Cookies are the new cupcakes 

Move over Flying Cupcake.

Now it's cookies' turn.

And not just any cookies. Gourmet cookies. Spun from elusive childhood memories and locally grown ingredients.

Supergirl team Karli Kujawa and Sarah Richcreek comprise Carmel's 3-month-old Hot Cookie Company. You'd never guess these two pretty, petite women ate very many cookies, let alone made them, but they do.

Hot Cookie cookies pack a lot of taste in a relatively small size. Unlike the juggernauts that dominate grocery store and specialty shop shelves today, most Hot Cookies will fit square in the palm of your hand. Also unlike the competition, they're made with all natural, all local ingredients, like free-range eggs and Indiana honey and jam.

Some of my favorites in their lineup: The Antioxidant, an oatmeal cookie supercharged with ingredients like blueberries and pecans. And Double Fudge Drops: small, dark wonders studded with chocolate chips in the center, crisp exteriors and molten fudge interiors. But my absolute favorites have to be the Thumbelinas, light thumbprint-inspired cookies with Indiana raspberry preserves on the inside. They incorporate pink peppercorns in the recipe to give 'em a little more kick, and boy, do these have zing.

As for regional tastemakers, Kujawa's St. Louis Specials are melt-in-your-mouth flakey, almost biscuit-like but spongier. They're inspired by the city's staple cookie, but made with a fresh and improvised - not store-bought - yellow cake mix.

Richcreek relayed a disappointing moment about her first few weeks of business: She attended a networking-tradeshow festival where some uncouth heathen dared to scoff, "Children make cookies."

If that is your sentiment, please, stop reading this article. It's not for you. You deserve partially hydrogenated, store-bought staleness for the rest of your life.

In fact, others have had tremendous success in the local cookie market. Take Amy Douglas' Sugarbaby Cookies company. Her beautifully decorated sugar cookies aren't cheap, but they come impossibly appointed in various shapes and colors - dog bones, snowflakes, skates, even two-piece bikinis. And though she uses bright, colorful icings to adorn her custom creations, they are made of her own natural recipe - so no bitter, weird taste.

Yes, Douglas does shapes made-to-order as well, and enjoys the process of crafting and drafting the perfect cookie picture.

But bachelorette party planners, please, no more requests for penis cookies. She couldn't even imagine how to go about icing them.

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