Tag Archives: Broadway Baker

New York Desserts and Crain’s Made in New York Event

Ovenly's Brooklyn Blackout Cake - Photo Courtesy of Ovenly (NYC)

Ovenly’s Brooklyn Blackout Cake – Photo Courtesy of Ovenly (NYC)

I recently attended Crain’s Made in New York, an event which connects the small business food and beverage community with retailers and buyers.  As a dessert glutton, I think I fall into the “buyer” category.

Cake Slices from Make My Bake - Photo Courtesy of Make My Cake (NYC)

Cake Slices from Make My Cake – Photo Courtesy of Make My Cake (NYC)

 

These are some of the dessert-related exhibitors:

"Grandma's Mix-Up Bars" from Broadway Baker - Photo Courtesy of Broadway Baker (NYC)

“Grandma’s Mix-Up Bar” from Broadway Baker – Photo Courtesy of Broadway Baker (NYC)

Broadway Baker – Baked goods are produced in small batches using recipes that have been in the family for three generations.  Broadway Baker’s offerings include “Major Brownies,” “Grandma’s Mix-Up Bars” (chocolate, coconut, crushed pecans atop a graham cracker crust, drizzled with a sweet cream glaze), chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and more.  A portion of the sales of the treats are donated to charities.  Also see the Dessert Surveillance posting on Broadway Baker.

Cupcakes from Brooklyn Cupcake - Photo Courtesy  of Brooklyn Cupcake (NYC)

Cupcakes from Brooklyn Cupcake – Photo Courtesy of Brooklyn Cupcake (NYC)

 

Brooklyn Cupcake – Started by two sisters, along with help from a cousin, Brooklyn Cupcake’s menu reflects the founders’ Puerto Rican and Italian heritage.  Cupcake flavors include: Dulce de Leche, Flan de Queso (vanilla cake with homemade flan), Guava con Queso (yellow cake with guava paste and guava jelly), Rainbow Cookie (inspired by classic Italian rainbow cookies), as well as more traditional Cupcake flavors.

Beer & Pretzel Caramels from Liddabit Sweets - Photo Courtesy of Liddabit Sweets (NYC)

Beer & Pretzel Caramels from Liddabit Sweets – Photo Courtesy of Liddabit Sweets (NYC)

Liddabit Sweets – Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels and Beer & Pretzel Caramels are this Brooklyn confectioner’s two most popular products.  The kick in the Beer Caramels comes from Brooklyn Brewery’s Brown Ale and East India Pale Ale.  And let’s not forget about Candy Bars.  “The King” – a milk chocolate covered peanut butter and banana ganache bar is named after, you guessed it, Elvis.

Red Velvet Cake from Make My Cake - Photo Courtesy of Make My Cake (NYC)

Red Velvet Cake from Make My Cake – Photo Courtesy of Make My Cake (NYC)

Make My Cake – Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and pies are produced using family recipes that combine the southern traditions of Mississippi and Alabama along with Harlem soul.  Cake flavors include Red Velvet, Butter, Carrot Cake, Double Chocolate, Caramel, Coconut Pineapple, Lemon Butter, Strawberry Layer, and German Chocolate Throwdown.

Ovenly's Cookies with Oats, Currants, Apricots and Spices - Photo Courtesy of Ovenly (NYC)

Ovenly’s Cookies with Oats, Currants, Apricots and Spices – Photo Courtesy of Ovenly (NYC)

Brooklyn-based Ovenly incorporates interesting flavor combinations in its baked goods.  Ovenly’s offerings include Honey Blondies, Montego Bay Bars (date + cocoa), Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pistachio Agave Cookies, Carrot + Honey Buttercream Cupcakes, Cornflake Blueberry Muffins, Cinnamon Nutella Quick Bread, shortbread with espresso and burnt sugar and more. A number of these items are vegan, wheat-free, or gluten-free.

