Nancy_s1.jpgKENT KRIEGSHAUSER/The Register-Mail

Nancy Palmer Cooley brushes orange glaze on fresh-out-of-the-oven cinnamon rolls at her bakery, Nancy's Kitchen, in Galesburg.

Come on in to Nancy's Kitchen

Food & Moore

Carol Moore

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

GALESBURG - Nancy Palmer Cooley, owner and baker at Nancy's Kitchen, 595 N. Whitesboro St., said her dad always told her that when she's doing a job, it's got to be done right. "'Give 110 percent,'" she said he would tell her.

One thing is for sure: she and husband Mike are on the road to success. On the day I visited Nancy's Kitchen Bakery, Nancy had bread, rolls, pies and cookies in the bakery case, and she had just finished filling an order for 400 cookies for Lincoln School. Now that's a lot of cookies!

Club 41 restaurant features her New York style cheesecake. Corner Cafe uses only her breads. LaChelle Mitchell serves her bread pudding, cakes and cinnamon rolls. A new business opening soon on Henderson Street, Java Station Express, plans to feature her cookies and muffins. And the list goes on.


Order tickets attest to the busy pace at Nancy's Kitchen, a bakery owned by Nancy Palmer Cooley.

So much so, the business is becoming a full family operation. Daughters Beth and Sami help their mom out. Beth helps her mom with the cakes and cookies, but she really likes to make apple pies. Sami helps with the weighing and measuring of ingredients. Husband Mike helps make cookies and is becoming proficient with bread dough, too.

Nancy suggests to customers that they call in their special orders. Do you want only cinnamon in your pumpkin pie? No problem. Or, a peach or apple pie with NO cinnamon? No problem. Even partially prepared pizza crusts can be ordered.


A Dutch apple pie is nearly ready for the oven at Nancy's Kitchen.

Baking out of her home her first year, Nancy started to get her bakery up and running last February, opening the doors on June 27, 2005. She's dedicated, starting baking at 3 a.m. She doesn't personally like coconut or walnuts, but both are in her carrot cake recipe which her customers rave about.

Nancy's recipes are culled from her mom, her sister, from recipes she's found (and "tweaked") and she has some originals.

Nancy hopes to start delivery services showcasing her baked goods as far-reaching plans. Nancy shares some favorite recipes with us.

- - -

Nancy's Kitchen

595 N. Whitesboro St.

(309) 337-3350

Fall/Winter Hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday;

7 a.m.-noon Saturday; closed Sundays

- - -

Nancy's Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding

Nancy's Cinnamon Rolls, cubed (dried or day-old)

7/8 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup white sugar

8 eggs

1 cup raisins

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

Cube enough cinnamon rolls to fill a 9-by-13-inch baking pan (it takes approximately 12 rolls). Mix raisins in with cinnamon rolls or sprinkle over the top of the cubed rolls. In bowl mix sugars, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and salt with mixer for 5 minutes at medium speed. Heat milk and cream in saucepan. Add to egg mixture, mixing slowly.

Pour mixture over cinnamon roll cubes, soaking each piece. Bake 45 minutes at 375 F. Check at 30 minutes. It's done if the center peaks.

Makes 12 servings.

Vanilla Sauce

1 1/3 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar, divided

4 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat cream and 1/4 cup sugar in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Combine egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl, and beat until well blended. Stir some of the hot cream mixture into egg mixture, then return egg mixture to double boiler. Stirring constantly, cook 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly and coats a spoon. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Serve warm sauce over bread pudding.


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsps. cream of tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsps. sugar

2 tsps. cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 F. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls.

Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon; roll balls in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from baking sheet.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

- - -

Egg Noodles

3 eggs

3 cups flour

1/8 to 1/4 cup water (as needed)

1 tsp. salt

Mix flour and salt in medium mixing bowl; beat eggs and add to flour mixture. Mix well, adding water as needed to make a very stiff dough. Shape dough and wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Divide dough into approximately 4 sections and on a floured surface roll each section to approximately 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into strips of desired length. Place noodles on baking sheet and dry them at 200 F., stirring about every 15 minutes until dried. Or, you may let them air dry.


Click here to order reprints of photos published before
April 1, 2006

140 S. Prairie St., P.O. Box 310, Galesburg, IL 61401 :: 1-309-343-7181
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted