machu Picchu?  We want to know!  Share your #CookieSelfie with us through any of one of our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) or email it to info@carolscookies.com.  Just be sure to use the hashtag #CookieSelfie and tag @CarolsCookies to make sure we see it, too!

We’ll create an album of our favorite pics and feature a weekly favorite on social media every Wednesday.  Maybe we’ll even dole out some sweet treats to the #CookieSelfie that goes the extra mile and gets super creative.  So share with us your #CookieSelfie – we want to see what makes you and your cookie experience special.

Snowman Cookie pic with hashtag of #CookieSelfie in the picture.

Sweet Valentine's Day Chat

Yesterday we sponsored a special edition online live chat on twitter with our friends @Foodiechats and gave them a special offer you can use too: 20% off any order until Monday 2/2/2015 with promo code “Foodiechats15” We were able to introduce our cookies to new people, talk a little bit about how Carol got started baking cookies, and explain what makes our cookies different (the size of our cookies for one and the fact that all our cookies are handmade using all natural ingredients!)  And then we got to have a fun chat about Valentine’s Day, cookies, and all things sweet!

Here are some of our favorite moments from the Twitter chat:

After our sugar sweet chat with the #foodiechats fans we had a one on one interview with FoodieChats on their Instagram and Facebook pages.  There were some unique, fun questions that we know our existing fans and customers would get kick out of:

Do you have any goofy questions for Carol?  It doesn’t always have to be about the cookies! Feel free to ask us on Twitter (@carolscookies) or Facebook (Carol’s Giant Cookie Club) whenever you want!  Thanks to everyone who participated in the super sweet twitter chat- and don’t forget- Valentine’s is right around the corner.  Make sure you don’t disappoint your loved ones and celebrate the day with out giant cookies!


Best of 2014

Happy 2015!

We thought long and hard about our New Year resolutions, but just couldn’t put our finger on the exact goals we wanted to achieve this year.  And then it came to us (via late night YouTube surfing):


Yep, we’re resolving to make 2015 AWESOME.  More awesome than last year.  Which is no easy feat.  Because 2014 was pretty good…pretty awesome.   And that was in large thanks to all of our great customers.  We want to look back on share with you some of our favorite digital moments from you this year.

Our Favorite Facebook Comment

Our Favorite Twitter Comment

Our Favorite Facebook Review

Our Favorite Corporate Gift Review

Our Favorite Twitter Review

Our Favorite Cookie-Fan Photo


Our Most Liked Instagram Post


Thank you all for a great year.  We’re ready (in our new, big, beautiful bakery) to make it an AWESOME 2015 by making the most cookies yet!  And naturally, we hope you’ll all be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor.  What are your resolutions?  Let us know @carolscookies and maybe we can return the favor?

Getting Halloween Ready

Everyone knows this holiday is about two things.  The first is, it’s all about the candy.  Fun-size, over processed, nuggets of sugar. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish the tradition changed over to adorably dressed children ring doorbell, door opens, and a handful of Carol’s Cookies minis were handed out…But I digress.

The second part of Halloween, the most important part, is the costume.  Basically, if you dream it, you can be it. It can be extremely overwhelming…where do you even start?  Well, for us, it’s a bit easier.  We eat, sleep, breathe, think, and live for cookies.  So naturally, we favor costumes of the doughy, sweet treat variety.  And we couldn’t encourage you more to take suit…and suit up as your favorite treat this holiday.  And don’t forget to let us see!

The Joys of Fall

So often we hear complaints about the end of summer and the start of fall.

The kids are upset that summer vacation is over, the days are getting shorter, and we’re one step closer to cold weather, shoveling driveways, and hibernation. But at Carol’s Cookies we love the change of the season and think there are a lot of reasons to be happy that summer’s over.

Football season is here.

Hot cider (it’s a lovely compliment to our Snickerdoodle cookies).




Apple picking (and then dunking in caramel!)


The best color palette of all the seasons.


Cozy sweaters.


The only season where it’s practically mandatory to dress up in a costume and eat candy.


S’mores…they’re not just a summer dessert.


Candy corn  (totally counts as a serving of vegetables)


And then #1 reason we’re in love with this fall: it’s the season we moved into a bigger bakery to produce more cookies than ever before!

Carol's Cookies Custom Orders

Of course you wanted to help your favorite neighbor throw their first open house, but that was before your daughter got sick and your husband got called away to travel for work.  Getting to the grocery store right now is as likely as winning the lotto without buying a ticket, but you can’t leave them high, dry, and dessert-less.

But have no fear:  Carol’s Cookies has you covered.  Whatever amount of cookies you need, we have the right gift for you.  Our gift tins and packages can be ordered with 7, 12, 36 or 6 dozen of our 7-ounce cookies!  We even offer gluten-free, nut-free cookies for those with food allergies.  And if 7-ounces of cookie seems like too much, our 1.5-ounce minis have all the same flavor but at a fraction of the size.