Logo of the Specialty Food Association - Image Courtesy of the Specialty Food Association (NYC)

Logo of the Specialty Food Association – Image Courtesy of the Specialty Food Association (NYC)

In addition to looking at (and tasting) exhibitors’ offerings, you could also attend seminars. I attended a very interesting one, which profiled the Specialty Food Consumer.  Here’s a very small sampling of what Denise Purcell, Editor/Senior Director, Content Development, of the Specialty Food Association, reported on:

■ Chocolate, Olive Oil & Other Specialty Oils, and Cheese are the top three categories of specialty foods purchased.  Frozen Desserts/Ice Cream took 6th place while 9th place was taken by Bread & Baked Goods.

■ 18 to 24 year olds are the group most likely to use Chocolate, Salty Snacks, Frozen Desserts, and other Packaged, Ready-to-Eat Food and Beverages

■ Taste is consistently the No. 1 reason for trying a new product

■ Slightly less than one-half (49%) of specialty food consumers purchase food online .  This drops to 14% when looking at online sales of Chocolate.

I’m glad I live in an area where so many dessert entrepreneurs are turning out their very tasty treats!

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Early Summer Product Roundup

Key Lime Cookies from Broadway Baker (NYC) - Photo Courtesy of Broadway Baker

Key Lime Cookies from Broadway Baker (NYC) – Photo Courtesy of Broadway Baker

Let’s look at some products that are either seasonal, new, or just plain interesting.

Christopher Elbow's Fresh Lemon Chocolate - Photo Courtesy of Christopher Elbow (Kansas City, MO)

Christopher Elbow’s Fresh Lemon Chocolate – Photo Courtesy of Christopher Elbow (Kansas City, MO)

Christopher Elbow’s Fresh Lemon Chocolate – a combination of Lemon Pate de Fruit (a lemon jelly candy) and Lemon White Chocolate Ganache.  As I adore white chocolate and like lemon, and think they pair beautifully, I think it’s a pity you don’t see more desserts with this combination. Interestingly, even though lemons are available year-round, this is more of a seasonal summer treat.  Since lemon and other citrus fruits are so refreshing, citrus desserts are firmly entrenched in the summer months.

Broadway Baker's Key Lime Cookies - Photo Courtesy of Broadway Baker (NYC)

Broadway Baker’s Key Lime Cookies – Photo Courtesy of Broadway Baker (NYC)

Another summer citrus dessert is Broadway Baker’s Key Lime Cookie.  (Also see the Dessert Surveillance posting on Key Lime Pie.). It’s a butter cookie infused with Key Lime juice and zest and to complete the summery Key Lime package, it’s topped with a smooth Key Lime frosting.

Jeni's Key Lime Pie Cultured Yogurt - Photo Courtesy of Jeni's (Columbus, OH)

Jeni’s Key Lime Pie Cultured Yogurt – Photo Courtesy of Jeni’s (Columbus, OH)

 

Key Lime also makes its presence known in frozen yogurt.  Jeni’s offers a limited-time “Cultured Key Lime Pie Frozen Yogurt” flavor. In addition to Key Lime juice, milk and yogurt, this frozen treat sports pieces of graham cracker crust.

Graeter's Summer Peach Ice Cream - Photo Courtesy of Graeter's (Cincinnati, OH)

Graeter’s Summer Peach Ice Cream – Photo Courtesy of Graeter’s (Cincinnati, OH)

Peaches are in season in the summer and what better way to celebrate their arrival than to combine them with ice cream.  On Graeter’s line-up is a limited edition Summer Peach flavor.

Mokaccino Bar from Tcho - Photo Courtesy of Tcho (Berkeley, CA)

Mokaccino Bar from Tcho – Photo Courtesy of Tcho (Berkeley, CA)

And for those of us that are serious about both our Coffee and our Chocolate and like the idea of combining them, Tcho’s Mokaccino Bar is a Milk Chocolate Bar with Blue Bottle brand Coffee.

Guido Sobino's White Chocolate Bar with Crunchy Hazelnuts - Photo Courtesy of Guido Sobino (Italy)

Guido Sobino’s White Chocolate Bar with Crunchy Hazelnuts – Photo Courtesy of Guido Sobino (Italy)

Of course, I couldn’t include just one White Chocolate candy.   Italian Chocolatier, Guido Sobino, offers a Bianco Pralinato (White Chocolate Bar with Crunchy Hazelnuts).

