Finding a good sandwich on-Island might be easy. Finding an authentic Cuban sandwich ($9.75) made on freshly baked Cuban bread is a little harder. But when I walked into Humphreys and discovered that one of their top sellers is a Cuban sandwich, I swooned. It reminded me of my time in Miami, home of one of the largest populations of Cubans in the United States. Traditionally, the sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on crusty bread. This is exactly what you’ll find at Humphrey’s, among other goodies.
Mostly known for their sandwiches, this Island establishment has been baking up a storm since the 1930s, when Argie and Bernice Humphrey, the founders of Humphreys Bakery, opened up shop. The Humphreys used to bake breads and pies from scratch and deliver them around the Island. Current owner Donna is a third-generation Islander. She has been using her family’s recipes to bake the cookies, breads, and cakes served at the shop.
Currently, you can find a variety of baked goods at the shop, including the ever-so-popular sticky bun that can only be purchased on Wednesdays starting at 9 am in their Vineyard Haven shop. These sell out quite quickly, so make sure to stop in early, grabbing one along with your morning coffee. If you miss them, Humphreys’ brownies, donuts, and cookies are all a treat too. One specifically — the Butter Crunch Cookie— had me falling head over heels. Crunchy and studded with butter-crunch chips, this nostalgic cookie will bring you back to an era when everything wasn’t so rushed and when cookie time was an everyday occurrence. Thankfully, we have the recipe.
Butter Crunch Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Humphreys Bakery
2 cups shortening
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups sugar
1½ cups cold water
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
6½ cups flour
2 cups toffee bits
Preheat oven to 350°F. With a mixer, combine shortening and sugars. Mix in the eggs, water, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Mix in flour and toffee bits.
On parchment-lined cookie sheets, place a heaping tablespoon of dough. With the tip of the spoon, spread dough into two-inch rounds by ⅛-inch-thick dollops. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for 5 more minutes. The cookies are done when they are dark golden brown.
Don’t go straight to dessert though — try a sandwich! Humphreys’ bakers bake their own Cuban bread, which is soft on the inside with a slightly crunchy exterior. Another popular choice (maybe even slightly more popular) is the Turkey Gobbler ($9.25). Made on the bread of your choice (all freshly baked in-house), this house-roasted turkey is layered with flavorful stuffing and slices of cranberry jelly, for a delicious Thanksgiving feast any time of the year.
I am sure to be back at Humphreys soon — not just for their delicious food and treats; the space is quite inviting and the service friendly and knowledgeable. Visit them online at humphreysmv.com for more details on their history and menu, and give them a like on Facebook, as they are constantly hosting delicious giveaways.