Julia Hafen, left, and Emilie Hafen, right, are two of the three masterminds behind Ooey Gooey Cookies, a homemade cookie business that opened on May 16. (Photo by Jen Hafen)
Fountain Valley High School

Ooey Gooey Cookies are a batch made in heaven

Those cold, crumbly and nearly expired cookies from the grocery store aren’t satisfying your quarantine cravings anymore, are they? How about some freshly baked, warm, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies delivered right to your door?

Don’t deny it; your inner sweet tooth knows you want those cookies. Spare yourself from washing a baking tray and spend your cookie money on high-quality cookies chock full of chocolate and love from Ooey Gooey Cookies.

Sisters Emilie and Julia Hafen, of the Fountain Valley High School classes of 2014 and 2020, and their mother Jen Hafen are the masterminds behind Ooey Gooey Cookies, a newly established Fountain Valley-based homemade cookie business. Like many families, the Hafens have been spending their quarantine baking and wanted to share their beloved chocolate chip cookies with the local community.

“No matter how bad our day is, a chocolate chip cookie is guaranteed to bring a smile to our face,” Emilie and Julia Hafen said. “We thought that this was a perfect time to spread that joy and smile to others, and that has been the fuel for this business since day one.”

The Hafens are true to their word. For $10, they’ll take you to a cookie shop and back. Untying the delicate black and white cotton twine and opening a box four massive, 6-ounce, 5-inch chocolate chip cookies is practically like opening the doors of a bakery on Sunday morning; it’s a nostalgic experience that will light up your face. 

One whiff of the fresh cookies makes you feel light and tingly as if you’re in the Hafens’ kitchen taking those cookies out of the oven yourself. Don’t worry, your tummy will be happy too. One bite of their chocolate chip cookies makes you stop, lean back into your chair, close your eyes and let the warm chocolate melt in your mouth.

As you work past the crispy golden-brown halo, your fingers start getting covered in chocolate and you hit the cushion-like center of the cookies that can only be described as ooey-gooey. It’s not hard to see why Ooey Gooey Cookies is such a big hit.

“Orange Coast Memorial maternal child health nurses are addicted to these cookies! Ooey gooey straight out of the oven and into our bellies,” one Instagram user commented on @ooeygooeycookies.oc.

Compliments like this and the never-ending love from their customers are what the Hafen sisters say motivate them to bake the best cookies.

“The most rewarding part of Ooey Gooey is having happy customers who message us with pictures or comments on how much they loved our cookies,” they said. “It is satisfying to see people smiling, especially at a time like this when some aren’t able to leave their homes.”

Ooey Gooey Cookies also says that their business has allowed them to see and be part of a heartwarming atmosphere of camaraderie and support. It’s fun to deliver cookies to nurses starting their night shift, and they love it when someone places a cookie order for their neighbors and friends.

“More than getting support from our community, we have seen the community support each other, which we never would have seen without this opportunity,” the sisters said. “We feel lucky to be able to witness people spreading love to each other during this difficult time.”

Of course, running a business is never easy. Emilie and Julia Hafen said they have always wanted to open a cookie business for years and finally decided to follow through with their idea. They spent hours and hours researching regulations and guidelines for home businesses and baking countless test batches before everything was good to go.

“Once we decided to actually open, everything happened really fast,” the sisters said. “We created the name and logo about a week before our first delivery, and after a shout-out from Steve Schultz, Julia’s former teacher at FVHS, we have been busy ever since!”

They aren’t kidding when they say busy. A day of business starts the night before when the entire Hafen family plans for the next day by confirming orders and preparing ingredients. After a good night’s sleep, they start baking at 9:30 a.m. all the way until 8 or 9 p.m., depending on their final order.

The high demand for these otherworldly chocolate chip cookies makes business challenging, but it’s also what drives the Hafens to explore options that will improve Ooey Gooey Cookies and help them eventually shift to a storefront.

“We have been working to find the most efficient ways to take orders, make schedules, find packaging, deliver boxes and so on,” Emilie and Julia Hafen said.

Even after a long day of baking, deliveries, ingredient runs to Costco and everything else in between, Ooey Gooey Cookies welcomes the next day of business with enthusiasm and is sure to post on Instagram so that they can interact with their customers.

“Food really brings us all together and our cookies have been our staple throughout our whole lives so of course we want and love to share them with everyone else! We hope to bring a bit of joy to people during these hard times and find ways to put a smile on their faces,” the Hafens said.

Ooey Gooey Cookies is working on new cookie flavors, and you can be the first to hear about them by following @ooeygooeycookies.oc on Instagram. There, and on their Facebook page Ooey Gooey Cookies OC, you’ll find a link to order a box of cookies available for pick up in Fountain Valley or delivered fresh and warm to your door. Yes, fresh and warm. Their customers can confirm that.

“Received my first order of cookies this afternoon! Perfectly delicious! I highly recommend ordering soon,” one user commented on Instagram. “They were delivered warm! I couldn’t believe it!”

To celebrate their opening, Ooey Gooey Cookies, open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., is delivering cookies with no additional charge to the Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach communities through June 30. There will be a delivery fee to other cities in Orange County within a 10-mile radius of Fountain Valley.

“These cookies… aren’t made in a factory, packaged at a plant or baked in huge ovens,” Emilie and Julia said. “When we make the dough, place them in the box, and deliver them to your homes, we envision the happy faces that will receive them. We are sharing a part of our family tradition with you.”

Ooey Gooey Cookies is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit their Instagram @ooeygooeycookies.oc or Facebook page Ooey Gooey Cookies OC for inquiries and to order your cookies. 

 

Junanna Chen contributed to this article.