Local Discovery: The Cult of Cookie



  • Photo by Anna Naphtali

In a world that likes to complicate everything, including its sweets, I take comfort in the simplicity and perfection of the chocolate chip cookie. Salted caramel and bacon? I'm sorry to say that my desserts can do without them. I don't always feel like mucking up a good cookie in the name of being on-trend. Sometimes I just want a classic, "take me back to grandma's kitchen", em-EFFING chocolate chip cookie!

That is to say that I appreciate a well-made cookie, which is a feat more complicated than it seems. To attain chocolate chip worthiness, one must strike a balance of textures- slight crunch on the outside with a chewy, near-baked center that gives way to chocolate chips in every bite.

Lucky for me, local Mom-preneur Jessie Mathis has mastered the art of the chocolate chip cookie. Even better, I can have them for breakfast. Mathis recently began selling her cookies at the Not Just Coffee Shop where, according to NJCS owner James Yoder, her baked goods have gained a cult-like following.

  • Photo by Anna Naphtali

Mathis, a self-proclaimed sweets lover, fell for the chocolate chip cookie back in the day thanks to a best friend's mother who baked them often. Eventually, she asked for the recipe but became obsessed with making a cookie of her own. Mathis says, like a mad scientist, she began to explore the chemistry of baking to find the perfect recipe.

Once she settled on a recipe, she was averse to modifying it for quantity and so, would have dozens of cookies on hand, way too many to eat herself. She secretly began leaving cookies in her wake - on doorsteps, in the homes of friends, at parties. Her cookies, "Jessie's cookies," first appeared at the Not Just Coffee Shop during a fundraiser for one of the baristas. She brought them to collect donations for the cause and they sold out lightning-fast. Since then, she drops off fresh cookies every Thursday for all the cookie eaters masquerading as coffee drinkers.

"People have shown up to my house in their pajamas, just to have a warm chocolate chip cookie," says Mathis.

I was secretly wondering if that was an invitation for me to do the same. Jessie's cookies are round and puffed up with big fat dark chocolate chips, like those bubble letters you perfected back in middle school, and the cookie has a tender crunch and chewy, soft, center that is buttery and sweet and everything right with this world.

The cult of cookie awaits you. Go to it.

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