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'Cookie Lady' of Butte finds her passion after freak accident

Marlyn of Butte Cookies
Posted at 4:18 PM, Feb 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-02 12:39:41-05

BUTTE — A freak accident that altered a Butte woman’s life also led her to a new passion and a successful cookie-making business.

"They call me the Cookie Lady. So, they’re like, 'I know who you are, you’re the Cookie Lady!' And I’m like, ‘Yeah!' So, it feels good. I didn’t think that this would ever happen to me," says Marlyn Eickmeyer.

In 2021, Eickmeyer suffered a fall outside of her home that shattered her left leg from the knee down, and during her recovery, she found herself with a lot of downtime. She came across cookie-decorating videos on social media that piqued her interest so she started making cookies for her grandkids and other family members.

Her daughter told her she could sell them, but Eickmeyer says she didn't take it seriously until one day when she was grabbing a coffee at her local spot. She mentioned to the owner that she was heading home to bake and showed some pictures of her cookies.

The owner of the coffee shop was delighted. She ordered a dozen and the order sent Eickmeyer on a journey that has led to sales around town and across the state and even out of state.

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Eickmeyer's cookie designs range from holiday-themed conversation hearts and Christmas gnomes, gruesome zombies to personalized engagement cookies, and an array of birthday-inspired treats. A batch of her most recent birthday cookies depicting characters from Disney's hit movie "Moana" rest on the counter ready to be shipped off to Helena.

Selling cookies was new to her, but the journey of baking was something she has been at for a long time.

"I’m a homemaker. I call myself the Mexican Martha Stewart because I love being in the kitchen," Eickmeyer says.

Still, learning to decorate cookies had a bit of a learning curve. Eickmeyer calls herself a perfectionist and her motto is not practice makes perfect, but rather, practice makes better.

"The very beginning was super hard to figure out the fluidities of the icings on cookies because there’s three different phases and when you use meringue powder, you only have 15 to 20 seconds per little section before it starts crystallizing," she says.

And her cookies are bright and delightful but do people care about the taste?

"Oh, they do! Yeah, I’ve had customers say, 'No, your cookies taste so good!'”

Eickmeyer says she uses a basic butter biscuit recipe for her sugar cookies.

"I think that’s what it is (so good) because it has a lot of butter in it and other little ingredients in it to make them creamy."

As she rolls out a batch of cookie dough, her chickens can be heard clucking happily in the backyard. Fresh eggs might be another reason her flavors are so good. She agrees and, she says, there's one more ingredient, but it will remain a secret.

The praise from her customers and the community really inspires Eickmeyer. She says she often donates to charity events that will auction her cookies for fundraisers and she thinks that's how she became known as "The Cookie Lady."

"I think that’s why I keep going because a lot of people are now saying they’re not just pretty, they’re so good. So, yes, that’s why I keep going."