Friday, December 08, 2006

Salerno Jingles: One Woman's Search For The True Christmas Cookie

Apparently, San Franciscans can't handle their cookies- the advertisting campaign that we told you about last Tuesday has been pulled. And you know it's because those homeless people kept going to City Hall, asking for cookies. Ahhhh, if only they'd made the cookies smell like Jingles.

Speaking of Jingles, sometimes1 I check the magic Sitemeter to see who is visiting the wonderful land of Poofygoodness, and I've noticed recently a spike in the number of people who have come to the Goo in search of Jingles, a.k.a. "Santa's Favorites", according to some people from the very fine city of Madison.

For those of you who don't know, Salerno Jingles are tasty anise cookies sprinkled with red and green sugar, shaped like bells, stars, and candy canes that come in a green cardboard box. The only come at Christmastime, which, of course, makes them special in a commercial, manufactured sorta way, and therefore a staple of many a midwesterners' childhood. Since I've moved to DC, I haven't been able to find them, nor have my other flyover-country friends- they're not something you can buy on Amazon, say like, milk (read the reviews!). Googling them only leads the intrepid web searcher on a wild goose chase to forums of people asking where to find Jingles. I tried googling the parent company, Salerno, but the company is shrouded in mystery. According to BakingBusiness.com, Salerno Cookies was part of an ambiguous larger acquisition of the Mather and Archway food groups by a corporation called Parmalat in 2001. There is no Salerno website, and the Parmalat website looks more interested in looking European than being involved in any sort of cookie baking. The site refuses to disclose any information about its underling companies, insisting in a pop-up window, "Sorry, we are updating this area. " FOR THREE YEARS???

And so, Jingles have become this sort of midwestern myth to tell wide-eyed DC naifs: "Yeah, at Christmastime in Chicago, we eat these anise flavored cookies called Jingles with milk that comes from jugs that they didn't even bag at the grocery store, and this cold white stuff falls from the sky so we don't have to go to school!" They're an enigma to East Coasters, and nowhere to be found come Christmastime, thus diminishing happy childhood memories of my brothers shoving me to get to the Jingles first, then calling me fat when I finally got one of my own, at which point I would throw a screaming temper tantrum, at which point my brothers would punch me2.

From the very beginning of Poofygoo, we have been at the forefront of the most pressing cookie issues. In one of the inaugural posts3 last year, we whined about how we couldn't find Jingles (much like the whining in the precedng 'graph), and therefore how Christmas was just a little less Christmassy. As a result of this post, when you google "Salerno Jingles", Poofygoo comes up as the first heading. With great google power comes great google responsibility, so I felt an obligation to the tubes of the interweb to investigate. Fortunately, we do not have to stomach another Christmas sans Jingles: dear Reader, there is hope.

Read on.

I went straight to the source: The Dominick's grocery store where my mom shopped when I was little. On the Dominick's website, they have this nifty little store locator- you know, the standard put in your ZIP and we'll tell you where to go. I just wanted to find the phone number of the Dominick's on Glenview Road, but when I enetered 60025, it returned a store address on "Patriot Drive".

WTF? I realize it's been quite a while since I've been back to the good old G-spot, but last time I was there, there was no "Patriot Drive." Streets had proper WASPy names like Elm STreet, Linden Leaf Lean, and White Flight Road- names befitting of a North Shore4 suburb. Patriot Drive? It just doesn't work. When I was growing up, you showed your patriotism by buying a minivan and slapping a yellow ribbon on it; street names were reserved for titles that would make the wayward wanderer ponder the idyllic charm of the village.

Oooh, wanna do something fun? go to google maps, and check out the satellite images from 60025. Does any one zip code really need that many golf courses?

Jingles hunt, right. Sorry to slow you down.

In any case, I called up this Patriotic Dominick's and spoke with Debra, a very friendly and helpful clerk. When I ask my non-flyover country friends if they know about Jingles, they look at me as though I'd just asked them if they enjoy eating tofu at Thanksgiving5. Debra knew immediately exactly what I was asking for, and went to search her stock. When she came back on the line, she asked, "You're the one looking for the cookies, right?"

"Yes," I replied, trying not to get my hopes up.

"The come in a green box, and they're shaped like bells, stars..."

"...AND TREES!" I finished for her.

"Yes, we have them," she replied. Reader, pay attention, for what she said next is highly important.

