With more than 3,500 cookie flavors under their belt, The Cravory team knows a thing or two about baking. Owner Adam Koven attributes success due to an open mind, something he very much encourages home bakers to keep by making (almost) any ingredient fair play.
"Why can't you have different flavors using cookie dough as a base?" he argues, crediting The Cravory's success to their willingness to experiment.
This line of thinking makes sense, knowing the company's roots. Koven wanted to start his own business and it was just a matter of learning how. He taught himself how to cook in college and began to wonder why no one had done for cookies what Ben & Jerry's or Cold Stone Creamery had done for ice cream.
To prep for his first batches of cookies, he headed to the grocery store for candy, purchasing way more than one normally does outside of Halloween. The idea was to push the boundaries beyond chocolate chips and walnuts as add-ins.
But the flavor that convinced Koven he was on to something isn't what you'd expect.
Koven said, "I ended up making this cookie with olive oil, fresh rosemary, cracked pepper, lemon zest and a balsamic syrup because I was doing an Italian night."
The minute he opened the oven, his house smelled like an Italian bakery. The cookie itself boasted multiple layers of flavor, like a fine wine. It also proved that savory flavors could successfully be added to the mix.
His main advice to home bakers is, "Take your favorite candy bars, take your favorite ingredients, incorporate them into some cookie dough and just have fun with it." But he does suggest paying attention to a few good rules of thumb:
- Avoid the temptation to overmix dough. Once it is combined, your work is done.
- The Cravory team is very picky about ingredients, only sourcing the best. If you're going to splurge on a premium ingredient, Koven suggests making vanilla a priority by skipping imitation vanilla and vanilla extract altogether and lasering in on a small vanilla purveyor. "If there's a company doing just vanilla, these are the ones who are going to have the best product," he said. In addition, if you can, use great butter and flours.
- Speaking of flour, Koven said that not every all-purpose gluten-free flour is going to be exactly what home chefs need. The Cravory has a killer gluten-free chocolate chip cookie that tastes like the real deal, but it took some major trial and error. Without giving up any secrets, he said, "I suggest combining different gluten-free flours to find a mix that works well for you."
- Finally, it is absolutely imperative to let dough rest in the refrigerator. The good news is, this means that day-before prep is totally OK.
"It just helps," he said. "You have gluten and chemical reactions happening when you combine everything."
Flavors profiles need to develop together. In addition to concentrating flavor, the chilling of the dough prevents cookies from spreading too far on the baking sheet when placed in the oven. Both reasons speak to Koven's mantra that baking is interesting because it's so scientific.
Fans of The Cravory have a lot to look forward to, between a new store location in Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad and an incredible October menu lineup that includes awesome flavors such as cinnamon apple scotch cookies, spicy raspberry cookies and a pumpkin pop tart, to name a few.
Address: 3960 W. Point Loma Blvd., Suite G, Midway District, Point Loma; or 2675 Gateway Road, Suite 103, in Bressi Ranch, Carlsbad
Katie Dillon is a lifestyle and travel writer who believes that one of the best ways to explore a city is through its food and drinks. Follow her adventures on social media at @lajollamom and send any tasty ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Discover SD