Feast logo

A cookie to change your career, bag you a spouse, and make your world better.

A pastry chef's perfect chocolate chip cookie. Warning: lifestyle results not guaranteed!

By Suze KayPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 6 min read
First Place in Nourished Challenge
From the home kitchen

2020 was a year of dark clouds with silver linings. When New York City shut down, my boyfriend and I fled to the coast and moved in with my family. It was supposed to be four weeks.

It turned out to be nine months. Much of that time was beautiful: I took long walks on the beach every day. My feral cat became affectionate. My boyfriend and I got to live with one another for the first time in our relationship. But it was also a time of nightmares, screaming fights, and terrible headlines. Without my friends, I was oarless. Without a job, I was rudderless. And without trust in the constancy of our world, I was aimless.

Most Friday nights, we ordered takeout from Little Moss, my parents' favorite restaurant. Keeping them afloat was our civic duty, we felt, and it was a job we took seriously. Having someone else cook for us became a luxury - it meant one less meal to plan and panic-shop for in a sparse grocery store that felt like a petri dish. It meant one evening free of cooking for six. It also didn't hurt that their shoestring fries, even when transported a half hour by car, managed to remain bracingly crisp. It was even better that they offered a side of wildflowers from our favorite local farm.

But the best was their perfect chocolate chip cookie. The cookie had a hint of malty caramel to its taste, with rich, semisweet chocolate that spread and globbed across your mouth as you bit in. It was chewy in its thick middle and crunchy at the edges and topped with scaly crystals of salt. When we ate those cookies, our world felt pretty good again.

Over the summer, Little Moss gave their staff a vacation -- a crime of which our cookieless household was the victim. "We should make those cookies," my boyfriend said. "How hard could it be?"

Hard, it turns out. Early attempts missed key elements. The cookies spread across the sheet pan, too thin, too crisp. Toll House chocolate chips wouldn't divot the cookies with deep pockets of chocolate. And crucially, the taste was never there.

"Well, let's look at some other recipes," my boyfriend said. "Someone must have made something like these."

And so I did. I tried the mundane (bread flour, fail) and the bizarre (yogurt, fail). I found success in salted butter, jumbo chocolate chunks, Maldon salt, and letting the dough rest in the fridge overnight. But still, the taste wasn't complex enough.

"It's time to think scientifically," my boyfriend said. "We need to choose one thing to alter at a time."

And so I did. I researched not just recipes, but culinary theory. I used duck eggs for their high-protein yolks. I tooled with the ratio of baking powder to baking soda to manage a cookie's spread vs. height. I weighed my flour out to the gram. But nothing I did provided the caramelized, malty flavor that Little Moss accomplished.

I burned out. After over fifty batches of chocolate chip cookies, I just couldn't find it in me to produce another. But in my quest, I'd created a monster: my boyfriend, who was at that point addicted to my experiments.

"How about I actually help this time?" he asked. Game on.

We didn't set out to try anything different. I told him to give me a cup of dark brown sugar, "packed hard, like a rock." The measuring cup he handed back was indeed rock solid, compacted so intensely I had to pry out chunks with a knife. We laughed at his commitment to following my instructions. And, dear reader, we discovered the secret to the taste: more brown sugar.

One year later, I signed up for culinary school. Two years later, I graduated as the "Top Student" of my pastry class. Three years later, I work as a pastry chef -- and these cookies got me the job.

Also, the boyfriend is now my husband, and the following recipe was a party favor for guests at our wedding last month. Now, it's yours.

The chef and her husband

My Husband's Favorite Cookies


  • 1 cup (227 g) of salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) white sugar
  • 1 cup (240 g) dark brown sugar (If not weighing, pack as hard as possible into the measuring cup – like a rock!)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature (I prefer duck eggs if possible)
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 scant teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bag (10 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chunks (chips work too, but chunks or roughly chopped chocolate are best)
  • Flakey sea salt or Maldon salt to top the cookies


