At Cookie Destiny, Tara Logel bakes up unique sweets experience
Some like to dip them in a glass of milk, while others prefer to eat them raw straight from the spoon. Luckily, there’s now a local bakery where people can enjoy cookies just the way they like.
Cookie Destiny, opened by Tara Logel, features more than a dozen unique cookie flavors and also several cookie dough options, perfect for any sweets lover. Just as impressive as the cookies’ tastes are the owner’s journey and willingness to take a leap of faith to pursue her dreams.
Logel, who grew up in Arab, has lived in the Birmingham area since she was 20 — eventually ending up in Hoover so her son could be in the school system. She worked for an insurance company and later transferred into banking, but she says there was just something missing.
“I loved the corporate world and was successful, but it was one of those moments in my life where I wanted to change directions,” Logel explains. “I asked myself if I wanted to retire from the banking world and remembered ‘you only live once.’ This has been my dream to be a chef and cook.”
She took the plunge and enrolled in culinary school, taking classes at night while still working full-time. Logel wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after she graduated, but she really only had to think back to her childhood for inspiration.
Growing up in a large family, Logel learned how to cook early on and remembers helping her mother in the kitchen. And it wasn’t long before she was impressing others with her skills, like how she was a 4-H winner in the cookie category at just 9 years old.
“It was sort of destiny that led me to baking cookies,” she says, hence the shop’s name. “At every family event, I was the cookie person.”
After researching local bakeries, Logel says she didn’t see any other gourmet cookie shops around and wanted to give residents a unique sweets experience. So, she started testing her cookie recipes on friends and family until she got them just right, and in April, she opened Cookie Destiny in Hoover on John Hawkins Parkway.
This sweets shop has flavors for every cookie lover. Her No. 1 best-selling cookie is the chocolate chip, with bacon chocolate chip coming in second.
“I can’t tell you how many people curl their nose at bacon chocolate chip and then love it,” she says with a laugh.
Other cookie flavors include brownie, birthday cake sugar, chocolate mint pinwheels, cinnamon roll and red velvet chocolate chip to name a few.
The menu rotates, and people can see what will be available each day on their site. “The reaction has been fantastic,” Logel says. “They’ll find cookies they won’t find at other shops.”
And when one cookie isn’t enough to satisfy someone’s sweet tooth, they can create a doozie by choosing any two cookies and a cookie dough to go in the middle.
Beyond the unique tastes, the shop has something else residents won’t find elsewhere: a cookie bar. “My goal is to customize their experience,” she says.
Logel treats the dough — which doesn’t have eggs in it — like ice cream. Customers can enjoy it by the scoop or even in a decadent sundae. The sundae starts with cookie dough and then is covered with two toppings before getting the finishing touch of either buttercream icing or whipped cream.
Her cookie dough flavors include chocolate chip, birthday cake, Reese’s, monster and a combination of chocolate, peanut butter and white chocolate chip.
She also offers the perfect sweet treats for special occasions, like birthdays, holidays or other parties. Her 7-, 12- and 16-inch cookie cakes can be custom designed and are available in any flavor.
Customers can also enjoy custom sugar cookies, decorated with creative designs. And she offers cookie boxes and trays, perfect for gifts or corporate events.
Logel puts her spin on cakes, as well, with her milk and brownie cakes. The milk cake has white chocolate chips in it and is layered with chocolate chip cookie dough — and then topped with chocolate ganache and buttercream icing. Her brownie cake has Funfetti cookie dough and is also topped with ganache and buttercream.
“You can customize those for any occasion,” she says. “I get so much pleasure from decorating a cake or cookie and watching people’s reaction when they see them.”
Hoping to share that excitement, Logel plans to open a party room for children where they can bake, decorate and enjoy cookie cakes — in addition to other fun activities like a photo booth and drawing on a large chalkboard. Down the road, she says they might also have someone come and teach decorating classes at night.
So whether someone enjoys the tried-and-true chocolate chip or mixing flavors in a cookie dough sundae, Cookie Destiny has unique treats for all ages and taste buds.
Cookie Destiny is located at 2341 John Hawkins Parkway, Suite 129 in Hoover. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit Cookiedestiny.com.