So fear not, you have it all under control (with a little help from Carol’s.)  On average, we need just 3 days lead time to bake your fresh batch of cookies and we ship every Monday thru Wednesday from our new bakery in Northbrook, IL.  Or, if you’re in the area, you’re always welcome to come pick up at our bakery (phone first).  We’ll make sure that you will save the day with our giant cookies, whether it’s for an open house, thank-you gift, or just an after school snack– we’ve got you covered.

Order your specific cookies needs by visiting us at http://www.carolscookies.com/order-cookies/


Labor Day Celebration

Labor Day is a day of celebration dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.  It’s a day to pay tribute to the contributions workers have made to strengthen the economic well-being of our country.  And this labor day, we’re able to celebrate a new milestone for Carol and all of Carol’s Cookies employees.

The morning after Labor Day we’ll be cracking eggs bright and early in a new, bigger bakery.  We feel this grand opening day adequately represents the hard work of our company.  From starting modestly 35 years ago in her own kitchen, Carol went from selling cookies at local shops like Michael’s Hot Dogs and Sunset Foods to being distributed in over 30 states.  Now, Carol’s Cookies has a staff of 25 (and growing!), and in 2013 produced nearly 3 million cookies, a number we hope to surpass this year.

So this holiday weekend, we’re going to enjoy our day off and reflect on how far we’ve come as a company and as individuals.  It’s bittersweet to move from a location with so many fond memories, but we’re excited to increase our trade and continue to evolve, while (thankfully) our cookies remain the same.

Happy Labor Day to all of you- we hope you’re able to relax and celebrate your own hard work and accomplishments.

Carol's Cookies Summer Treats

Just because the days are getting shorter and the kids are counting down how long until they head back to school doesn’t mean your summer fun is over.  In fact, you can make the last weeks of summer sweeter than ever with these dessert ideas from Carol’s Cookies.

Carol’s Cookies Ice Cream Sandwich (1 serving)

  • Two of your favorite Carol’s Cookies (We used chocolate chip)
  • Your favorite ice cream

For our Ice Cream Sandwich, we took two of our fresh Chocolate Chip cookies and our favorite Homer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream.  Let your ice cream sit out for 3-5 minutes so it’s more pliable.  Take a scoop of ice cream and place it on the flat side of the cookie and gently spread ice cream to cover the cookie’s surface.  Top with your second cookie (flat side down!) and press slightly to allow the ice cream to disperse more evenly.  Enjoy as is, or wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap and place in the freezer to enjoy at a later time.

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Milkshake (2-3 servings)

  • 2 cups chocolate ice cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 Carol’s Cookies Sugar cookie

First combine your ice cream and milk in a blender and blend until smooth.  We used Homer’s chocolate ice cream and 2% milk.  Break your sugar cookie roughly into thirds and add to the blender.  Blend again until cookie is broken up until your desired consistency.

Carol’s Cookies S’more (1 massive serving: perfect for sharing)

  • 2 Carol’s Cookies (We recommend Toffee Crunch to add another dimension of deliciousness)
  • ½ Chocolate bar (approximately .77 ounces)
  • Large Marshmallows (might we suggest using 2-4 for the proper marshmallow to cookie ratio)

Roast marshmallows slowly over an open flame.  Kids make sure you have parental supervision or approval first.  You can use a campfire or fire pit, or in a pinch, a gas stove or sterno.  We think Carol’s Toffee Crunch is divine in this recipe.  With the flat side of the cookie up, place your piece of chocolate on it.  Once your marshmallow is toasted to your liking, place it atop the chocolate and top with the other cookie.   Open wide, and enjoy!

Note: if you’re physically unable to put entire sandwich in your mouth (we don’t blame you) feel free to take the top off.

Snickerdoodle & Strawberry Trifle (2 servings)

  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 Snickerdoodle cookies broken into chunks
  • 1 ½ cup sliced, hulled strawberries
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • cinnamon

In a large bowl beat the milk, sour cream, and vanilla extract on a low speed until thickened and combined.  Fold in the whipped heavy cream.   Place ¼ of the cookie chunks in the bottom of each glass.  Top with ¼ of the sliced strawberries in each class.  Follow with a large dollop of whipped topping.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.   Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Hope you enjoy our summer recipes.  We’d love to hear yours.  Comment below with some of your favorite Carol’s Cookies desserts.


Our most FAQ

We love to hear from our friends, fans, and those just learning about our cookies.  We try to be helpful and provide answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions here (http://carolscookies.com/faq).  But the one question we get asked the most is, “How do you make your cookies so big?!”  We get it.  This question comes from the same mind-boggling, inconceivable place where we wonder, “How does the Tooth Fairy get under our pillows while we sleep?” and “What type of Spanx does Santa put on to shimmy down the chimney.”  They are the universal questions that keep us up at night.