"They're no longer called Jingles, though, they're called Santa's Favorites."

It makes perfect sense. Of course they would change the name to Santa's Favorites, because how could they be anything but Santa's Favorite? They're everyone's favorite. Everyone just doesn't know it yet.

"Yes, yes! That's them!" I cried.

"Great, I'm glad we could accommodate you," Debra replied. "Should I set a few boxes for you when you come in next?"

My heart sank. "Well, no, I'm actually out in Washington, DC. Can you ship them to me? Please? They don't have them here, and you know how Christmas is without them."

Debra paused. "No, I don't think there's any way we can do that. Do you have any friends living nearby who could get them for you?"

"Not really," I replied. Midwesterners still living in the Midwest and not suffering from a deficit of Jingles just don't understand. I tried to plead on behalf of the larger community, "Are you sure there's nothing you can do? See, I run this blog, and people read it trying to find information on Jingles, and if you could ship them to me, it might be really good for your business." I hoped Debra would not think too hard about the the fact that the larger community would not actually benefit from my writing about eating Jingles from Debra. I also prayed she woulnd't ask how many people actually read my blog.

"No, we really don't ship things; we're just not equipped for that sort of thing."

The tears stood in my eyes7.

But just then, Debra came through with the sort of heartwarming act that embodies the spirit of Christmas. "I could give you the name of the company we by them from, and you can try working with them!"

In an instant, hope was rekindled.

"Here you go. It's the Archway Mothers Company6. You can call them at 1.800.272.2537."

In my haste, I almost forgot my manners. "Thankyouverymuchyouvebeenveryhelpfulokbye." My fingers couldn't dial the numbers fast enough. After an interminable amount of time spent holding and being shuffled through the various departments of Archway Mothers, Andrew K. came on line.

"Can you tell me where you distribute Santa's Favorite Cookies on the East Coast?" I asked.

"Thank you for calling Archway Mothers, we value your patronage and your question is important to us," responded Andrew K. and the other voices in his head that warranted referring to himself as an "us". "The Santa's Favorite cookies are one of our most popular products, and you can find them at any location that sells fine Archway products!"

"Oh," I replied, "Well, I've been living in Washington, DC for the past three years, and I've looked all over for them- no one seems to have even heard of them. Can you tell me where specifically I can find them?"

Andrew K. paused, unsure of how to tackle a question not covered in the Archway Mothers Customer Service Handbook. "Ummm, well, no, I can't actually tell you that, since we actually sell our cookies to our distributors, who then sell them to the stores. I can look up a list of the stores in your area that carry Archway Mothers products. "

"That would be perfect!" I cried, expecting a list of out-of-the-way specialty grocers that sell Jingles alongside old-fashioned milk bottles filled with a few precious ounces of milk from the
teats of three day-old goat kids from a free-range, organic farm above the Patagonian treeline.

Andrew K. paused, then came back with the magical list; the keystone to the Jingles. "Let me se here... It looks like the stores in your area that may carry Archway Mothers are Safeway, Giant, and SuperFresh."

"What?!" I said incredulously. "I've already been to those stores! They dont' have them! They don't even know what I'm talking about!"

Andrew K. was clearly ready to be done with the conversation. "I'm sorry, that's the best I can do. You can talk to the managers at those stores and ask them to buy our Santa's Favorite cookies from our Christmas line. Can I help you with anything further today?"

"No," I grumbled.

Andrew K. chirped, "Thank you for choosing Archway Mothers, and may I take this opportunity to wish you a very happy holiday season!"
**********************************************************************************

And so, dear Readers, I turn to you. As you may have heard, there is a war going on. A War Against Christmas. Let us SAVE Christmas by coming together in goodwill to ask our supermarket managers to buy Jingles. Because if there's anythign I've learned from this, buying stuff makes Christmas better. Oh, and don't forget to call them by their new codename, Santa's Favorites. I promise Baby Jesus will thank you. And if he doesn't, well, I'll buy you a spiked eggnog in hell. And that's a pretty close second.
***********************************************************************************

1.Every hour on the hour. Seriously, 36% of visitors so far today were looking for info on Jingles.

2.To be fair to my brothers, if I had had to listen to me, I would have punched me too.

3.Before we bothered to title posts and seperate them, if you really want to see the post from last year, go here and scroll down down down...

