A quartet of friends have founded a Dallas company dedicated to that most quintessential baked good, the chocolate chip cookie. With Kimber's Cookies, they're tackling an area that's rare in the world of cookies: a chocolate chip cookie mix.
Similar to the principle of a cake mix, Kimber's has you mix in a couple of ingredients — in this case, butter, egg, and vanilla — and bake. According to company spokesperson Alison Thomas, the result is a cookie whose dual textures of crunchy and chewy make it incomparably good.
The company originated in the masterful chocolate chip cookies made by baking hobbyist Kimber Kadesky, who'd been baking since she was young. Everyone urged her to do it for real. And she and her friends — Thomas, Thomas' sister Shirlene Smith, and Kimber's friend from Hockaday Karen Higginbotham — were at that point in their life when it seemed like the thing to do.
"We've been friends since we were right out of college," Thomas says. "We were all kind of looking at a second career. We'd had kids and jobs, and were all moving in a different direction. We decided it was time to do something that's fun and that we liked."
After a year developing recipes and defining their production parameters, they introduced their original chocolate chip cookie at the annual Fancy Foods Show in January 2015, where they got a warm reception. Their cookies, which go for $13 to $15 a box, depending on vendor, are already sold by a couple online grocers including Artizone, as well as local outlets such as Jimmy's and Gecko Hardware in Lakewood, and they'll be featured in the September issue of Food & Wine magazine.
While boxed mixes are common for cakey items like muffins, brownies, and cupcakes, they're less common for cookies. It's about the texture. While Thomas won't reveal their secret sauce, the listed ingredients do include oats, a cornerstone of the famed Neiman Marcus cookie recipe that's known for its melting center.
"We do have some interesting ingredients that add to the texture and the way it bakes up," Thomas says.
Everyone knows what a chocolate chip cookie is, but not everyone agrees on the ideal. Should it be toffee-amber and crisp? Pale and doughy? Firm and crunchy?
"We walk the line," Thomas says. "Some people want them chewy, some people want them crunchy. To me, it's important that they're golden brown and have a depth of the butter in them, so that they don't taste cakey and bland."
For chocolate, they recently made the switch to use chips by San Francisco's Guittard.
"And we use a lot of chocolate," she says. "I can't stand a cookie recipe where you get two to three chocolate chips. I want a handful. With Kimber's, you will not run out of chocolate chips in the bowl. There will probably be extra. That was important to us."
A box makes three dozen, but you can make the dough and freeze it, then bake individually or in smaller batches.
In addition to the original, they debuted with a chocolate chip cookie mix that also has peanut butter chips. In September, they add two new flavors: spiced oatmeal raisin and cranberry-white chocolate chip. That'll be just in time for their stint at the State Fair of Texas, when they'll join the Go Texan stand.
"One of the things we like about this is that we've met such nice people," Thomas says. "Everybody wants cookies."