I discovered Broadway Baker (www.broadwaybaker.com) at a Williams-Sonoma Artisan Market in Manhattan. These Artisan Markets showcase local artisan food producers.
Jim Osorno, owner of Broadway Baker, was a singer and dancer on Broadway before devoting himself to another passion — baking. His company bakes a variety of cookies, brownies, and cupcakes to order. A Carrot Raisin Oat Mini-Loaf and granola round out Broadway Baker’s product line. At the Artisan Market, I purchased the Lemon Raspberry Shortbread Cookies and they were great.
Growing up, Jim was always in the kitchen, baking and cooking with his parents and grandmother. A lot of the recipes he uses today were his mother’s and grandmother’s that he added his own twist to. For example, the Lemon Raspberry Shortbread Cookies are based on his grandmother’s Shortbread Cookie recipe — to which he added lemon zest and raspberry preserves. One of his favorite treats as a child was his grandmother’s “Mix-Up Bars.” And “Grandma’s Mix-Up Bars” are one of his brownie offerings now. A homemade graham cracker crust is topped with semi-sweet chocolate, unsweetened coconut, and crushed pecans, then the bars are drizzled with a sweet cream glaze. His “Mom’s Granola” is based on the granola that his mother prepared for him for breakfast.
Jim decided to experiment with gluten-free baking when he learned that his friend Michele was diagnosed with Celiac disease. She’s one of his “go-to” taste testers when he tries out new recipes and he wanted her to continue enjoying Broadway Baker’s treats. Today Broadway Baker offers a number of gluten-free products, including: Belgian Brownies, Nutty Peanut Butter Cookies, Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream. (Gluten-free items are baked in a kitchen in which wheat is present.)
He takes very seriously his desire to help others. A portion of Broadway Baker’s sales are donated to these charities: Alzheimer’s Association – NYC Chapter, ASPCA, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. After Super Storm Sandy, he donated 10% of the sales of special cookie and cupcake packages to the New York Cares charity for Super Storm Sandy relief.
We’ll check back with Jim to see if there’s any Broadway Baker news.