When former On the Line subject Kevin Nagano of Sage Cafe sings the praises of another cuisiner, there's a great deal of respect. He started carrying the soft-baked confections of Three Hearts Bake Shop, a Huntington Beach-based labor of love for sassy Mel Myers. After tasting his custom variation of lemon poppy seed cookies sandwiched around green tea filling, we were sold.
The concept began a year ago, when Myers was laid off from a 9-to-5 interior design group specializing in libraries (think of her next time you're browsing the East Anaheim branch or Fontana multicultural center). Mel always loved baking oatmeal peanut butter cokies, a hybrid between those oatmeal pie sugar bombs found at Target and the Girl Scout variety.
Modeled after her great-grandmother's recipe, she utilizes the kitchen of Deli-licious, a local sandwich shop, after hours.
Most of her fillings have a butter base, and a shelf-life of five to seven days when refrigerated; even longer when frozen. Her personal favorite is a chocolate chip variety with chocolate ganache filling. However, the best-seller is an oatmeal peanut butter one with a whipped peanut butter center.
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With a little help from her friends, Mel manages to expand her services to include dessert catering for weddings. Wendy, her mom, is a huge supporter, digging deep to help her daughter with orders until as late (early?) as 4 a.m. A partner-in-life, Eric handles the sales side. Her 3-year-old daughter explains the operation best: "My mom makes money cookies. We can't eat the money cookies unless we have money."
Three Hearts doesn't have a store front. Instead, they are available online, via Etsy, and (for those wanting to try before they buy) at various local eateries in Orange County, including Sandwich World, East Borough and Deli-licious.