4.Despite the fact that there is no shoreline whatsoever in Glenview, save for possibly the moat around the North Shore Country Club to keep out the riffraff, the Glenview Chamber of Commerce still really likes to pretend they're as snooty as their genuine North Shore neighbors, Lake Forest and Kenilworth.

5.I know this look because I have asked that question. Yeah, that's something you only do once. People do not joke around about their turkey.

6.Archway Mothers? How was I supposed to have figured out that they're one company? Please people, I'm not Kai Ryssdal!

7.Free box of Jingles to whoever can identify who wrote that line. I'll give you a hint: it's from my favorite Christmas story.

67 Comments:

Anonymous Chris Chan said...

So far, judicious Googling has led me to three children's Christmas books that use that line, or something very close to it: The Birds' Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin, The Christmas Angel by Abbie Farwell Brown, and The Little Colonel's Christmas Vacation, by Annie Fellows Johnston. Are any of those correct?

6:14 PM  
Blogger rock_ninja said...

None of those were the book I was thinking of... I'm not sure I remember saying "children's story"; I suppose that term is open to interpretation...

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Jingles are alive in Buffalo, but not well. I came here looking for why they changed yet again, but to no avail. As far a I can tell, here is how it goes, Jingles (under the Jingles name) were no longer made by Salerno a few years ago, and Keebler started making them, seems like they bought the name, but didn't nail the recipe down. They just aren't as good. The Keebler "Jingles", also seem to coincide with Parmalat buying Archway et. al. Salerno continued to make the cookies under the name Santa's Favourites. However, this year Salerno has changed the recipe and I am not pleased. The cookies are smaller and do not have the texture on the top which would hold the sprinkles on and give the cookies uniqueness. The cookies are now about 3/4 of their original size and smooth on top.

12:38 PM  
Blogger rock_ninja said...

Oh, that is so horribly sad. Does anyone come with better stories of Jingles?

5:50 PM  
Blogger Not Given said...

God lord almighty. Christmas Jingles, 60025 and Glenview. Had you mentioned the Elm Park, Maine North or

10:24 AM  
Blogger Not Given said...

So now that i booger up the prior comment, I was going to say that my mom, bless her heart, use to be able to procure Jingles at the Wegman stores in Rochester.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WTF? You need cookies from Chicago and you don't even call?? I can send you some Santa's Favorites if you like.
karin

4:02 PM  
Blogger rock_ninja said...

Elm Park is about 5 blocks from where I grew up- it's where the sledding hill and ice skating rink are!

Karn, I doubted you; I didn't think you would understand the Jingles thing; I should have known better!

But then again, you don't like cheese, so you never can tell.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

It is Dec. 14, 2006, and as a current resident of the Chicago metro area I have very sad news for Jingles/Santa's Favorite fans: they are nowhere to be found this season. Gone. And nobody knows a thing as to why. And Jason (see above) is right: the recipe was changed. It was subtle, but those of us intrepid Jingle lovers knew they were "off." So now they are completely gone. I'm considering some kitchen chemistry to resurrect the taste in a homemade cookie. If I get it right, I'll send some to Poofygoo.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is Dec. 17th in Lansing MI and we just bought a box of the "fake" Jingles at the WalMart in Charlotte MI (a town just South of us). As previously mentioned, Keebler is making a mediocre cookie using a sacred name. I've purchased Santa's Favorites in the past know these cookies are also not the real thing. (FYI - they are currently selling them in South Holland IL at the Jewel Food Store)

I lived most of my life in the South suburbs of Chicago and have eaten the "real" Jingles every Christmas season as far back as I can remember. My children have had the same experience. It was obvious when the original product disappeared (a few years ago) because the replacements could not duplicate the taste or texture. Like the rest of you, I was looking online for information re: availability of the original Jingles. Sadly, it appears the road has ended. At this point, I'll maintain hope that someone will wise up and resurrect the old recipe for a Grand Return to the market someday.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Elise said...

Wow. My husband and I are amazed... We live in NYC and we've been aimlessly trying to track down Jingles for weeks now. I grew up in Webster, NY (Rochester) and went through boxes of them every year with my brother and sister... so of course, Christmas just isn't the same without 'em, as I see you can strongly relate =) Last year, we were able to track them down in a Waldbaum's on Staten Island, but this year no one seems to be selling them. We even drove to the Wegman's in Woodbridge, NJ in the hopes that we might find these childhood treasures of mine, but our efforts were in vain. I've never seen nor heard of Santa's Favorites, but I'm sure I would've spotted them in my meticulous quest for the best Christmas cookie ever made! My next step is to call my mom (still in Rochester) and ask her to check the local Wegmans... it's my last hope.

