Ah, Murray-Dodge, that sweet late-night solace of hot tea and hotter cookies. But just how many cookies, you ask? Well, each batch takes around 10 minutes to bake, plus another five added on for cooling time. Murray-Dodge bakers stop making cookies at 12:15 a.m. On an average night, they’ll put out 18 batches, each with 40-45 cookies. That’s 720-810 cookies these student-bakers put out in total, night after night.
Although it’s open from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., bakers arrive a half an hour before opening the basement cafe to prepare the batter. “We usually start warming the butter at 9:45,” Kevin Cheng ’17 said. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest, though there is a solid Sunday contingent after the Catholic mass in the above building that ends at 11 p.m. I visited on a Monday night, so there was a slow but steady stream of people coming in for a bite.
Julie Kwong ’16 only started working at Murray-Dodge two months ago, but working there was on her bucket list. When a friend publicized open positions for bakers — a job sponsored by the Federal Work-Study Program — she applied.
“I thought I’d get more work done,” she admitted, “but actually I spend a lot of time coming up with cool new concoctions for the cookies. It’s definitely taken away a lot of stress.”
Alex Cuadrado ’16 also enjoys figuring out new cookie ideas, some of which include wasabi chocolate syrup and lemon rosemary. “I come up with new ideas every day,” he said. “I don’t use recipes.”
An Iron Baker competition was held two weeks ago, and each of the Murray-Dodge bakers who participated had to use a unique “secret ingredient” during the competition. Kwong’s were Pringles, so ultimately she decided to aim for salty rather than sweet and used pancake mix instead of flour.
When asked about unpopular cookie flavors, the bakers couldn’t seem to think of an answer. “I think most people have the good sense not to complain about stuff that’s free,” Cuadrado said. Still, some flavors are bigger crowd-pleasers than others. “There should always be at least one chocolate chip,” Cuadrado added.
On Monday night, the three different cookies were available: “Kevin’s Classic Chocolate Chip,” “Some Chocolate Shit” and “Julie’s Sugary Snickerdoodles.” All were delicious.