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Tuesday
Mar042008

Pretty In Pink: A Sweet History of the Pink Frosted Cookie

 

The Pink Frosted Cookie

Regional Specialties--what's up with them, exactly? Sure, you have the big famous ones--New York bagels, Chicago deep dish pizza, San Francisco sourdough. But what about those not-quite-as-famous ones, existing just a little bit under the radar? Those ever-present little food items that you might even stop noticing simply because they are ubiquitous--it might take a trip or a move from your hometown to raise your awareness. But why is this, exactly? Why is it that kolaches about in Texas but are sparse elsewhere, that black and white cookies reign in the Mid-Atlantic, but don't seem to exist in the Pacific Northwest? Yes, these are the questions that fill our minds and color our days here at Cakespy--and right now, that regional bee in our bonnet is The Pink Frosted Cookie.

 

If you don't live in Seattle, you might not even know about this cookie (while it exists elsewhere, we've never seen it in quite the same proliferation in our assorted travels); even if you do live in Seattle, you might not have stopped to question why it is that this confection is always around--gas stations, delis, grocery stores, drugstores--everywhere! What makes this relatively simple cookie, comprised of a rich shortbread base and a very generous, very sweet frosting topcoat, so popular? Luckily for you, we found out about its history so you don't have to.

On our path of discovery, the first thing we discovered is that the "original" pink frosted cookie was sold under the name Uncle Seth's Cookie--while various takes on it exist (including a company we like, Bite Me, Inc.), this Uncle was the Founding Father. The company (and recipe) was sold to Seattle wholesaler Mostly Muffins in 1996, and this is where we discovered this story:


Uncle Seth’s Cookie was a concept developed from a passion of fun and feeling good. From the high mountain tops of Bali came the inspiration for the feel good cookie. Danny Brown, the originator and inventor of the Original Pink, also known as an Uncle Seth Cookie, found a kindred spirit in a man named Seth. Seth moved from a crazed urban setting better known as the City, to live his dream of peace in the mountains. The namesake of the Uncle Seth Cookie gave tribute to this man named Seth who changed his life for the sake of fun and happiness. To bring a bit of that passion and fun to light, Danny created a cookie that says eat me because you can. This cookie has a good aura. After nine years of hand rolling this Danish Shortbread, Danny too, decided to head for the hills. Mostly Muffins purchased Uncle Seth’s Cookies in 1996 and Danny was off to live in Hawaii!

 

Mostly Muffins now proudly carries on the tradition of fun and feeling good by serving the Original Pink to the entire Northwest community. Eat one of the Original Pink Cookies and you can’t help but smile!

Okay, so it proves that fact can be stranger than fiction--without, of course, explaining why the cookies are so popular, or why they thrived in the Seattle region. Our theory? So happy you asked. In our minds, the first aspect is timing: the cookie got its start being sold in coffee carts just as the coffee business was starting up in earnest in Seattle; naturally, they would appeal for the same reasons that coffee is so popular in the area--the climate just begs for rich treats and coffee during those rainy days that take up oh, eight months of the year. The second and perhaps more important aspect? Duh--The frosting color. there's no secret that pink frosting tastes better than any other color.
See? You've learned something new today! And while the pink frosted cookie itself seems to be a Seattle phenomenon, we do believe that the concept behind the regional specialty is universal, so approach your local treats mindfully; whether it's strange, cute or plain scary, there's bound to be a story behind that confection!

For more information on the pink frosted cookie, visit mostlymuffins.com. Not in the Seattle area but want a pink frosted cookie? We hear you: similar-looking products can be found online here and here, or--even better, we found a recipe which is said to yield a very similar taste to the original Uncle Seth's Cookie, right here at allrecipes.com.
Cakespy Note: Want our Cake Gumshoes to research a particular baked good in your area? Let us know! Feel free to leave a suggestion for us to sleuth in the comments or via email to jessieoleson@gmail.com.

 


 

Reader Comments (56)

Not fair! Now I must bundle up and bare the sleet to search for frosting and cookies.

So you're sending one to each of your loyal readers right?.... RIGHT??!

March 5 | Unregistered CommenterEB

I've actually been in the factory where they make the Pink Cookies! I've actually met Molly of Mostly Muffin's fame (the founder) and got a tour of the entire place. It is one amazingly complex maze of foodie delight (swooning). I do love those pink cookies. My mouth is watering just thinking about it ...

March 5 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

"Original Pink" is a sweet name for a band. Oh yeah, and I want to dip that into my next hot Jamaica.

March 5 | Unregistered CommenterGTangerine

And I want a gluten-free dairy-free egg-free pink frosted cookie! Well, a girl can dream can't she???

March 5 | Unregistered CommenterKarina

Do they taste like black and white cookies? Being from New York, I had no idea about your pink deliciousness...I will have to fly out there on my next vacation. I will also have to stop it with my regional-centricity...

March 5 | Unregistered Commenterfeathermar

This is something I mostly see around Valentine's Day, but will pop up year round. I think it's the hardest of all cookies to resist (next to the classically browned chewy chocolate chip).
Quit tempting me!