But you’re in luck!  Tonight you can sleep easy and save the worries of the world for another day.  Creating our cookies should be a snap after reading this.

To make our cookies so big, we start with using just the right amount of fats to form correct cohesion and adhesion of ingredients.  This allows our cookies to be dense, yet cooked through, chewy, yet melt in your mouth.  The molecules must be solidly brought together to form the base.  Without it, we would be left with neat little piles of eggs, flour, and Ghirardelli Chocolate.

Speaking of eggs, you want to add your eggs whole, one at a time. But that makes the mixing a little more difficult.  Egg whites are largely water and they don’t mix well with cohesion agents.  But we warn you, too much mixing and you’re in danger of over-mixing.  Over-mixing results in a holey mess that falls apart as soon as it’s lifted off the cookie sheet.  And if you’re not using the right flour, well that totally throws off the protein structure and gluten levels and the ingredients won’t be able to bind.

You’ll need acidity and carbon dioxide to create a strong protein bond with the correct flour.  If your bond isn’t strong, all the good stuff is evaporated away.  A strong bond keeps our dough stiff, and the right level of acidity firms our cooking dough faster, which results in our thick cookies (not spread thin like you so often find).  But that all goes to waste if you don’t mix enough.  The importance of the mixing time of the dough is everything.  Mix too little and you won’t get enough air pockets to be filled with CO2, mix too much and your cookie looks like meal worms invaded.

The last step to consider in making Carol’s-Cookie-sized cookies is temperature.  You want the kinetic energy of the particles to be just right.  You want to be right where the energy within the plasma collisions is high enough to overcome the Coulomb barrier and the cookie particles fuse together into one massive cookie without cracking.

And of course, the perfection of dough you just created is nothing unless you’re dropping 1/2lb softball-sized scoops of it on your cookie tray.

Now you should be set to go ahead and recreate your own version of Carol’s Cookies in your fridge.

What?  You’re confused?  Well, you didn’t really think we were going to divulge our most sacred secrets, did you?

Summer Activities with Kids

Well, it’s that time of year again. The birds are singing, the butterflies are fluttering and your kids are out of school. You may be thinking, ‘Now what do we do? How do I keep my child’s attention with summer fun activities?’

Have no fear, Carol’s Cookies has you covered! Below are some of Carol’s favorite things to do with her grandchildren and her children. Remember you are never too old for a fun summer activity. Can you guess which summer activity is Carol’s absolute favorite??

Happy Summer!

The Best Business Advice a 70-Year-Old Ever Gave You

We happen to love those articles floating around the Internet titled, “the advice I’d give my twenty-year-old self.” If only we knew then what we know now, right?!  One of those articles made us think: what advice would a non-retired 70-year-old businesswoman give us?  So we walked over to ask our founder, Carol Goldman, who still works in our bakery at age 70, what she thinks the keys to success are in business. Here’s her advice:

1.     Be patient and have a sense of humor about your work. It is only work.

2.     Be generous and treat your employees like family.  Bring in lunch every now and then, put a little gift card with their paycheck.  It's the little things that add up to years of loyal service.

3.     Have an ambitious family member help you grow the business into a force to be reckoned with.  Their passion brings energy and opportunity at every corner.

4.     Make the work environment fun and a happy place to be.  I play my saxophone for everyone's birthday...I'm not very good at it, but it always lightens the mood.

5.     Stay organized.  As a business owner, you wear a lot of different hats and juggle a lot of balls at the same time.  Keep notes, and make a daily list so you make sure you get what needs to get done each day.

6.     Customers always come first, no matter what business you're in.  Treat your customers as you want to be treated, and they'll stay loyal to you and your business for it.

7.     Be actively involved with the business...answer phones, take in a delivery, help pack an order.  Be a participant, not just an observer.

8.     Always remember where you came from.  I still support the first store that carried my cookies...I shop there, I tell others how great they are, I still call those stores personally for orders, etc.  They may not be the biggest account, but they are the most important because without them, you may not be where you are today.

9.     Be charitable.  It's not just about sitting on boards or writing checks.  It's about getting involved with your community, volunteering for events to help raise money and it's as simple as giving a sad child a cookie.  Roll your sleeves up and pitch in...there is no better therapy.

10.  Don't change the quality of your product or service.  Stay true to your roots and don't cut corners.  You got to the dance for a reason, so don't sacrifice quality for a few pennies.

Which piece of Carol’s advice do you think is most powerful? What do you hope to look back on your career and say?


Nominate Someone in Our #SweetestMom Contest!

