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Jun 18, 2008 12:51 AM

the old NUT TREE - ginger bread cookies [Moved from SF Bay Area Board]

Does anyone remember the big gingerbread cookies from the Nut Tree as fondly as I do? When the Nut Tree closed in 1995? I was sad and it was mostly because of the loss of these delicious cookies. I have tried in vain to find a recipe or print display of them. Anyone know?

I was reminded of this when we pulled into the "new" Nut Tree in Vacaville last week. No, that is nothing like I expected.

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  1. They were beautiful -- at least to my young eyes, but they tasted of the food coloring in the frosting. You're probably better off just remembering them fondly.

    Is there anything good to eat at the new Nut Tree? Is it worth a stop?

    Edit: Oops, I guess that would have to go back on the SF board.

    1. this might have some promising leads

      ah, I remember the days when the nut tree was the only thing between vallejo and sacramento.... though I don't remember the cookies you speak of... good luck!

      3 Replies
      1. re: withalonge

        I remember the Nut Tree!! We would stop there once in a great while (our family lived in CA (Sonoma County) for several years) and I still have family there - I don't remember the cookies but there was some special treat that my Daddy would get us. For some reason I'm thinking Taffy but that may be totally off. I wish I could remember exactly what it was. When I read your post title I got a sad/happy pit in my belly.
        We aren't bakers in my famly but I'll check with my sister who may have a recipe- she is a cookbook fanatic.

        1. re: withalonge

          We used to stop there all the time in the 60's when driving between Davis and my grandparents' apartment in Berkeley.

          I don't remember the cookies but I do remember the rocking wooden horses in front. We'd buy almonds and snack on them in the car.

          1. re: tcamp

            I grew up in Walnut Creek, and my grandmother lived in Sacramento, so this was a frequent stop for my family in the 80's and early 90's. We would get our pumpkins there every year. The train was awesome, and I remember dying to get the little model cars they had in the toy store. I drove by the new Nut Tree a few weeks ago but didn't stop in. It looked a little too pristine...the Nut Tree I remember was a little bit funky...

        2. Of course! They were a Nut Tree Signature item.

          They are actually called Honey Cookies. Baked in various shapes and Hand Decorated with colorful icing.

          This recipe (along with many others) can be found in the cookbook: 'The Nut Tree Remembered: The Cookbook'. I believe it can still be purchased at the Vacaville Museum.

          1. Ooooooooh. I haven't thought of The Nut Tree in years. When I was about 8, my family flew in Dad's small private plane from Oregon to Disneyland and we landed at The Nut Tree airport (they did have an airport, ya know) for lunch. And we were met by the little train and its engineer and were taken to the restaurant. I don't remember cookies from there but I sure remember that train and its whistle! What is the *new* Nut Tree? Is it located at the old site? I'd love to go back there.

            1. Actually, the recipe that is in the Nut Tree Remembered is not the complete recipe for the honey cookies but close. While you will not achieve the exact family recipe - using freshly ground spices and aging the dough will be better. Hope this helps - family member was head of the candy kitchen and master decorator. We still get the real thing every Christmas with orginal cutters! Nothing like them! The Nut Tree Remembered is a great book but I've heard that many of the recipes have been altered a bit for the public. :( There will never be anything like the Nut Tree...a wonderful place and it was so magical as a was nice to finally take my own children on the train again but other than different. It's nice to still see many family members in the vintage photos around the shopping outlets

              4 Replies
              1. re: giovannipens

                Giovanni, would you be willing to paraphrase the recipe for us?


                1. re: giovannipens

                  Giovanni, I know someone already asked, but asking again just in case :) ... any chance your family member would be willing to share the "real" version of the honey cookie recipe? these were our all-time favorites as kids, and i would love more than anything to make for my brother as a holiday gift, since now he has two little ones- we want to keep the delicious memory alive!! my mom and dad would always stop to get us these cookies when we were on our way to the family christmas celebration- we looked forward to them more than christmas morning, they were that good! thanks for considering :) ...

                  1. re: katesmith

                    The _Nut Tree Remembered_ cookbook is back in print, and available from the Vacaville Museum Store.


                  2. re: giovannipens

                    G - you are so lucky! Grew up outside of Concord and I too have fond memories of the Nut Tree. Thru the 1950's up to the 80's, the Nut Tree was a special place for me and my family. I lived in Vacaville twice and once I worked in the cookie room. Decorating those famous honey cookies! That was a dream job! I loved looking at them, they were works of art to me. I especially like the Holiday ones. But, I was always delighted to work on the Coit Tower, Giants Baseball, Halloween witch on a broom, and too many to mention here. Please thank your family member for the wonderful memories. Barb