  1. In a large bowl, cream the softened butter, granulated sugar, and dark brown sugar until fully combined. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment.
  2. Beat in vanilla and eggs until the mixture looks fluffy.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the large bowl and mix until combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chunks with a spatula.
  6. Cover the batter in plastic wrap and rest in the fridge overnight.
  7. When ready to bake, arrange oven shelves on top and bottom of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Line one or two baking pans with parchment paper.
  8. Roll golf ball-sized pieces of dough into tall spheres and roll the tops lightly in flakey salt. Place evenly on prepared baking pans, leaving room for them to expand. (If you have more cookies than room on your pans, make sure to keep the unused dough in the fridge).
  9. Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pans and swapping them from top to bottom halfway through to ensure an even bake. The cookies should be brown at the edges with puffy centers (they will look a little underbaked).
  10. Let them cool on the pans until they can be prodded easily across the parchment paper and lifted by spatula without losing their shape (about 10 minutes). Then, transfer to wire racks to cool or serve warm with milk!


  • This recipe makes approximately 20 cookies, depending on size.
  • Make ahead: after step six, the dough can be left in the fridge for up to three days.
  • If baking in more than three days, after step six place the wrapped dough in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before baking.
From the work kitchen

When I make this recipe now, I'm reminded of the gifts its creation gave me. I had to be persistent. I had to accept help. I had to cultivate my knowledge, hone my skills, and develop my palate. I may also have added thirty pounds to my weight, but I became a stronger person with a better life along the way.

Even though I've put in most of the leg work here, I'm sure there's still some magic left in these cookies for you. Maybe they'll convince your boss to give you a raise. Maybe you'll make them with your kid and laugh over spilled flour and a burned batch. Or maybe you'll just take the perfect bite at the end of a long week and decide the world's not such a bad place after all.


About the Creator

Suze Kay

Pastry chef by day, insomniac writer by night.

Catch me here for spooky stories, crushable poems, and overall weird thoughts.

Or, let me catch you on my website!

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

Add your insights

Comments (26)

Sign in to comment
  • Hannah Moore14 days ago

    Oh, I am so glad I came back and read this, what a brilliant story.

  • Oksana Z.19 days ago

    Beautiful all the way!

  • Novel Allen21 days ago

    Such a "SWEET" story. So great that a moment's decision set you on a life changing decision. Oh, I love your darling story. Congrats on your sweet win/

  • Ashley Lima22 days ago

    Way to go, Suze! Well deserved win :)

  • Eva M.22 days ago

    Every now and then u catch a story that's so eerily close to a personal experience it's almost creepy. Naturally some elements differ (I never went to culinary school) but from the loss of a fav eatery due to covid-bred cookie obsession to the countless failed attempts, pounds of ingredients used and pounds added to my once petite frame to the intense satisfaction of knowing you did it, you finally created the perfect cookie. And it wasn't a fluke; you can do it again (and again and again). I'm gonna try urs, tho, and here's mine; 1.75 c FL .75 c sugar 1.25 c brown sugar .5 cup unsalted butter 1 tsp baking powder .25 tsp salt 3 tbsp corn starch 2 tbsp vanilla 1 tsp almond extract 1.5 c choc chunks The amount of eggs depends on their size, but with the little brown ones I use 2+1 extra yolk, the large (42g or larger) I use I+1 yolk. U know the drill, from here; the only steps I'd emphasize are to use room temp eggs, melt the butter and HAND MIX everything (if ur in a hurry the butter/sugar/eggs can be beat with a hand mixer but I avoid it). Once the dry ingredients have been added I try to handle it gently. My extracts go into to the melted butter so once the dough is combined (it's a bit sticky before it's been in the fridge) all that's required is the addition of ur fav choc. I'm always trying new kinds but I always like a mix of milk&dark, and, like the vanilla, I buy the best my budget will allow. I used equal parts semi chips, dark chunks and milk choc mini chips last time and I had to hide the dough in the crisper, under the spinach! The corn starch keeps them chewy for days. I'm a counter banger, myself, but if u prefer a thicker cookie, skip it. Happy baking, my choc chip chickadee!

