In a world ever susceptible to change, Applewood Manor has mastered the art of adaptation while maintaining its charm. The long-standing tradition of welcoming guests with a GooGoo candy cluster came to an end due to unforeseen supply chain issues. Nevertheless, this challenge gave birth to an even sweeter tradition: welcoming guests with Applewood Manor’s special home-made cookies, hot from the oven of Robin Collins. Robin and husband, Stephen Collins, own the historic (Circa 1912) Asheville bed and breakfast inn.
Why do we welcome guests with a gift? It’s a tradition rooted in Southern hospitality—a gesture showing our guests how welcome they are from the moment they step into Applewood Manor. It’s as comforting and familiar as a glass of lemonade or iced tea on a hot summer day. It’s our unique way of saying, “Welcome to Applewood Manor.” Plus, there’s a bit of magic in these gifts. It’s hard to accept a homemade cookie without cracking a smile and sharing a conversation. So, Robin’s cookies help us get to know each other better.
Robin’s cookie recipe is sought after, frequently requested by those who’ve had a taste of the delectable treats. So, what makes them so special, so tantalizingly unique? The secret, as Robin reveals, is a double twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe. The first surprise is the blend of semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate chips from premium chocolatiers like Callebaut, Scharffen Berger, and Guittard. The variety in chip shapes and sizes adds a delightful textural surprise to every bite. The second twist takes the cookie from ordinary to extraordinary: the inclusion of HEATH BITS ‘O BRICKLE toffee bits. This addition, which began as an attempt to create a chocolate-free version for her daughter Julia, soon found its way into every batch of Robin’s signature Applewood cookies and has remained a staple ingredient since.
Every day at the manor begins with the enticing aroma of fresh cookies. To ensure consistent quality, Robin pre-makes the dough, forms it into 32–35-gram balls, and freezes them. These are then defrosted and baked as required, ensuring that a bag of fresh, mouth-watering Applewood Manor cookies awaits each guest upon arrival.
In Robin’s words, “Ensuring our cookies always have the same quality and taste requires precision. I weigh my ingredients for consistency. The process of mixing the batter, folding in the flour, and other ingredients, is a meticulous step-by-step process that ensures the perfect balance between a crisp and chewy cookie.”
This tradition, borne from necessity, has become a defining feature of the Applewood Manor experience. Change may be constant, but the Manor’s ability to adapt and create memorable experiences remains unwavering.
To request a copy of Robin’s recipe go to https://www.applewoodmanor.com/contact