In honor of celebrating 35 years in the handmade cookie business, Carol wanted to give back to and share the stories of amazing mothers around the United States. Therefore, we will be giving away lots of our famous half-pound cookies, along with coupon codes to everyone who nominates a Mom via our Facebook page! To nominate a Mother that inspired you, click the "submit entry" button at the bottom of this page. Could a Mom you know be voted as the #SweetestMom?! If so, she could win these sweet prizes...


How to Enter Your #SweetestMom Nominee


Upload a picture and description about why this mother is so special, and you'll receive a $5 coupon code to use at CarolsCookies.com for participating. Each submission will be considered "pending" until approved by the Carol’s Cookies team - don't worry, we're fast! Once your nominee is live, share it with your Facebook community and ask your friends & family to vote for your #SweetestMom.

Again, don't forget to VOTE! You can vote every hour - and the competition is getting fierce sweet! Here's how to do it once your entry is approved:

The mother who receives the most votes will win a one-year membership to Carol's Cookies Cookie of the Month Club, and 34 "Runner Ups" will receive a gift tin of 12 Carol's Cookies.  Contest closes at 11:59pm CST on Mother's Day (May 11, 2014). Let us know if you have questions! Best of luck!

The Crap In Your Cookies: The Secret Most of America Doesn’t Know

Our founder Carol Goldman has been known to say, "the best tasting things in life are things you can pronounce.”  Yet sadly, so many big food companies have lost site of this simple value.

Luckily, some of our favorite bloggers have not.  Thanks to blogs like Food Babe and 100 Days of Real Food major company secrets are being revealed to the masses. Did you know that some of the brands you trust most often contaminate their cookies with artificial flavors, GMO’s, carcinogens and even ingredients made from petroleum?

The last thing we need is a slew of mystery ingredients that could be harming our health and the health of our families too.  I mean, what in the world is Sodium Aluminum Phosphate and why would we ever want to eat it?

Cookies are a special treat meant to make life a little bit sweeter. And while our cookies may be a bit of an indulgence, we’re proud to say they are real. Our cookie dough is made up of only seven fresh, all-natural ingredients you can pronounce: butter, unbleached flour, pure cane sugar, brown sugar, farm fresh eggs, salt and vanilla.  To top it off, all of our cookies are handmade. This means they aren’t processed and jammed full of preservatives. As Carol tells her grandchildren, “It just tastes better when it's real!"

Take a look at this chart published by Food Babe it will make you think twice about purchasing convenience cookie dough.

We’re very curious what you think: as parents and consumers, did you realize these cookies were so filled with chemicals? If this is in America’s mainstream cookies, what’s hiding in the other packaged items at your local grocery store?  We hope you will stand up for your health and choose the real thing next time you want a sweet treat!

Creating Customer Loyalty Through Sweet Gifts

Think back to the last time you purchased a car. Was it a good experience? For us, some car dealership experiences have been sweeter than others.

Meet Kathy Miller, an associate at the McGrath Family of Dealerships that includes 6 car dealerships throughout the state of Iowa, McGrath Powersports and McGrath Hawkeye Harley Davidson.

From left: Gavin McGrath, Lindsay McGrath, Pat McGrath, Jaymie McGrath and Murphy McGrath.

While McGrath had always had an in-house gift program for their customers, their needs started to change as they acquired more dealerships.  McGrath needed a customer-gifting partner who had the staff and the expertise to expand with their growing business.  It turned out that Carol’s Cookies were the perfect fit. “Our Vice President of Sales, Orrin Smith, came to me with information about Carol’s Cookies,” said Kathy.  “We have since built a partnership with Carol’s Cookies absolutely fantastic team.”

Kathy has seen first-hand that McGrath customers, love Carol’s Cookies and will frequently hear people say “they are soooo big!” Customers now associate these special gourmet cookies with McGrath, leaving a lasting impression.

McGrath has always strived to set itself apart from the competition by giving customers an impactful customer experience they will remember and talk about.  When asked how working with Carol’s Cookies has helped McGrath’s business, Kathy said “it helps keep our name in front of customers. When someone receives a gift at work, everyone wants to know what’s in the box, thus creating a work place buzz.”  Kathy and her co-workers commonly hear customers say, “I bought a car at a different dealership and I didn’t receive a gift.”

Here at Carol’s, we’ve worked with several types of business to put together unique gifts that customers love.  Here are a few examples and ideas.

Custom branded cargo container with individual cookies.

Individually wrapped cookies for customer waiting rooms or business lobbies.

Custom branded lunch container filled with mini cookies.

In our experience, the art and science of building customer loyalty and retention is made a little easier with something sweet.  We couldn’t leave our interview with Kathy without asking what HER favorite Carol’s Cookie is. Kathy voted the Brownie Cookie as her #1 choice with the Milk Chocolate Chunk coming in as a close second.

To discuss how Carol’s Cookies can help you drive customer loyalty and retention via gifting, contact us today!