Venchi's Chocolate-Coated Cremino Bigusto Piemonte Bar - Photo Courtesy of Venchi (Italy)

Venchi’s Chocolate-Coated Cremino Bigusto Piemonte Bar – Photo Courtesy of Venchi (Italy)

Chocolate-Coated Cremino Bigusto Piemonte is a chunky bar with a layer of white chocolate, a layer of hazelnut paste and to make things even more interesting, both layers are wrapped in a thin coating of dark chocolate.  This Chocolate Bar is the product of another Italian Chocolatier, Venchi.

Choc Chick's Organic Cacao Butter - Photo Courtesy of Choc Chick (UK)

Choc Chick’s Organic Cacao Butter – Photo Courtesy of Choc Chick (UK)

Do-it-yourselfers can purchase cacao butter only – that’s right, cacao butter,  the foundation of white chocolate.  Since you’re adding sugar and flavorings you’re customizing your White Chocolate Truffles.  Choc Chick, the company that offers this Cacao Butter, also sells kits with Cacao Powder so you can craft your own Chocolate Truffles.

So many summer desserts…..why isn’t summer longer?

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips - Photo Courtesy of Ghiradelli

Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips – Photo Courtesy of Ghiradelli

Chocolate Chip Cookies are a truly classic American dessert.

So what would make them stand out?  An extremely unconventional baking method?  Sounds like that might do it.

As reported in The New York Times in 2009, (and it originally appeared on MSNBC),  a New Hampshire woman baked Chocolate Chip Cookies on the dash of her Toyota RAV4.  Since the temperature inside a car can get quite high, it can function as an oven.

For those seeking Chocolate Chip Cookies prepared in a somewhat more traditional manner, what varieties are available and what’s popular?

Levain Bakery's Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie -Photo Courtesy of Levain Bakery (NYC)

Levain Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie – Photo Courtesy of Levain Bakery (NYC)

New York City-based Levain Bakery offers a Classic Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie as well as a Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie.  A spokesperson for Levain said “All of our Cookies are popular, but the Classic (Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie) tends to get the most press so it is our most popular Cookie…….Chocolate Chip Cookies offer so many options:  large or small; with or without nuts; fat or thin; soft or crunchy; super sweet or salty; so many variations so people can be satisfied with their own favorite “Chocolate Chip Cookie.”  The Levain spokesperson also observed that foreigners are fascinated by American Cookies.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies from Broadway Baker (NYC) - Photo Courtesy of Broadway Baker

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies from Broadway Baker (NYC) – Photo Courtesy of Broadway Baker

Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of the most popular Cookies for New York City-based Broadway Baker.  (The number one spot goes to Lemon Raspberry Shortbread Cookies.)  Jim Osorno, owner of Broadway Baker said he has also made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies.  And he’s working on a gluten-free version with unsweetened coconut and crushed pecans.

Wildflour Pastry in Charleston, South Carolina - Photo Courtesy of Wildflour Pastry

Wildflour Pastry in Charleston, South Carolina – Photo Courtesy of Wildflour Pastry

Lauren Mitterer of WildFlour Pastry in Charleston, South Carolina, reported:  “We offer a regular Chocolate Chip Cookie and a Double Chocolate Chip Cookie.  We have occasionally done Mint Chocolate Chip and Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies, although they are not in the daily offerings.  I think they [Chocolate Chip Cookies] are holding steady….with chefs pushing the envelope in flavor combinations, they are a nice return home.”

Classic Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Cookie from Bumzy's - Photo Courtesy of Bumzy's (San Francisco)

Classic Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Cookie from Bumzy’s – Photo Courtesy of Bumzy’s (San Francisco)

Toni of San Francisco-based Bumzy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies pointed out that National Chip Cookie Day is May 15th.  She also noted that the “Bumzy’s Classic,” a plain semi-sweet Chocolate Chip Cookie, tends to sell out first.  But the Double Chocolate Chip Cookie is also very popular.  And the “Bumzy’s Classic with Nuts” also goes over well with customers.

