Maxwell Martin first became involved with the culinary arts in middle school, after learning to prepare homemade lasagnas and upside-down cakes at weekly cooking classes in Culver City.
Martin, a third-year political science student, has gone from cooking pasta dishes to working in sales for Dozen’s Cookies, an online cookie delivery business founded by Martin’s friends – twins Ethan and Jared Forman.
“Our cookies are thick and chewy and have that signature Dozen’s Cookie taste,” Martin said.
Dozen’s Cookies uses an online website to ship cookies with nontraditional flavors such as red velvet to its customers, who are predominantly college students, Martin said. One box of a dozen cookies sells for $6 per dozen for UCLA students plus a $14 flat shipping fee.
The order information is given to the Forman brothers, who prepare the specified flavors in an industrial kitchen near the University of Michigan, which they attend. Then the cookies are packaged in vacuum-sealed bags for shipping to customers’ mailboxes.
Dozen’s Cookies began five years ago, when Ethan and Jared Forman began experimenting with their grandmother’s butterscotch cookie recipe, transforming her original crispy shortbread into the softer, thicker cookie that has come to define their cookie company.
Two years ago, the Forman twins reached out to Martin to help spread the name of the company to UCLA students.
In Los Angeles, as the company’s UCLA ambassador, Martin takes care of the West Coast marketing. Martin is collaborating with events like First Fridays to bring Dozen’s Cookies to LA.
Dozen’s Cookies focuses on cookies rather than other baked goods because their portability and popularity make cookies a crowd favorite, Martin said.
One of the main focuses of Dozen’s Cookies is its inventive cookie choices, which encompass flavors inspired by seasonal trends and other desserts such as pumpkin spice, peppermint chocolate chip and orange cranberry.
“Our chefs like to make products that we are passionate about and that not all bakers can pull off,” Martin said.
Because many of the seasonal flavors call for unconventional combinations, the cookies require experimentation involving an average of four trial runs to solidify a new recipe, said Ethan Forman, the head baker. Forman works in an industrial kitchen on the weekends and works out new recipes for the next crowd favorite whenever he has free time, he said.
“My twin and I like to bounce off ideas with each other to find our flavors,” Forman said. “We draw upon ideas from customers and friends. Then, we test the recipes and balance the flavors to find the taste we are looking for.”
Because the flavors of the cookies are different from those normally seen in grocery stores or even other cookie shops, students should enjoy the diverse options at cheap prices, said Vincent Choi, a third-year political science and statistics student. A Dozen’s Cookies customer himself, Choi enjoys the rich taste and thick texture of the company’s red velvet cookie, he said.
However, the process that goes into preparing the diverse flavors of Dozen’s Cookies’ desserts is not simple, Forman said.
While experimenting with a customer-requested dulce de leche flavor, Forman ran several trials to balance the cookies’ overpoweringly sweet taste of dulce de leche, he said. Although the first trial produced a cookie that was far too sugary, continued tweaks – like adding more flour and cutting down the sugar – balanced its flavor, Forman said.
“Experimenting with baking is a hobby,” Forman said. “Finding new flavors takes time and requires attention to detail, but it is an art.”