Anyway, this post was highly entertaining and had us laughing out loud in complete and total understanding of your frantic search for the oh-so-delicious Jingles. And btw, why DID they decide to take away the raised outlines of the cookies that used to trap the sprinkles so perfectly for just the right anise-flavored bite? I read that on an earlier post -- I thought I was the only one who noticed that slight, but seriously detrimental alteration in the cookie's design.

OK, well thanks again for making me feel less alone bc NO one out here has heard of poor Jingles... Merry Christmas!

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Desparate to find Jingles in the Springfield, IL area. Help!
They are the 'Flavor of Christmas' IMHO.
Christa

2:44 PM  
Anonymous tis'siusan said...

I, too, long for the original Jingles of my childhood. I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago (La Grange), and the newer Salerno and Keebler versions have never cut it. I have tried them in Chicago, Seattle, Ohio, and now Missouri, and have now resolved to find a recipe to try to replicate the original flavor. I happen to have some anise seed on hand from one of my girls' social studies reports in which she made some New Mexican cookies, and just found this recipe when I googled anise butter cookies and Jingles: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Crisp-Anise-Seed-Butter-Cookies/Reviews.asp. Note the second review post! I think I will finely grind the anise seed and of course, liberally cover the cookies in red and green sugar. If you are interested, I'll let you know how they turn out!

The other wonderful childhood Christmas memory (that went along with fighting with my siblings over who got which shape of Jingle)...is Garfield Goose and their showings of "Here Comes Suzy Snowflake," and "Hard Rock, Coco, and Joe." WGN is airing a repeat of a show they did last year about Bozo, Ray Rayner and Garfield Goose...including these Christmas classics tonight (Christmas Eve) at 10 p.m. Central time. I need to tape it this year. Just wish I had some REAL Jingles to dunk in milk and eat while watching!

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Cincinnati. "Holiday Jingles"
were an annual treat at our house until
around the mid-1970's, when the last
supermarket still carrying them, Thriftway,
faded from the scene.

After finishing college, I got a job in
Chicago and was delighted to learn that the
tradition continued there, unabated. Early
every winter we would trek to the Salerno
factory outlet in Glenview and stock up,
although the local Dominick's would do in
a pinch.

I left Chicago in the mid-1980's, but friends
kept sending holiday care packages until
around 2000. The last few boxes seemed to
be off - some seemed to have no anise at
all, while others had a strange, almost
cinnamon-like, after-taste.

Like everyone else, I lament their passing,
but hope someone resurrects the tradition.

6:12 PM  
Blogger rock_ninja said...

Do we need to get a petition going here? I mean, the majority of visitors to the Goo over the last week while I've been away has been people looking here for Jingles. And what about the people who don't have the magic tubes of the interweb? What about them? Hmmmmm. It may just be that my whole purpose in life is the promulgation of delicious cookies.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone gave me a box of Keebler Jingles before the holidays. I knew that they didn't taste like the real ones that I always loved, but an idea popped into my head. I poured the cookies into a bowl, separating the red & green sugar crystals. Then I sprinkled the sugar with a few drops of anise extract. I also added a few drops directly onto the cookies. Then I mixed the cookies and sugar thoroughly and covered with an airtight lid. Not as good as the original, but close enough to bring back good memories!

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone wants background, I can give some. My wife worked for Salerno in the late 90's. At that point in time, Salerno had just been purchased from Keebler after Keebler took over the company in the late 80's or early 90's. Keebler felt that Salerno was purely a regional company and not serious national competition, so they released all the trademarked brand names back to the newly reformed Salerno, with a few exceptions. The most notable of these was the Jingles brand. Both companies were allowed to use it for a few years, and then Keebler was the only one allowed. This is why the Salerno brand is called Santa's Favorites. The short period of independence ended when Salerno was bought out again, this time by Delicious Frookie, in 1998. This company was then bought out by Parmalat a few years later. In the process, the Salerno brand continued to bleed both product lines and shelf space, until it is a mere fraction of what it was. Fortunately, the Santa's Favorites line is still available in the Chicago area, though you are better off going to one of the local independent grocers than the national brand pushers that Dominick's (Safeway) and Jewel (ALbertson's) have become.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can buy them at "Dominicks" in any Chicagoland grocery store. They are still in the green box, still have red and green sugar on them and are still delicious. I can not find them online either. I bought my first box on Saturday and they are gone already. Love them!

