Mo’s Sweet Kitchen’s giant, 5-oz cookies are our newest Tampa obsession

stacks of cookies filled with chocolate

Mo’s Sweet Kitchen is a Tampa-based gourmet cookie and Alfajores company that offers pick up and delivery to residents. Owner Monica Martinez officially debuted the business on May 18, 2021. 

On Tuesday, Tampa’s newest cookie concept—Mo’s Sweet Kitchen—officially opened its doors for business. That’s right; after 3 months of being tempted by mouthwatering Instagram photos, you can finally devour one of Monica “Mo” Martinez’s massive, 5-oz treats. Today, I met with the leading lady herself to do precisely that.

“They’re really gooey and chocolatey,” Mo stated as she pulled a box of 6 decadent giants from the back of her SUV. Glancing up at the Florida sun, she handed me the package. “I hope they’re not too melted.”

As we headed towards a nearby picnic table, I peeked through the transparent cover of the white bakery box. Secretly, I kind of hoped that the chocolate chip mountains inside had melted a bit. Warm, messy cookies are the best, and, as far as I’m concerned, humans are washable.

Oozing caramel and rich spoons of peanut butter

Once we reached our al-fresco dessert-tasting destination, Mo peeled back the top of the package, fully revealing its contents. In the top left corner, liquid caramel oozed from a colossal, walnut loaded cookie, while peanut butter coursed through another on the right. Starting in the upper row, Mo walked me through the flavors.

“Dulce de leche, white and milk chocolate, peanut butter…”

As she worked her way down the list, my eyes caught a smaller box. Noticing my gaze, she pulled the cube-shaped package to the middle of the table.

“These—” she stated, her pride-filled focus locking onto the box, “—Are my alfajores.”

She carefully removed the cover revealing 4 exquisite Latin American sandwich cookies. Two were delicately rolled in coconut, two were hand-dipped and drizzled with various chocolates, and all were stuffed with a thick layer of dulce de leche. Rarely do I see this cultural classic attempted domestically, but, from the looks of it, Mo had them down to a science.

Soft-baked cookie dough and melt-in-your-mouth shortbread

After much debate about where to begin my sweet feast, I decided to tear into Mo’s best-selling flavor; the caramel stuffed, chocolate chip walnut. As my teeth gently broke through the thin layer of baked crust into the soft pools of dough beneath, I was overwhelmed by just how warm and tender the masterpiece of a cookie was.

“I tend to underbake my cookies just a little bit,” Mo shared as my tastebuds made it to the liquid core of caramel. “That way if people ever decide to reheat them, they’ll still be soft and gooey.”

Mentally lost in a sugary paradise, I pulled the treat from my mouth. From the almost raw dough, to the drippy, caramel center, this was a melty, sloppy indulgent mess—in the absolute best way possible.

With the 5-oz “not-so-traditional” cookies tried, I moved on to the little box of alfajores. For those of you unfamiliar with this classic Latin American treat, it’s essentially a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread sandwich cookie that’s filled with—of course—dulce de leche. Instead of using standard flour, though, alfajores use a flour blend that is much more heavily cornstarch based. As a result, the final product is notably softer and more buttery than your average shortbread.

In addition to the traditional coconut-rolled alfajore, Mo also offers a chocolate (and white chocolate) dipped version. Eager to continue my heavenly dessert experience, I decided on the classic and the white chocolate. Both were absolutely divine, and I couldn’t recommend them enough. In my opinion, they were even better than her Instagram-famous five-ouncers, but I’d honestly just suggest ordering an obscene amount of both.

Baking with heart and passion

Thoroughly impressed by Mo’s baking prowess, I had to know where she gained her culinary training.

“Honestly,” she told me, “I just kind of watched a lot of baking shows.”

We both laughed at her frank reveal.

“I really like the Food Network.”

Liking the Food Network, however, doesn’t usually prompt someone to take up a full-time food career, because—if that were the case—I’d pretty much be a living, breathing Publix by now. Realizing that her answer wasn’t going to suffice, she continued.

“I’ve loved baking since I was 21 years old, and it’s always been my dream to own a bakery. I never followed that dream, though. I actually got a bio degree and worked an 8 to 5.”

Arms in her lap, Mo’s gaze drifted towards the distant horizon, while simultaneously seeming to sink deep within herself.

“But a few months ago my son Leo turned two. On his birthday I looked at him and realized, ‘Time goes really  fast.’ That moment was the turning point for me. Life is so quick, I couldn’t just think about my passions. I had to just do it—I had to make them a reality.”

With this week’s opening, and (at least 6) stellar cookie recipes, it’s looking like Mo’s baking dreams are about to manifest into a smashing success.

Ready to order?

Wondering how to get your hands on a box of Mo’s Sweet Kitchen treats? Luckily for you, that’s the easy part. All cookie offerings are available at https://mos-sweet-kitchen.square.site/.

If you live in Tampa, your order ($20 min) probably falls in the free delivery zone, so all you have to do is relax and salivate over the impending arrival of your new dessert obsession. If you live in St. Pete—or anywhere else in the Bay Area—you can opt for pick up, or pay a small delivery fee.

Whether you claim one for pick up, or order 25 for delivery, there is really no wrong way to order Mo’s. From cocoa-dusted to peanut butter stuffed, the only cookie you’ll ever regret is the one you didn’t eat.

To explore all of Mo’s Sweet Kitchen’s delicious offerings, foodies can visit the store’s official website above, or find them on Instagram: @mos_sweet_kitchen. 

Kara VanDooijeweert is a current journalism student at Rutgers University. If you can't find her in the Bay's best restaurants, she's probably off exploring the wilderness. Catch her on instagram, @karanicolev.