I’m ready to dig into a piece of Americana!

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Brownies and Blondies

Samples of "Walnut WItches" at the Fat WItch Bakery

Samples of “Walnut Witches” at the Fat Witch Bakery

Brownie purists may debate the finer points of dense, fudgy brownies versus brownies that are more cake-like.  But I think this detracts from the wider issue—the brownie versus blondie match-up.

Before I started doing brownie/blondie research for this posting, I assumed that brownies would trounce blondies in a popularity contest.  As you’ll see below, that isn’t the case.

Blondies from Sweet Sam's Baking Company

Blondies from Sweet Sam’s Baking Company

Sweet Sam’s Baking Company offers a variety of baked goods—including coffee cake, loaf cakes, cookies, brownies, as well as blondies.  Two brownies are in the line-up: a Walnut Brownie and the more popular Chocolate Chunk Brownie.  Interestingly, over the last year, sales of the Blondie were double that of the Chocolate Chunk Brownie.  And blondies have always been ahead of brownies in sales.

White Chocolate Raspberry Brownies from the Cake Sculptress

White Chocolate Raspberry Brownies from the Cake Sculptress

As the name implies, the Cake Sculptress specializes in 3D/sculpted cakes.  However for brownie and blondie fans, 11 types of brownies and 5 types of blondies are available.  The three best-selling brownies are: Triple Chocolate; Mint Chocolate Chip; and White Chocolate Raspberry.  The Cake Sculptress sells more Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Blondies than brownies.  Rebecca Goss, of the Cake Sculptress, speculates that people have become a bit disenchanted with brownies, seeing them as ordinary, though tasty, and nothing more.  However, she thinks blondies will never take the place of brownies because of the nostalgia and comfort offered by brownies.  Rebecca relayed an interesting brownie trend: brownie wedding cakes made a brief appearance as an alternative to traditional wedding cakes.

Grandma's Mix-Up Bars from Broadway Baker

A “Grandma’s Mix-Up Bar” from Broadway Baker

The Broadway Baker’s “Grandma’s Mix-Up Bars” sport a graham cracker crust made from homemade graham crackers.  Perched on top of this crust:  Belgian chocolate, unsweetened coconut, and crushed pecans.  A sweet cream is then drizzled over everything.  (For purposes of this post, I’ll take liberties and classify these bars as blondies.) Jim Osorno of the Broadway Baker reports that Grandma’s Mix-Up Bars are more popular than his brownie offering, “Major Brownies.”  Also see the Dessert Surveillance Broadway Baker posting.

Wrapped "Witches" at the Fat Witch Bakery

Wrapped “Witches” at the Fat Witch Bakery

In keeping with the whimsical witch theme, at the Fat Witch Bakery, brownies and blondies are known as “Witches.” Witch types include: Fat Witch (regular brownie); Red Witch (brownie with dried cherries); Java Witch (brownie with cappuccino chocolate chips); Snow Witch (with white chocolate instead of chocolate); and the Blonde Witch (blondie).  To keep Fat Witch devotees from suffering from too much guilt, a few of the Witches are available in small sizes, known as Baby Witches.  Seasonal flavors round out the offerings: a Pumpkin Witch and Pecan Bars.  And new Witch types are planned.  Pat Helding, the founder and CEO of the Fat Witch Bakery has an interesting take on the brownie versus blondie debate: Blondies are a New York City thing so brownies will still get more points in a national popularity contest.

And of the companies above, 3 of the 4 are based in New York City, although they ship nationwide.  The Cake Sculptress is based in Massachusetts.   What does this mean?  I need to ask these questions of more companies outside of the New York City area.  Stay tuned for Part 2 of Brownies and Blondies.

And in the meantime, I have an important decision to make:  I have a brownie and a blondie in my freezer.  Which one do I scarf down now?  Hmmmm…..

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