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All very interesting to read... as I munch down on some of these "Santa's Favorites" while searching the web for what ever happened to the "Jingles" we grew up with here in Chicago. Well they had them in the stores starting a few weeks ago.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought 8 boxes at a website called Hometown Favorites
Yipee merry christmas

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas 2007 and the web site hometown favorites still has them. Can't wait to have them again!!!!!!!!!!

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas 2007....I'm from Buffalo, now living in California. I was able to find Jingles in one store years ago when I first moved here, but no longer. I've been searching for them for years...and wanted to share the experience with my kids. I did check out the hometown favorites web site and they are there but need to place a minimum $20 order (also found some other things I grew up with but can no longer find). In any event, nice to know I'm not the only one that misses them.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a "transplanted" Chicagoan and miss Jingles as well. I managed to find a sigt that sells them. Going to order some for some good old fashioned Christmas memories. For anyone who wants to experience this wonderful taste sensation, here is the link: http://hometownfavorite.net/products.asp?dept=1034&number=HFDE505&pagenumber=1 Happy cookie eating!!!!!

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Buffalo, now in Vegas. I remember craving box after box of these amazing treats. for some reason they never crossed my mind for the last eight years and the other day I went into a panic remembering how good they were, and how I had to have them NOW. needless to say, they were no where to be found. I stumbled across this site, and went to the web site mentioned with great excitement, only to be kicked in the...... Does anyone know what happed now, or found any other resources, I would be eternally in your debt.

2:17 AM  
Blogger A Girl from Buffalo said...

As another Buffalonian transplant to DC wracked with the annual jones for Jingle cookies, I can report that the new, vastly-inferior-but-better-than-nothing Keebler variety can be had at Wegman's on the East Coast. I picked up a stash in Wilkes-Barre, PA over Thanksgiving. When those run out, I'll be checking the Weggie's in Fairfax. Has anybody tried there yet?

3:27 PM  
Blogger The Goo said...

First of all, Buffalo, represent! I'm impressed at your city's commitment to Jingles!
Second, Fairfax as in Fairfax VA? Let me know and I'll give them a call!

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was recently home in Buffalo for the Thanksgiving holiday, and on my usual quest for my beloved Jingles. I was so happy to see boxes of the delicious cookies for sale at Target! Came home with 3 boxes, and am so dissapointed in Keebler's lame butter cookie style. I also remembered the brand from my childhood as Salerno. So disappointing. I'm glad to know I'm not the only Jingles fanatic out there....

jinglegirl

1:53 AM  
Blogger winevault said...

Great reading. Can anyone lend a hand in finding Santa's Favorites on the East Coast. Ma? I tried Hometownfavorites and they are sold out for the year. Is Chicago my only hope?

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed they had these on hometownfavorites.com, went to place my order today (12/3/07) and they are sold out. These used to be sold in the New England area as "Noel Cookies" under the brand name Educator. I can confirm that the Salerno ones are exactly the same (same flavor, same shapes) because I bought them a few years ago at a local grocery store.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I posted a comment earlier but it didn't make it in..these used to be sold in New England as "Noel Cookies" and were made by a brand named Educator. Long gone but I bought the Salerno version a few years ago and I can attest that the flavor & shapes are identical. Too bad they're sold out on hometownfavorites.com but at least we know they're still available!

1:36 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

I found them at this website
http://www.hometownfavorites.com/

My order came Friday and the cookies were DELICIOUS. It has been over 25 years since I have had one. Good luck

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also from the Chicago suburbs and grew up loving these cookies. My parents have relocated to FL and can't find them anywhere, so this Christmas I was going to surprise them with several boxes, but today the Chicago Tribune's website posted the following new item and I'm not sure if Jingles will ever be available again:


Maker of Salerno, Archway cookies files for bankruptcy
October 9, 2008 at 8:59 AM | Comments (1)

The maker of Archway and Salerno cookies -- including the Salerno butter cookie that was a fixture in Chicagoland for years -- has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week in the wake of rising food and fuel costs and plans to end its U.S. operations.

