Well, I’ve found it. It’s taken a lot of research. It’s taken a lot of time. But I’ve finally found it.

The very best chocolate chip cookie on the planet is baked and sold at Market on Main right here in Somerset, Ky.

It is chewy, but not under baked.

It is big, but not ridiculous.

It is so loaded with chocolate that it appears as both chips and layers.

It is perfect.

Making it even more so is this cookie is baked by a 11-year-old boy named James Aramini. He started baking cookies after he decided he wanted to climb Mt. Denali in Alaska.

His mom and stepdad, who own Market on Main, told him if that was his wish, he was going to need to make some moolah.

So James took out his favorite cookbook, became a certified food handler, and started baking.

As an aside, can I just say that I love parents who parent this way? I feel like, in this day and age, kids often get to college without even having had a summer job. But those jobs, whether you’re working a cash register or cleaning a deep fryer, are so important in building character.

Anyway, when it comes to character, James has plenty of it.

In December, he read No Summit Out of Sight, a book about the youngest kid to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

“He was really inspired to climb one of the summits and we thought, from a logistical standpoint, Mt. Denali seems the most feasible since it wouldn’t require leaving the country,” said his mom, Jamie.

The cookies, which he bakes in the certified kitchen at Market on Main, have sold so well he’s decided to re-invest his earnings to buy an industrial-grade mixer. So far, he’s sold about 500 cookies. He also has an order for 144 of them for Valentine’s Day, “which he’s a little nervous about,” Jamie said.

But he’s going for it and, apparently, having a good time along the way.

“The best part about baking is obviously getting to eat cookies pretty much whenever I want,” he said.

Now.

Readers.

Regardless of how terrific this story is (and isn’t that nice evidence that great things stem from great stories?), the cookies are just excellent.

I feel confident in saying so because I’ve spent my adult life buying every chocolate chip cookie I come across. At every café. Every bakery. From every restaurant menu. Every grocery store.

The Pennyloaf Bakery in Winnipeg came close. But not close enough.

In addition to chocolate chip, James makes snickerdoodles, which are buttery lovehearts with the perfect degree of chew as well as a kiss of cinnamon. He also makes chocolate crinkles (a solid chocolate cookie covered in powdered sugar), but I haven’t tried those yet because I’m still working off all the chocolate chip cookies I wolfed down last week.

But as soon as I can get my waistline back in check, I’ll be back in line for more of James’s cookies.

So, for my Somerset readers, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, go directly to Market on Main for the loveliest little pick-me-up.

For my London readers, I promise you, if you love cookies, it is worth the trip, which, incidentally, will land you in a charming boutique filled with foodie finds and Kentucky-made gifty items.

Wherever you hail from, not a lot of us have a ton going on these days. And pure joy can be a difficult thing to find during a 100-year pandemic.

So, treat yo’self. And help a kid climb a mountain.

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