You’re craving a cookie, but Girl Scout season is over for the year. That’s no excuse for starving your sweet tooth.
Mary’s Mountain Cookies opened just after Thanksgiving, sandwiched between the Wilma and El Caz on Higgins Avenue. The store is part of a small Colorado-based franchise founded by Mary Johns, a former dude-ranch cook.
Missoula’s shop is operated by longtime franchise fans Shelby and Kara McCracken.
“My favorite part, honestly, is just seeing the smiles when people bite in,” Shelby says. “It’s why I wanted to do the cookie store in the first place, to bring that happiness to people.”
I stopped in one night with my girlfriend. She was craving dessert and bought a sugar cookie and a brownie, each the size of her hand. She called it “four nights’ worth of dessert,” which looked accurate, but quickly proved incorrect.
On my second visit I opted for a shop specialty: an ice cream cookie sandwich. You select two quarter-pound cookies from the two dozen or so options and then pick your favorite flavor of ice cream to go in between.
I chose mint Oreo ice cream between a turtle and a salted caramel cookie. The tricky part is figuring out how to eat it before the ice cream melts without making a mess, but who’s really going to judge? It was divine, and would easily have fed the whole Indy staff.
Mary’s Mountain Cookies range from the traditional chocolate chip to elaborate creations that look like art, like the S’mores and Fudge Fantasy. There’s even a full range of gluten free options alongside party-sized giants and frozen blocks of cookie dough.
“[S’mores is] my favorite, it’s a classic,” Shelby says. “It’s like a gateway cookie — it opens up the doorway to all the other ones.” The shop’s “buy six, get two” deal is a good way to walk through that door. Whether you decide to indulge or not, it smells amazing in there.