Archway & Mother's Cookie Co. Inc. on Monday announced the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware for its Mother's Cake & Cookie Co. and Archway Cookies LLC subsidiaries.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports the announcement came three days after the company sent notices to the cities of Battle Creek and Ashland, Ohio, stating that operations in those cities would close.

Archway had its headquarters in Battle Creek and a plant in Ashland.

Spokeswoman Meaghan Repko says the company's Kitchener, Ontario, manufacturing plant was not part of the bankruptcy filing.

-- Associated Press

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Santas's Favorites:
http://www.hometownfavorites.com/products.asp?dept=1026&number=HFDE505&pagenumber=2

Salerno Butter (flavored) Cookies, too.

2:14 AM  
Blogger winevault said...

Home Town Favorites still has Salerno Santas Favorite cookies .
I have 60 boxes in Framingham Ma.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Fort Wayne,Indiana but grew up in Chicago. I was shocked to find "Jingles" cookies that looked exactly like the ones baked by Salerno, but with the Keebler brand! I bought a box and was very disappointed. They tasted nothing like the original Jingles. Last week I found Salerno cookies at our local Meijer's store, and yes, they are now called "Santa's Favorites." They are smaller than the original Jingles cookies, still have the red and green sprinkles, but some cookies were missing the sprinkles. The five shapes now are candle,Chrstmas tree, bell, star, and wreath. They still have that great anise flavor I remember from my childhood and taste great with a cold glass of milk.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Sherry J said...

I live in the midwest, Chicago area, and cannot find Jingles or 'Santa's Favorites'. I used to buy at least 12 boxes every Christmas so that I could reward myself for doing difficult or nasty tasks all through the year. When I successfully balanced my check book (which I hate doing) I ate Jingles. Without the Jinges, how in the world am I going to keep my finances straight? I cannot find the 'Santa's Favorites' either. I think there is a conspiracy out there. Why has the cookie world turned against those of us who are just trying to do the right things and enjoy a little reward. Oh, woe is me. Alas, oh, woe is me!!

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Tricia in Texas said...

The parent company of Salerno that made the "Santa's Favorites" (formerly "jingles") cookies has filed bankruptcy and as of November was no longer baking cookies. I'm distraught as my sister and I have hunted for Jingle's since we were kids in Massachusetts.

Let's pray that Salerno finds a way to continue making these cookies that, for us, made Christmas complete.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

You've saved many lives today--my husband was on his way to demand Jingle restitution from the Parmalat company when I googled "Jingles," discovered your blog, called the local Dominicks, and learned that not only do they have Jingles, but the boxes are 50% off! We're out the door...!

12:38 PM  
Blogger Angus said...

HI! I am looking for Salerno butter cookies. I ate them as a kid in Wheaton and now I just moved back from Los Angeles (living in central WI now. ) I was just in Chicago for the first time in 40 years and FORGOT to check into them! WOW! Do they still make them? Love this topic. Remember the jingle: "Mother, what is it dear, I want a Salerno butter cookie".

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a child, I lived in Boston, Massachusetts and "Jingles" were always a holiday favorite. We were able to get them until the 1990s and haven't seen them since. The last time I bought them, I bought six boxes and froze them so as to prolong the fond memories of Christmas past. Yes, us "East Coasters" have memories of "Jingles" and Christmas isn't Christmas without them.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was actually lucky enough to have purchased 20 bxs in 2008 I still have 2 left in the freezer. It certainlly adds to my memories of Christmas !

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Jennie loves Jingles said...

It is now 2010 (I see a lot of the posts are from 2007). I just bought 2 boxes of Keebler "Jingles" hoping that they would be the same as they were when I was a kid. ABOMINATION! These taste like Teddy Grahams with red and green crystals on them. I googled "Jingles" and came across this site. Thank you so much! It's nice to have answers, and to know that there are others out there who share the love of the true "Jingles" with me! I looked on the hometown favorites site and and was unable to find my beloved cookies on there. I will still be looking for them at my local stores and online. Christmas just isn't the same without Jingles!

10:17 PM  
Blogger The Goo said...

How much do I love it that I still frequently get comments on this post? I feel like I might need to do an update this Christmas. I could definitely eat some jingles and eggnog this time of year.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Jingles here in Buffalo and WOW, what a disappointment. Whoever is making them are Christmas jerks! The cookies are tiny with 5 sprinkles on each one! This should be a crime. What an upset.....

