I Find Joy In Baking—Here’s Why It Brings Me Peace!

My life-and-death battle with cancer helped me realize how much joy baking has brought me over the years.

Dr. Kyri Mosley of Kyris Kookies Share A Personal Essay
Photos by Lauren Liz

As the founder of Kyri’s Kookies, everyone assumes I’ve always been a baker, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. As a child, baking seemed super difficult and precise after I watched my great-grandmother grind flour and cream butter by hand. 

Cooking, on the other hand, came naturally. [I made my first Thanksgiving dinner when I was nine and never once measured ingredients.]

The first time I tried to bake a cake, my girlfriend suggested a recipe, but I was so accustomed to doing whatever I wanted in the kitchen that I didn’t follow the directions. That first attempt was a disaster, but it taught me to respect the science of baking. 

After that learning curve, I soon found peace in baking.

Learning How To Bake Kindness Into Cookies

Kyris Kookies
Photo by Lauren Liz

I didn’t truly appreciate baking until my divorce in 2009. I needed something to help me focus my attention on others instead of myself, so I asked my son if he wanted to help me bake cookies and bread for the troops.

Instead of wallowing in our grief, my son and I went to the kitchen and baked. After receiving our baked goods via mail, letters of thanks poured in from troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our healing journey felt complete.

Baking soon became my second language. 

The Rise Of Kyri’s Kookies

When I served with a team of tireless medical providers, I told them how much I admired their work with batches of cookies. When I received a clean bill of health after battling stage four Ewing sarcoma, I told my treatment team, “Thank you” with fresh-baked cookies. 

Each time I expressed my appreciation with fresh-baked goods, people would urge me to share my baking with the world.

Kyris Kookies Baking
Photo by Lauren Liz

I never envisioned myself starting a baking business, but my life-and-death battle with cancer helped me realize how much joy baking brought me. 

Now, it’s my full-time job to make cookies that bring people joy. I bake them, pray over them, and send them out to do their job of putting smiles on people’s faces.

Treasured Memories In The Kitchen

When times get hard, I bake through them. One of my most treasured memories is baking with my son just after remission. The cancer was gone, but I had lost the ability to walk and felt chronic pain. 

Sometime during intensive physical therapy, I wanted to start baking. 

To help me do it, my son set a chair at the table and brought me all the ingredients I needed. Every day, he asked, “What do you want to bake today, Mom?” When I chose a recipe, he always said, “I got you, Mom.”

That memory comes to my mind every time I bake. My son knew I wasn’t well and sacrificed to help me — I’ll never forget it.

Baking Brings Me Peace And Joy

Dr. Kyri Mosley of Kyris Kookies Share A Personal Essay
Photo by Lauren Liz

I bake every day, and not just cookies for my business. My family loves my homemade cornbread, biscuits, cakes, and cinnamon rolls— and I love baking for them.

My Kyri’s Kookies’ crew often teases me about being in my own world when I bake. When I get into a zone, I can easily bake 500 Kyri’s Kookies.

That being said, if I could only bake one thing for the rest of my life, it would be cookies. I could have made a business around cakes, but cookies have always been my favorite. I just love giving people the experience of the crunchy and tender side of a cookie all at once. You know you’re biting into a great cookie when the edges are crispy, and the center is soft.

Whether I’m baking cookies, cakes, or bread, I feel a sense of peace and joy that I can’t explain. Watching people’s responses in my Kookie Kafé is such a pleasure. I feel like I’m giving them a piece of myself. I put my heart into my work, and they get to see it — it’s pure joy.

A Freshly Baked Cookie Can Provide A Fresh Start

Running a business has its stressful moments, but baking allows me to relax. Nothing else gives me the same kind of joy. I love seeing the fresh miracle of a new cookie, cake, or loaf of bread come to life. You start with flour, and the result is so beautiful.

With the right ingredients, that same beautiful transformation happens in people, too. 

At my bakery, I like to employ people who need a new start. I get to teach them a new trade and watch it change their heart. One gentleman who had recently come out of prison looked at a batch of Kyri’s Kookies he’d pulled from the oven and told me, “My heart feels so soft. I can’t believe that I made that.”

Dr. Kyri Mosley of Kyris Kookies Share A Personal Essay
Photo by Lauren Liz

A pile of plain ingredients also helped transform my story. I grew up in the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn. Day by day, as new ingredients blended into my life, I watched them come together to create something wholly new and beautiful.

To me, every cookie is a powerful reminder of what each of us can become. When you see a bag of flour, it’s not that exciting. Once you add other ingredients, you see a transformation and an amazing product that you had a part in creating. It’s not just a cookie — it’s a vehicle to share happiness with other people.

Why You Should Give Baking A Try

Baking is not for everyone, but everyone ought to give it a try. You just might find peace that you never thought possible.

Just remember to respect the science of baking. Your results depend on how cold the butter is, the temperature of the room, and whether or not it’s raining outside. Everything around you is part of the science. 

You’ll realize how beautiful baking can be if you just follow the process. After trial and error, I know exactly what I need to do to create a new recipe or flavor. To really understand the process of baking is an amazing feeling. 

God uses my baking to make people smile, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Dr. Kyri Mosley, founder of Kyri's Kookies, established her organic kookie company in 2009 and re-launched it in July 2021. Known as the ‘Kookie Kween,’ Kyri’s passion for baking began in her childhood kitchen with her grandmother. She started baking with her son in 2009 and shipped treats to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as her colleagues and patients at the Community Hospital in Brooklyn.

Diagnosed with Stage 4 Ewing Sarcoma in 2019, Dr. Kyri defeated cancer and shifted her focus to baking, leaving her medical career to officially relaunch Kyri’s Kookies in 2021. Since then, Kyri’s Kookies has become an Oprah’s Favorite and is sold nationally at locations including the Thompson Buckhead and Savannah, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Grand Hyatt Buckhead, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort, Hyatt Regency Dallas, Marriott Marquis Atlanta, and Hyatt Regency Greenwich.