Carleton cookie house offers solution to midnight cravings

Senior nostalgia is hitting hard. In just two weeks, I’ll leave Northfield behind. My end-of-the-year bucket list would not be complete without a visit to the Carleton cookie house. In tribute, I give you a throw-back article I wrote for the Manitou Messenger a few years ago. The cookie house article, ladies and gentlemen. 

We have all been there. Late at night, scrambling to finish cramming and craving the cure-all reward for being able to keep your eyes open: a freshly baked cookie (or a clump of cookie dough, if you are not afraid of salmonella).

Back in high school, this fantasy was easily remedied by tip-toeing to the kitchen, but it is a harder mission to accomplish on the Hill, where all food venues close by midnight on weeknights. So, what gives?

While the cure for this problem seems like it could be thousands of miles away, depending on where you are from, you might not have to go so far after all. In fact, you could theoretically take a trip across the bridge to the Dacie Moses House, otherwise known as “The Cookie House.” The house is three houses away from Carleton’s campus, at 110 Union Street.

Some Oles are not aware of this local gem. “I don’t think many people know of it,” Ryan Timmerman ‘12 said.

The students who do know of it, however, seem to go back for more. Melina Lamer ’13 has been to the house several times.

She says the best part of the house is “the surplus of games and eggs and everything they have, they have enough to serve an army so you can make and make and make and play games while you’re waiting,” she said.

If you do choose to visit the house, please be respectful. It is allegedly a house rule that you can eat as many cookies while in the house, but must leave extras at the house. Everything must be made from scratch and, as common courtesy calls for, wash your own dishes.

Recipes for “chocolate chip cookies,” “bran muffins” and “beer muffins” are available on the house’s website. The latter recipe clearly reflects Carleton’s “wet campus” policy. Luckily, “beer muffins” only require for one cup of beer, leaving plenty for the Carls to consume on their own time.

The house was left to the Carleton Alumni Association in the Last Will and Testament of Candace Moses, commonly known as Dacie Moses, when she passed away on Jan. 3, 1981. Moses had been affiliated with the school for over 75 years and was a former employee.

Moses’ original connection to Carleton came from her husband, who graduated from Carleton in 1904, but she formed her own affiliations shortly after. Moses was assistant to treasurer F.J. Fairbank until she retired at age 65. This retirement did not last long, however. She assumed the position of part-time librarian first and later became full-time. Her final retirement was at age 86, in 1969.

Moses was notorious for hosting welcoming gatherings at her house, opening it to students 24 hours a day for the last 25 years of her life.

In addition to being used for baking, the house is used for various other reasons stemming from traditions Moses started. For example, Moses’ former bedroom is used as a pseudo-hostel for students, alumni and other select visitors. It is available for a modest “suggested donation” of  $20 -$30 per night.       

There is a long-standing tradition of having Sunday brunch each week at the house for students and faculty. The living room is also put to good use, as it has been used as a practice room for one of Carleton’s a cappella groups, the Knights, since 1956.  The female a cappella group the Knightingales, also practices there.

The Carleton Office of the Dean of Students is now responsible for funding the house. Since 2006, the house has been under discretion of a house director, who is responsible for living in the house and supervising all activities.

It is unclear whether or not the house is open to Oles as well as Carleton students, but it seems open enough.

“[When we went,] they were really kind, just like it was a normal occurrence even though we’d never met,” Lamer said. “Just whoever wants to go can go, the house is for everyone.”

So next time you are having a cookie dough craving, take a trip to the Carleton cookie house instead of the local Cub Foods. You are sure to reap more benefits than simply satisfying your craving.

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