Berger cookies are a Baltimore thing... despite growing up just forty miles down I-95, I'd never tasted one until last year. Now I'm hooked, because really, what more do you want out of a cookie than an inch of fudge frosting on the top? The factory feels like a sugar sauna; the floors are slick with chocolate and there are guys in white aprons scooping massive handfuls of margarine and corn syrup into industrial mixers that could be older than they are. Take a deep breath... yummmmmmmmm.....
The original baking Berger brothers came to Baltimore from Germany in the 1830s. The bakery's current owners say this cookie recipe came over with them.
Bakery owner Charles DeBaufre. His family took over the operation in 1967.
Scraping batter off the mixers at the Berger cookie factory-- this job involves getting covered in batter up to the elbows.
Measuring out the margarine for the cookies' fudge coating. No newfangled measuring cups here.
Some hastily scrawled recipe notes at the Berger cookie factory.
Batter is scooped by hand into this machine, which shoots out trays of cookies ready to bake.
Racks of raw cookies get rolled into a giant freestanding oven.
Fresh out of the oven.
Dipping the cookies into their chocolate coating and flipping them out onto a tray is a delicate ballet.
Thousands of cookies get baked and packed every day at the Berger factory in Baltimore.