March 5 | Unregistered CommenterJeanna

I love finding out more about stuff like this. Thanks!

March 5 | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

Oh yumm! and pink is one of my favorite colours...I need a few of those cookies right now...

I will try that recipe one of these days....

great read as always..
Diana

March 5 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Evans

Pink frosting definitely does taste better... I might have to get one of these when I visit!

March 5 | Unregistered CommenterVegan_Noodle

LOL - it's true, pink frosting does taste better than any other colour!

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterCakelaw

I just read your comments on my blog (thanks by the way :D)... And no, the parcel hasen't arrived yet. Currently I'm at the beach but I call home everyday to check out if it has arrived. But don't worry. It's a loooong trip from there to here.
I'll let you know when they arrive. Thanks for the concern!
And the cookies look delicious!

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterIsa

Thanks for the inspiration to try making my own pink cookies. They turned out great for my little friend's 14th birthday. She loved them! Thanks Cakespy!

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne

Those are super pretty. I will have to try one next week!

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterLydia

What cuties all pink and delicious!!

Rosie x

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

Really cute. Thanks for sharing.

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterHelene

Stephanie: Oh they are so good. ;-)

Slush: YES! I think I know the brand--is it by chance these? http://www.lofthousecookies.com/products_frostedcookies.html

Peabody: They're strangely present yet under the radar, hmm?

TW: Sweet! Spread the word, and send over some B+W cookies!

Lulife: Sweet! Maybe we should have a pink-cookie tasteoff!

Bazu: It might be, but eating them is awfully fun too...

Kevin: Don't forget it!

Kinichi: Yes, come and see what it's all about! When I moved here I was amazed by them.

Valency: I know what you mean! And yes, some are better than others :-)

Lydia: Yes, please do look for them!

Anticiplate: There's just something about them, isn't there??

Obsessive Foodie: OOh, those sound amazing!! Do you have pictures?

Stickygooey: You know it!

Josephine...exactly right--very sweet!

Melisser: OOh, send on the recipe if you figure one out!!

Aran: You've been missing out! Come visit!

Gattina: They do make the rainy days brighter!

Happy Cook: You said it!

Nancy: YES!

Tea or Wine: Thanks! That was so much fun to do. I have done non cupcake art (shhh!).

Patricia: Obviously we are too!! :-)

Jaimee: I think they might make you better.

Amy: Ooh, yes, I think I recall being on a road trip and after a certain point always seeing signs for boiled peanuts! Are they...good?

Life in Recipes: Yes! It's worth dealing with the weather!

EB: ummmm....no comment...

Anne-Marie: WOW! You've been part of Seattle lore!! How awesome! I want to go there!

GTangerine: Yes, it would be! Must tell Mr. Cakespy to change their name...

Karina: That is a new challenge! I wonder if Flying Apron or someone around might do it...

Feathermar: No, they don't taste like black and whites--they're more like a shortbread cookie, and the frosting is more buttercream-y than fondant like the B+W cookie. Same general size though.

Jeanna: Sorry...not really ! (joking!)

Cynthia: You're welcome! We love sharing it!

Diana: Hope you do try it--send pictures!

Vegan Noodle: We want you to figure out a vegan version!

Cakelaw: Hell yes!

Isa: Oh good, let me know when they arrive safely!

Joanne: Woo! So glad!!

Lydia: YES! Can't wait to see you!

Rosie: True! Isn't pink frosting just the happiest??

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

wow, I had no idea that the pink frosted cookie had such a rich history, and that it's basically the "Chicago deep dish pizza" of Seattle (make sense, I hope? haha) - love it!!

the infamous baked good of MY area, is indeed the the buckeye (the chocolate-covered peanut butter ball concoction). go buckeyes! :0)

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

The pale pink frosting makes it looks so cute and innocent...

Very interesting...I have definitely wondered about those! The odd thing is that I've lived here my whole life and I'm not sure I have ever actually eaten one?

March 6 | Unregistered CommenterMallow

Veggiegirl: None of us had ever heard of buckeyes--consider our eyes opened!

Ruby Red: Doesn't it?

Mallow: Wow, must change that --- STAT! It's like eating a piece of local lore!

March 7 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Boiled Peanuts? Thanks for asking..... they're best bought off the street from some random vendor's cooler (now used to keep things warm instead of cool) outside Turner Field. Then, as soon as you find your seats, order a cold brew & nosh while watching the Braves.

Oooh, my friend in Seattle is going to send me some pink cookies thanks to this post! Yippie!

Amy: Can't WAIT to hear what you think of them! I think it is probably one of those things that tastes like nostalgia, so I can't speak to the more mature palate, but the pink color is awfully pleasing ;-)

March 8 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

I was a barista in downtown Seattle in the early 1990's when Seth delivered these cookies himself. Boy was he a cutie. The cookies were good too.

March 24 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Anonymous: Oooh, cute guys delivering pink cookies!? Pleasure overload!

March 24 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy
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