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

also looking for jingles in mass. I'll keep you posted

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas 2010, I loved jingles growing up and also very disappointed in the keebler ones... today doing some research seen a michigan company now owns salernos, so i got to thinking ill check meijers, which is a michigan store opening up around here in the chicago land area... and much to my surprise and excitement I found them... the orginal salernos, jingles... soo excited i bought 3 boxes but will be going back for more.....
those of you around chicago or if you have a meijers grocery store they have them....

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas 2010. Living on the Georgia /Florida border. Alas, Santas favorites no where to be found here either. Have resorted to sending a relative in Chicago money for purchase and shipping. We are that desperate.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought some Santa's Favorites today at Walt's grocery store in Tinley Park. This is a southwest suburb of Chicago. They are smaller but still have the anise flavor. Dunked in hot chocolate they are the best. A Christmas without jingles just seems a little less like Christmas. If anyone finds a cookie recipe anywhere close to jingles please share.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi commenters,

I'm a reporter writing a story about Jingles, er, Santa's Favorites as they're called now. Would anyone here who's a fan of the original recipe cookies be willing to talk to me for the story and be photographed (in Chicago) this week for the story? If so, please email me directly today at kmacarthur@wideopenwest.com. BTW, for those not living in Chicago, I'll be sharing details on where to get them. Thanks everyone.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Sad in MO said...

O.M.G. Where do I begin, As I read this post while on the phone with my brother who still lives in Chicagoland, reading aloud to him & pissing my pants from laughter of your story, I thought I could have wrote this (but probably not as well as You did). I have not gone through the Santa's Favorites withdrawl since I moved from Chicagoland 5 years ago to Rolla,MO. Until this year see every year we go home for Thanksgiving & while in town we shop at Portillo's for Italian Beef and Jewel to pick up our other Chicago favorites to bring home ie...Vienna Hot Dogs,Polish Sausge, Iltaco Pizza Puffs & of course... Santa's Favorites, But this year the weather was way too cold for me to go to the store so I sent the hubby (Oh Yeah did I mention he never liked them anyway)BOO ON HIM!!!! And once we got home I realized I did not have my Santa's Favorites for this Christmas season, So I like other posts here tryed my local grocery store and they were like WHAT?? we have some santa cookies in the bakery. No No I said this is a cookie from Salerno they said what is Salerno I knew at that point to give up on this search & beg my daughter who is coming for Christmas to PLEASE bring me Santa's Favorites, hopefully now that this brand/recipe CRAP is figured out and she will get "The Real" ones at Jewel or Dominick's. And if she FORGETS my cookies I guess I got to have my "FAVORITE" brother buy them for me & ship them... He did my 1st year I left home.
B.T.W. I also had this problem with Maurice Lenell Holiday cookies and Wal-Mart no longer selling them after buying them here for 5 years. I will call 1-800-walmart & ask for them to be put back on the shelves, I can only hope for Valentine's Day.

8:40 PM  
Blogger A.Cinnaede said...

...sitting here with a box of Santa's Favorites,and I must say,I am beyond disappointed in Santa for trying to pass these sad substitutes for Jingles..they don't melt on your tongue anymore,someone licked all the colored sugar off already..those Keebler elves must've stolen the recipe,although,I've heard that they didn't get it right..Christmas is OVER...forever.
Thanks Salerno,for selling out..I hope it was worth it to you..
p.s. contents are now where they should be,in a landfill..

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

December 24, 2010

I grew up in Brookfield, you know, I am the first one on right in the cage. Unfortunately it seems my search for the memorable Jingle cookies has come to terrible conclusion. I had placed my wife on a search for the cookies in southeast Texas with no success. She did not even know what I was talking about because she grew up in Washington state.

Thanks for the web site I really enjoyed the story and information.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I WISH the JINGLES/Santa's Favorites were the ones we had as children. I also wish the Almond cresents were too. Sadly those produced today are but poor imitations of what once was.
Even Santa leaves them uneaten...along with Jack the Pumpkin king seeing as they hit store shelves before Halloween.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

OK, all you Jingles lovers...
I'm from Maywood, IL and have transplanted to Denver, CO. There's a restaurant out here called Chicago (in Lakewood) that has authentic Italian Beef on Gonnella bread, Jay's Potato Chips, Vienna dogs, Fannie May and Salerno Butter Cookies shipped in from Chi town! They even have green rivers! I keep begging them to order Jingles.......and this year, 2011, they got 'em!!! They're NOW called "Anise Holiday Coookies" made by Maurice Lenell. They come from Consolidated Biscuit Company out of McComb, Ohio. Their Customer Service #800-537-9544. They are smaller and the sprinkles don't stay on as well, but the TASTE is right. I just finished a plateful with a glass of milk! Ahhhhhhh it's Christmastime in the Rockies - Chicago style!

