Ode to Jingles

The Christmas season is here and tradition and nostalgia hang in the air. As an avid baker, I’m firing up the oven, stocking up on cookie supplies and polishing off the Kitchenaid. I love making cookies, and with my 4-year old an eager helper, what’s not to love? There is nothing like the smell of cookies in the oven, and the smile of my son as he sneaks a lick from the bowl of cookie dough.

Homemade creations are near and dear to my heart. And yet . . . growing up in Buffalo at Christmas meant the annual appearance of Jingle cookies. Our mouths would go slack and drool would puddle in the corners when the first box of these store-bought creations appeared in our house. The distinct scent of anise infused cookies hit the nose when we opened the box. Green and red sugar crystals glittered on the surface of cookies shaped like stars, trees, Christmas ornaments and snow men. The first crunchy bite was heaven, the second, bliss. Two bites would polish off these small cookies. A glass of milk stood sentinel, waiting to wash down the final bite. But one was never enough . . . these little bites of heaven were addictive. Before we knew it, the package was gone.

For years, we enjoyed this seasonal treat . . . until the year they disappeared from the shelf. A quick search on the internet revealed the dismal truth: the Jingle was no more. Apparently, Salerno, who made the original Jingle, was bought out by Parmalat. Salerno continued to market the cookies under the name Santa’s Favorites, but alas, not quite the same. Keebler also made a cookie after Parmalat bought out Salerno, but the recipe was nowhere near the true Jingle cookie. I know. My mom bought a package and we threw them all in the trash. So disappointing.

Now there are just rumors of Jingle purchases and sightings. Claims of finding them in stores in the midwest. I have never seen a package since. So, for all you Jingle lovers out there, keep hunting. Perhaps some lucky person will hit the jackpot.

Oh sweet star-shaped Jingle
Dressed in glittery sprinkles
Red and green,
Your anise perfume
Irresistible,
Your crunchiness
Delectable,
Oh Jingle, sweet Jingle
You’re mine.

Perhaps someone has a Jingle sighting?

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6 Responses to Ode to Jingles

  1. Steve Kulisek says:

    Hi,
    They are sold in the Chicago metro area 2011; bought 2 boxes at Jewels last night 3 bucks each. Someplace called Wegmans may have them too!
    http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=358109

    or like them on FB
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Salerno-Santas-Favorites-Cookies

  2. Mom says:

    Oh, Amy, I can taste them as I read your reflections! Today, I spotted “them” in Target; baked by Salerno, but unfortunately not the true version. I can so remember Grandma first introducing them to us; it was immediate addiction. Your poetic tribute burns the image into my mind. Maybe our friends in Chicago can bring them home to Buffalo!

  3. Trixie says:

    I know this thread is over a year old, but I have to complain to someone. For the last few years, I didn’t allow myself to buy Jingles – too tempting to eat the entire box. I was unaware of the name change, etc. The other day I was at the Jewel on Montrose and Broadway in Chicago and saw an endcap filled with Santa’s Favorites caught my eye. I recognized the color and picture of what used to be Jingles. I treated myself to a box. Tonight, I poured myself a nice, cold mug of milk, sat down to enjoy a few cookies, but only opened a box of disappointment. There’s barely any anise flavor at all. Not the yummy Jingle I remembered. As a lover of licorice, Jingles were one of the only treats I could find amongst all the chocolate treats out there. Sadly, this will be my last box unless I hear they go back to the old formula.

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