“Fabulous Homemade Cookies” opens in Canonsburg

February 1, 2016
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David Singer/Observer-Reporter
Assorted novelty and þÄúgiantþÄù sugar cookies are available at Fabulous Homemade Cookies. Order a Print
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David Singer/Observer-Reporter
The cookie and cupcake flavors run the gamut, with notable standouts of þÄúMidnight ExpressþÄù (espresso and dark chocolate) and caramel apple. Order a Print
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David Singer/Observer-Reporter Offering cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pinwheels and nut rolls, the new Canonsburg bakery has something for any sweet tooth.
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David Singer/Observer-Reporter
Fabulous Homemade Cookies owner Liza Betsch stands behind some of the staple items, like pasta and soup kits, she keeps in her store from local vendors. Order a Print

CANONSBURG – Selling cookies, coffee and biscotti at Pittsburgh farmers markets for four years wasn’t enough for Liza Betsch, so the Moon Township native opened a bakery right across from First Street Elementary School. The grand opening Saturday was the first time Betsch and her batches of giant cookies, cakes and assorted sweet treats were available outside of Allegheny County.

“It was all part of the plan: being here, being close to the store. I came here, loved the area, loved the people,” she said, “but the whole plan was to bring downtown to hometown, and to make that happen you need to be right here (in Canonsburg) so people don’t go to Pittsburgh,” said Betsch, who moved to Canonsburg a year ago.

The flavors of the store’s namesake giant cookies run the gamut from red velvet to caramel apple, but Betsch said two are standouts among customers.

“The Midnight Express is a popular one. It’s a double chocolate with espresso and dark chocolate chunks. And we’re well-known for our lemon cookies. They’re tart and sweet,” she said.

Macaque in the trees
The cookie and cupcake flavors run the gamut, with notable standouts of þÄúMidnight ExpressþÄù (espresso and dark chocolate) and caramel apple.
David Singer/Observer-Reporter

Not betraying the bakery’s name, everything is made on-site with the help of two full-time employees and a handful of part-time seasonal bakers. For Melissa Siders, who moved from Peters Township to Canonsburg three years ago, she doesn’t consider her job work.

“How often do you get to come in and enjoy every aspect of work? And to give happiness to customers – there’s nothing like it,” Siders said, “and with Liza, I’ve never had a boss who’s more appreciative of you and is right there working with you in the trenches.”

In the tale of the tape, the old-fashioned nut rolls weigh in the heaviest – and very popular Saturday as at least five customers walked out with one – and are a testament to Betsch’s perfectionism.

“We started those in the fall at farmers’ markets and they’ve just gone gangbusters. It took me a while to get my grandmother’s recipe just right, but that’s what she said: have to practice with these,” Betsch said.

Macaque in the trees
Fabulous Homemade Cookies owner Liza Betsch stands behind some of the staple items, like pasta and soup kits, she keeps in her store from local vendors.
David Singer/Observer-Reporter

Lining the cramped sweet aisles are staples for a nutritious meal: homemade pastas, olive oils and vinegars, pickled beets and jellies and dry soup mixes.

“It’s all here. We make the most of the space. And I’m still looking for a local, fair trade coffee vendor,” Betsch said, “otherwise, I have a lot of other products that are locally made and sourced; a lot right here in Canonsburg, like Overhill Lane’s soaps and candles. They have cupcake-styled soaps for a bubble bath that are lovely.”

David Singer covered municipal government and school boards in Avella, Burgettstown, Cecil, Canonsburg and Robinson Township, as well as oil and gas drilling, politics, technology and education. Formerly of WJPA and KDKA Radio, he graduated with journalism and philosophy degrees from Washington & Jefferson College and Point Park University.

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