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A hit from a 100-year-old Chicago bakery

John Roeser IV his dad John Roeser III bake together Roeser's Bakery Humboldt Park. | John H. White~Sun-Times

John Roeser IV and his dad, John Roeser III, bake together at Roeser's Bakery in Humboldt Park. | John H. White~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 8, 2012 8:01AM

Roeser’s Bakery at 3216 W. North turned 100 this year. It’s doing something right.

Many things, actually. Owner John Roeser III figures the bakery will churn out 15,000 to 20,000 cookies in December alone. (Though, he points out, “the economy isn’t very good.”)

Roeser’s grandfather opened the Humboldt Park bakery in 1911. It has stayed in the family all these years. Roeser’s 23-year-old son, John Roeser IV, is one of the bakers.

The bakery’s more popular treats this time of year reflect the diversity of the neighborhood: stollen, a German coffee cake; julekage, a cardamom-scented Scandinavian cake; pfefferneuse; gingerbread men, and old-school fruitcake.

Roeser shared the recipe for another old-school treat that can slip easily into your holiday baking repertoire: Brown Sugar Pecan Icebox Cookies. Roll the dough into logs and store in the freezer, then slice and bake when the urge hits.

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