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walmart in Johnsburg, IL has the wonderful Salerno "Santa's Favorites" anise, formerly "Jingles", cookies! Does anyone had a homemade recipe that comes close to the original? Would love to make these! Totally my favorites!

10:03 AM  
Blogger The Goo said...

OMG a homemade recipe would be basically the best thing ever, especially if you could get the red and green anise sugar!

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to live in Texas during the 1980s and would have my father send me boxes of these in December.

I've been living in Illinois for years now. I agree with what others have said. The Keebler version is not worth even considering. The Santa's Favorite is OK but has lost a bit. The size is not right and the red and green sugar is nearly non-existant.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12/12/11 Here are some on ebay for 3.00 per box, same as I paid at Jewels last night:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SALERNO-SANTAS-FAVORITES-ANISE-FLAVORED-HOLIDAY-CHRISTMAS-COOKIES-/290627594851?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43aac12a63

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New post on yankeemagazine.com today (specifically at
http://blogs.yankeemagazine.com/new-england-experiences/jingles-anise-holiday-cookies/) about a New England native’s successful quest to find Jingles (nee Educator Noel cookies) last December with the help of this blog post and commenters.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2011 checking in!!
4 years later!! FUNNY!!
my 27 year old son brought these up yesterday!
Grew up in the buffalo area and recently returned to the Syracuse area... will be tracking them down today... even though they will not be as remembered.
Thanks for starting my day with a laugh!

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha, you think they're hard to find in the New England area? I'm stuck in the UK-England right now, forget Jingles or any other US cookie. Boohoo

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Incredibly interesting to run across this Jingle thing. Having worked for Salerno for 20 years, I can shed some light on your mystery. Among the numerous sales of the Salerno company, one was to Sunshine Biscuit Co. The president of Sunshine was a former president of Salerno who was let go, and in what he must have thought was a sweet revenge, he sold Sunshine and the rights to Jingles to Keebler. He sold the Salerno bakery to Nabisco and the Salerno brand (sans jingles) to private investors. We continued to produce Santa's Favorites into the 90's and new century, but alas, as a comment above by Jason points out, the are a sad representation of what they once were. You can give up the search because you be bitterly dissappointed if you find them.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Myrna said...

I have begun my search for Santas Favorites after finding this blog. I too loved Jingles.. ebay is selling Santas Favorites for - are you ready - $36. a box! unfair! I have seen the counterfeit Jingles in previous years, and noticed that they were made by Nabisco and not Salerno. I grew up in Rochester NY, so they are by no means a midwest treat. If anyone find them this year, 2012, could ya please let us know?? Loved those cookies!

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Santa's Favorites, over $20 for five boxes on E-Bay.

Now they are smaller pale and less sprinkles.

You can't go home,

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can buy "Jingles" or rather "Santa's Favoriets at Jewel Food Stores in Chicago. I just bought two. But let me tell you, they are smaller, thinner, and at least 14-1/3 of the cookies were broken, in crumbles. Also, they don't have the one shaped like an ornament anymore, and they tasted a tiny bit stronger with anise flavor (which is NOT an improvement.) Normally sell for abouot $3.98 a box, but again, a great many of them are broken to bits! Sucks that we can't have quality anymore. Yours truly, from Chi Town

2:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wal-Mart Supercenter in Hamburg NY (south of Buffalo) has Santa's Favorites for $3.20 a box. Got my wife bringing home a box as I type this. They've changed slightly through Salerno's many changes of hands, but they're better than the Keebler version by far.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Transplant from Bflo., NY living in S. Dakota. Omg anyone that knows this state, stores at each end and nothing in between. We have a Walmart. Hmmmm
Glad to see I'm not the only one, like going back to Buffalo (Antoinette) for sponge candy. I want original taste as could contact Hamburg, NY cousin. Now 2012 and you people haven't solved this major issue yet, lol?

9:18 PM  

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