  • Lamar Wiggins22 days ago

    Congrats Suze. I really enjoyed this story. Also congrats on your marriage and graduating from pastry school! 👏👏👏💖

  • This is just perfect! Super congratulations! Those cookies also look amazing! 🤍

  • Exceptional recipe for delectable cookies!! I loved your story congrats on your win

  • PK Colleran25 days ago

    What a wonderful and fun story! Congratulations on the well deserved win. I plan to make your cookies tomorrow. 🍪🍪🍪🍪

  • Nicole Campbell26 days ago

    I smiled ear to ear reading this! This story melted my insides out just like those cookies seem to do, and made me all gooye! (I think I need to whip a batch of these this weekend.)

  • Addison M26 days ago

    This was great, very heartfelt and I bet I speak for the masses when I say those cookies sound divine! Excellent story and congrats on the challenge win!

  • Paul Stewart26 days ago

    So excited I nearly typed the wrong message in this comment box. Congratulations, goodness, Suze this was great and so well deserved. So happy to see you in the winning position. Your writing is always superb and this was no exception!

  • Poppy26 days ago

    Wooo so happy to see your name amongst the winners especially in first place!!! Well done!! I’ll need to add this to my reading list and come back soon

  • SC Wells26 days ago

    Such a comforting article and recipe

  • Mackenzie Davis26 days ago

    Ahhh!!! You won, Suze! 🤩🥳😝 Absolutely smashing recipe. Something about your writing is addicting -- or, no, not like in a compulsive way, more like the addiction you get for the fresh air and sunshine. Radiant, fresh, subtle, lovely. This is superbly written and the cookies look just mouthwatering. How perfect these cookies are as a cornerstone in your life. I doubt any recipe you could have chosen instead could have captured as much as this one. So so happy for you and your marriage, too. This is your year! 💗 I'm completely over the moon for you!!

  • Great story, fantastic recipe and beautiful illustration too! Congratulations and well done on your No1 win!

  • E.K. Daniels26 days ago

    These sound delicious. Maldon salt is the BEST. I love adding it to my chocolate hazelnut tarts. And ofc anything else that needs a little something “extra”. This was a great piece, and a reminder of the power of good food. Well done, and congrats!

  • Alivia Varvel26 days ago

    I just knew you’d win this one! So well deserved, congrats!

  • Kenny Penn26 days ago

    Awesome, Suze! Touching and inspirational! I am absolutely going to try out this recipe, they look amazing! Congratulations on your win, obviously, but congrats on perfecting your recipe too!

  • Ava Mack26 days ago

    Suze!! You're incredible. This was so sweet, so compelling, so inspiring to read. Congrats on this deserved win and all the life wins that these cookies kick started for you! <3

  • Dana Crandell26 days ago

    I so enjoyed this one! Congratulations on your entire journey, and on your challenge win! Pam and I will be trying this recipe soon. We're also cooking partners and enjoy trashing the kitchen together.

  • Kageno Hoshino26 days ago

    I love cookies too

  • Naomi Goldabout a month ago

    This is my favorite story I’ve read for the challenge. No, it’s not a dramatic tale of despair. At a time when many people were struggling just to keep their homes and feed themselves, you lived with family and had time to bake. But this is a tale of creative perseverance. It’s proof that if we want to create something bad enough, we will be successful. We won’t stop until we are. The creative process often involves experimentation and frustration as we seek to find a missing ingredient, or reduce what isn’t working and increase what is. And finally, we achieve something to our own personal tastes. Maybe it was inspired by someone else’s creation, but it doesn’t matter. It’s our own. I don’t know if you intended for this cookie recipe backstory to be a brilliant metaphor, but it is one. And your now husband is truly a partner. A creative partner and a life partner. This makes me believe there’s nothing the two of you can’t achieve together, and it makes perfect sense that the cookies were party favors at the wedding reception. “But in my quest, I'd created a monster: my boyfriend, who was at that point addicted to my experiments.” [insert Cookie Monster joke] nom nom nom 🍪

  • Brown sugar packed hard like a rock! I cannot say how grateful I am that your boyfriend (now husband) did that! Thank you so much for sharing this story and recipe!

  • S. A. Crawford2 months ago

    This story kind of feels like a good cookie, if that makes sense; it has substance and surprises, with a tang, but it's overwhelmingly sweet. I can almost feel your frustration, and the relief that working with your boyfriend brought. Thank you for sharing this!

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.