COLLECTIVELY, we’re a bit divided when it comes to our love for the muffin. Even the cupcake [the muffin’s prissy little cousin] fails to capture our universal affection. But when it comes to the cookie, ain’t no foolin’; we get soft and gooey on the inside. So when we discovered this 1940’s-era gourmet bakery called RubySnap, we dropped everything and laid rubber getting over there. A bit of an exaggeration, sure [hatchbacks really can’t lay rubber], but we drove really fast.
The vibe at the haute cookie-ery [we say it's a word] is a throwback to a time when food was made with real ingredients and pin-up girls with real parts. Hard to believe, but the goods here taste as amazing as the clever marketing and branding leads you to imagine. A few samples in, and we were all like, “Lay off me, I’m starving!”
Tami Steggell, proprietor of RubySnap and a sassy little number in her own right, was kind enough to sit down with us and answer some penetrating, if not baking-related, questions.
What made you decide to open up a cookie shop? After spending 15 years as an architectural designer, I was ready for something new. I have a passion for baking, and I felt with I could do something really special combining my talent in design with that passion.
These are some seriously exotic cookies. Where do you come up with them? I travel the world for some of the ingredients we use in our cookies, like vanilla beans from Bali and coconuts from the Philippines, and I find a lot of inspiration from those exotic places. Locally, too. I once came up with a Mole cookie after having dinner at Red Iguana.
Break it down…how many cookies you got? We have 18 regular varieties, and we rotate 2 flavors in every month. We try to tie them in with the season. For example, last fall we made a roasted butternut squash cookie that was a real hit.
Who’s the most popular cookie in the joint? The Maris, hands down. It’s a chocolate, chocolate chip cookie dough with a caramel center. It’s a diet killer.
Your competitors must love you. Do you ever get hate mail from Mrs. Fields or Otis Spunkmeyer? [Laughing] No, but I did get sued once by General Mills. When I first opened, we were called My Dough Girl, and I guess the folks at Pillsbury felt we too closely resembled their Dough Boy. My attorney wanted me to fight, but I just wanted to bake. So, I gave up the name and changed it to RubySnap.
Nice recovery, we say. You have this location at 770 South & 300 West, as well as a shop in The Store in Cottonwood Heights that just opened. What’s next for you? We also have a line of frozen cookie dough that we want to grow. Right now, we sell them online and out of Harmons and Whole Foods.
We know you like to keep your cookies close to the apron, but can you tell us what flavor you’re breaking out this holiday season? How about a pumpkin mascarpone cookie with raisins soaked in frangelica? We’re calling her the Isabella.
Tami is right: we do want her cookies.