Where did the pink cookie recipe really come from?

Sprinkled pink cookies on display at Dutchman's Market, Santa Clara, Utah, March 17, 2014 | Photo by Samantha Tommer, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — It’s been called the best cookie in America by many tasters in Utah and it’s sweet, moist, flaky, buttery, thick, soft and dangerously addicting. The pink sugar cookie, created first by the Dutchman’s Market in Santa Clara, has now evolved into an identifier for St. George and an important stop for St. Georgians and anyone visiting St. George. 

Owner Nick Frei with the pink cookies at Dutchman’s Market, Santa Clara, Utah, March 17, 2014 | Photo by Samantha Tommer, St. George News

Thousands and thousands have tasted and fallen in love with the decadent treat. Now it is reaching more areas, traveling north to Salt Lake, being sold in numerous restaurants and drink stops and expanding locations.  Swig, a booming drink and treat stop, recently opened its fourth location in Provo, UT about 260 miles north selling their famous Swig Cookie. The Dutchman’s Market cookie is currently sold at Dutchman’s Market, Slurp’s Up in Santa Clara and Cedar City and at eight Fabulous Freddy’s locations ranging from Las Vegas, Nev. to Sandy, Utah.

Dutchman’s baker, Jodi Moss, said that President Thomas S. Monson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints requests their pink sugar cookie every year on his birthday.

The far-reaching cookie took shape almost 28 years ago in the family recipes of Nick Frei, founder of Dutchman’s Market at 2300 Santa Clara Drive in Santa Clara, but it has been tweaked and improved many times, Frei said.

“We’ve had a lot of bakers and the recipe has kind of evolved,” Frei said. “I think what makes it so good is we hand dip every cookie and we use really quality ingredients. I just can’t even explain why it’s good, but it is … I’m a better taster than a baker.”

The cookie has had lasting impact on Dutchman’s business and helped immensely in the recovery after the Santa Clara flood on Sept. 11, 2012, along with the support of the community.

“We felt like we lost everything and it was over $200,000 worth of damage,” Frei said, “and this cookie is what we think is helping us to recover.”

Swig, a booming business in St. George, opened its doors on 989 East Tabernacle Street in April 2010 selling their now popular drinks and the pink cookie, among other things.

“When we started Swig almost exactly four years ago,” Swig owner Nicole Tanner said, “we wanted a baked good with our sodas and everything that we had, so we went to Dutchman’s [and ordered their cookie].”

Things started off slowly because many people hadn’t heard about the cookie before, but the popularity picked up and shortly after opening, Swig opened a new location to keep up with demand.

“Our business started taking off and we were trying to keep up with the supply and demand of these cookies and keep them in stock,” Tanner said, “and we handed it to our own baker who actually said that she had a really good sugar cookie recipe.”

The baker brought Tanner her recipe and after some changes, they came up with the Swig cookie. For Swig, this was the ideal to have their own bakery where they could bake their own cookies and not need to drive to Dutchman’s multiple times a day.

“It wasn’t very cost effective for us, so she brought us her cookie to try and we said, ‘those are great but we have to switch it a little bit’ and ‘it wasn’t quite right,'” Tanner said. “We know our customers and what they like and she changed it to what we needed for our recipe and we actually think they were better than they were before.”

Nicole Tanner with baker Carrie Peterson in the Swig bakery tasting cookies, St. George Utah, March 19, 2014 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

Now Swig has it’s own bakery, where Carrie Peterson, head baker, creates the beautiful cookies and they feel very fortunate for the success they have had, Tanner said.

Regarding the relationship between Swig and Dutchman’s, Frei said he didn’t want anything negative regarding the cookie.

“When Swig first opened they were selling our cookie; for the first year-and-a-half to two years they were using our cookie and now they are not” Frei said.

Their cookie has its own name now, “the Swig cookie,” Tanner said. “Everyone wants that pink sugar cookie that really is a Swig cookie.”

For Tanner, she believes the popularity of Swig helped establish the popularity of the cookie. Now when customers get a drink “they have to get a cookie with it,” Tanner said.

Swig and Dutchman’s both have strong customer loyalty and numbers of patrons who claim one cookie is much better than the other.

For Jodi Moss, the baker at Dutchman’s for the past 10 years, she said she believes that her cookie has better frosting and is more moist than the Swig cookie –  and “made with love,” she said.

“She has an excitement for life and she is one of the unique people that I am really lucky to have,” Frei said regarding Moss.

The Swig cookie is not your normal sugar cookie, Tanner said. The Swig cookie is amazing, but it is also the Swig environment that adds to the experience, she said.

“It’s the Swig environment and Swig experience and that’s really what we try to go for,” Tanner said.”We love, love, love our customers so we want to make their trip to Swig the best part of their day. We try to provide the best to our customers.”

The cookies are similar but offer slight differences, catering to the tastes of their booming fan bases. Whether you are a Swig customer or a Dutchman’s customer, chances are you will always be eating a famously delicious pink sugar cookie.

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Resources

  • Swig| 989 East Tabernacle Street, St. George | (435) 674-1759 |  Website | Facebook
  • Dutchman’s Market, Cravings Gourmet Bakery  2300 Santa Clara Drive, Santa Clara | (435) 688-1333 | Facebook
  • Fabulous Freddy’s Splash | 806 North Bluff Street, St. George | (435) 674-0109 | Website | Facebook
  • Slurp’s Up |  2235 Santa Clara Drive, St. George | slurpsupdude@gmail.com | Facebook

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Email: nbarrett@stgnews.com

Twitter: @Stgnews

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7 Comments

  • Caroline March 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    It comes from my mother-in-law. She worked for Nick forever ago and was the first to develop it. I have that original recipe 🙂
    Edited at request of commenter.

    • Donna November 25, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      i would love to get a copy of your recipe. Thanks.

  • Mean momma March 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Great…. Now I want a pink cookie. Swigs are better.

  • swimswim March 20, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Dutchmans are the BEST!!!!!

  • Dana March 21, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Too much cr@p on it.

  • KT-cookie lover March 21, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Dutchmans are better. Hands down. And swig, make sure your cookie isn’t frozen solid when you hand it over!

  • Joe March 21, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    I love that Swig is actually trying to take credit for the Dutchman Cookie….The Dutchmans cookie has been around for years and after a couple years of Swig buying it from them they try and steal it and call it “their own Pink Cookie”. Dutchmans cookies have been famous long before you Swig, so maybe you should quit trying to take so much credit for the cookies! Even if you did tweak the recipe…I’d love to see both recipes side by side because honestly I doubt there is much difference! They taste almost Identical but Swigs are practically frozen when given to you!! Be grateful Swig for what they gave you!

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