A customer once told Stephanie Knorzer eating one of her macarons is like that chewing gum scene in the Willy Wonka movie — the perfectly stacked flavors were a pleasant surprise.
Funny enough, Knorzer, who opened up The Cookie Shop Long Island in March, originally didn’t want to be a full-time baker.
The California native and now Coram resident started out at culinary school and recalls “never wanting to do any pastry or baking.”
“It’s so funny because my mom would always be like, ‘But your baking is so good,’ and I was like ‘no mom I don’t want to do it,’” Knorzer said.
After working in restaurants her whole life, meeting her husband, and moving to New York, Knorzer quit her previous restaurant job to become a full-time mom.
“I wanted to help financially in some way, and when my friends come over I always bake cookies for desserts, so I thought maybe I could try selling them,” she said.
She turned to Facebook and numerous requests for specialty cakes and cookies came in — her success snowballed from there.
“I always did parking lot pickups for cakes and nobody ever complained, but it was strange,” she joked. “I kept telling my husband I just want a store because it’s so awkward to meet people to pick up a cake.”
Now three years later, Knorzer altered her business model from parking lots to her very own storefront in Centereach.
The Cookie Shop Long Island specializes in artisan tart cakes, custom cookies, macarons, and other treats — all made from scratch.
Knorzer’s tart cakes are simply fruit tarts arranged in a different form, she says.
Inside there is fruit filling, she composes the cake with pastry cream, then tops it with a whipped cream frosting.
It’s a light, delicate dessert that isn’t too sweet and more “flavor-forward,” she says.
“I get that chef side of me that wants to be able to control the flavor balance,” she said. “Everything is well thought out and planned, and it’s so funny because when people eat the macarons, their faces change when chewing.”
Knorzer said she is meticulous in making sure each flavor tastes the way it should.
Tart cake cones and edible cookie dough are now featured on the menu.
Knorzer hosts cookie decorating classes and other workshops at the shop too.
“The most exciting compliment people tell me is ‘it’s so like Brooklyn in here,'” she said. “That’s exactly what I wanted, something exciting that is closer to home.”
The Cookie Shop LI is located at 115 Mark Tree Rd. Suite 6 in Centereach and is open Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Top: Dessert creations from The Cookie Shop LI, courtesy of the shop’s Instagram.