Holiday Treats

Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop and Moonshine Mountain Cookie Company

Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop

It was Thanksgiving 2012.

“Scott and I and the kids were headed to Memphis to visit my family,” Meredith Layton says. “We were talking about the pies and thinking of a name for a certain pie. We were just brainstorming, and I think it was the kids who piped up and said, ‘We’re stuck on I-40! Let’s name it the I-40!’”

If you’ve been to Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop in Turkey Creek or the Bearden area, you’ve probably tried the delectable pecan-chocolate “I-40.”

“In our family, a lot of things happen around Thanksgiving,” Meredith says as she describes how the store was born. “At Thanksgiving in 2006, my sister was in from out of town. I had stopped working in speech pathology, and we got to talking about her opening her cupcake shop in St. Louis. I said, ‘I’d love to open a cupcake shop in Knoxville.’”

After several years of cupcakes, the Laytons decided to change up their confections.

“We wanted to come up with a bakery that could be franchise-able and representative of our families and traditions in the South,” she says. “Both our maternal grandmothers were great pie bakers.”

The flagship store is in Bearden at 5400 Kingston Pike. Now there are 13 locations all over the Southeast and Texas.

“We’re growing pretty quickly,” Layton says.

Meredith’s Spiced Holiday Coffee

“This is a great warm drink that complements our pies,” Meredith says.

Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup bold coffee grounds
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups cold water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup warm eggnog
Whipped cream


  1. 1. Put coffee grounds and spices in brewing basket and sugar in brewing pot.
  2. 2. Pour water into coffee maker and brew.
  3. 3. Add warm eggnog to brewed coffee and stir.
  4. 4. Pour into cups and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

    Moonshine Mountain Cookie Company

    “Thirty years ago, my husband, Mike, and I had a local pizza business,” Knoxville resident Robin Maddux says. “One Halloween we decided to do cookies with every pizza and they kind of went crazy on us. His college roommate, Rick Dunlap, was making a career change and asked Mike if we’d like to start this cookie business with him.

    “He thought I was going to kill him because we already had other businesses in Knoxville, but I thought it sounded fun. We had kept the cookie idea in the back of our minds, and I kept yellow legal pads with the recipes on them in the kitchen cabinet.”

    They planned for online orders and corporate gifting without a storefront, Robin says, and rented kitchen space in the Old City.

    “We had to make cookies every night because customers were buying them so fast. We realized we had to find a retail spot. We knew we had a great cookie, but we needed something that would make us stand out. Mike said, ‘Could we make our cookies with moonshine?’”

    Moonshine Mountain Cookie Company was born in 2016 at 7343 Kingston Pike.

    “We started with our chocolate chip recipe, the Rocky Top, and wondered if could we make it with moonshine and fruit. Next was the Happy Pappy, our apple pie moonshine cookie. We always have those and the lemon-blueberry John Lemon, Nutty Butty Holly with Reese’s cups, Sugar Shine with sugar and white chocolate, and Caramel by the Sea.”

    Seasonal offerings include the Berry White with white chocolate and strawberry and the Mint Jagger with Andes chocolate. They do a lot of corporate gifting and ship all over the country and to soldiers.

    Robin’s Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

    “This cookie is fun. It’s simple and Christmasy,” she says. “You can put them together really quick and take them to a family get-together.”

    1 package Duncan Hines Signature Red Velvet Cake Mix
    2 large eggs
    6 tablespoons butter, melted
    1 teaspoon lemon zest
    ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
    ½ teaspoon cornstarch


    1. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease baking sheets.
    2. 2. Combine cake mix, eggs, butter and lemon zest in large bowl with wooden spoon until blended. Blend sugar and cornstarch; set aside.
    3. 3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on pans.
    4. 4. Bake 8 to 9 minutes until edges are set.
    5. 5. Cool on pans for 1 minute. Cool completely on wire rack.

    Tip: Use a 1-inch to 1 ¼-inch scoop to form dough into balls. For best results, bake one sheet at a time. If baking two sheets together, rotate pans halfway through baking.