About Moravian Cookies
The origin of Moravian Cookies is intertwined with the romance and intrigue of the great era of exploration and discovery, by names like Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. The ancient kingdom of Moravia, located in what is now the Czech Republic, was home to rolling hills dotted with castles and an ancient port nestled in the convergence of magnificent rivers. From this legendary port, ships would sail to the far reaches of the world in search of adventure and wealth. As they returned home, they brought both factual and mythical tales of their explorations and the wonders they had witnessed.
As captains unloaded their rich bounties from these long voyages, exotic combinations of newly discovered, highly coveted ingredients were unveiled. Allspice from the Caribbean, ginger from the Far East, cloves from the Malacca Islands, cinnamon from Ceylon, bourbon bean vanilla from Madagascar, and barrels of sugar cane from the West Indies became all the rage.
During these long voyages, sweet amber syrup would flow from the sugar cane and settle in the bottom of the wooden barrels. This substance was discarded as waste until the incredible piquant flavor of the molasses was discovered. It then became one of the most valued and sought after ingredients. Early attempts at blending these treasured flavors into thick, traditional-sized cookies were unsuccessful, as they were too hard to bite. Diligence and persistence prevailed, however, and eventually it was learned that rolling the dough paper-thin and baking slowly created a cookie with a pleasant, crisp texture that captured the intense flavors of the exotic spices they loved.
Through the ages, this thin cookie became legendary. Due to the expense and rarity of the ingredients, along with the incredible skill and time involved in rolling the dough to almost translucent thinness, they were only baked for special occasions and holidays.
Over 200 years ago, the people of Moravia who sought religious freedom and a better life in the New World made the long journey to the colonies of North America. They settled in North Carolina in 1766 and brought their recipe for these cookies, that now bears their name. Since 1930, our bakery has rekindled the tradition of this centuries-old recipe.