Category Archives: Brownie

Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

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I saw these peanut butter Cheerio bars from Cookin’ Cowgirl and had some cereal on hand so I decided to make them. I used multigrain Cheerios and corn flakes. I didn’t have corn syrup, so I used golden syrup instead which actually made a really sweet bar. Now, I wanted to make the version in the smaller pan, but when I was done with the ingredients, it fit only in the larger pan.

These are really tasty and disappear quickly!

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Dina’s Guide to NYC Old World Bakeries

I love old world bakeries.  Whenever I visit a new city, I always look for old bakeries.  I don’t care if they look dirty or grungy from the outside, or if they have outdated signs out front.  Those signs are a sure “sign” that deliciousness awaits me inside. I feel good that I am supporting a family and the local economy as well as eating something that was made with pride and craft.  So if you are visiting NYC or if you live here, when you eat at most of the bakeries on this list, you are supporting local families and businesses that represent the history and culture of this diverse city.

In this list, I’ve tried to include all old world bakeries in Manhattan.  If I missed one, by all means, tell me about it because I’d love to go there.  (I’m focusing on the more “touristy” part of Manhattan.  This list doesn’t include Mexican or Dominican bakeries in Upper Manhattan, such as Bakery el Panadero, Capri, De Colores Bakery, Dyckman’s, D’Lillian’s, El Barrio, El Manantial, El Nazareno, Esmeraldo’s, Floridita, Grinis, Kenny Bakery, Las Americas, Mi Querido Mexico Lindo or Sweet Life Bakery.  It also doesn’t include kosher bakery Gideon’s, Hungarian Pastry Shop, Asian bakery In & Out or Ethiopian Injera Bakery.  Sounds like a bakery tour of Upper Manhattan is in order!)

I’ve written about Italian bakeries in Manhattan before in Dina’s Guide to NYC Italian Bakeries.  My favorite bakeries are old school and traditional German, Jewish and Italian ones.  There is only one German bakery and only one Jewish bakery left in Manhattan.  (As far as I know–please tell me if there are more.  There are other places to get German and Jewish baked goods, ex. Zabar’s, but not other old school bakeries.  East Broadway Kosher on Grand near Kossar’s closed, but I’m not sure if it reopened?  Last time I was there, it was closed.)  In this list I’m including bakeries that have sweet bakery items.  Following that is a list of specialty old world bakeries that make bread, knishes, bialys etc.  Many of these places are cash only, so go prepared.

moishes

Moishe’sLower East Side, Grand Street at East Broadway, and East Village, 2nd Avenue at 7th Street, Moishe’s is my favorite bakery in the city–the quintessential bakery.  I am addicted to Moishe’s.  The best hamentaschen, the best black and white cookies, the best rainbow cookies.  I’ve never had anything here that wasn’t delicious.  It’s no frills with graffiti on the window, but who cares?  I’m here for the cookies, not the decor.  They do have a new sign out front, but I’m keeping this photo of the old one.  I’ve sung the praises of Moishe’s many times. 

Poseidon Bakery

PoseidonHell’s Kitchen, 9th Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets, At 90 years old, Poseidon is still family owned and the only Greek bakery in Manhattan, and one of the last businesses in what used to be a Greek neighborhood.  Here, you can get delicious Greek goodies like baklava and cookies.  The handmade phyllo dough strudels are a must-get.  I’ve written about Poseidon before.

Glaser's

Glaser’s Bake ShopYorkville, Upper East Side, 1st Avenue at 87th Street, Family-owned since 1902, Glaser’s is the only German bakery in Manhattan in what used to be a German neighborhood.  It still turns out amazing crumb cake, jelly doughnuts and danishes.  However, it also makes American favorites like brownies too.  This is an old school bakery at its best.  Check out the beautiful wood interior and tile floor.  I’ve written about Glaser’s before.

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La DeliceKips Bay, 3rd Avenue at 27th Street, La Delice is an old school bakery with a variety of classic baked goods and beautiful cakes.  They have many colorful macarons.

Andre’s HungarianMidtown East, 1st Avenue at 57th Street and Upper East Side, 2nd Avenue at 85th Street, Andre’s is the place to go for traditional, handmade strudel and other Hungarian pastries and gorgeous cakes.

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FerraraLittle Italy, Grand Street at Mulberry,  Ferrara, a legendary Italian pastry shop, opened in 1892 by Enrico Scoppa and Antonio Ferrara.  The fifth-generation pastry shop gained fame when Enrico Caruso became a regular.   Ferrara’s became well-known for its cannoli and torrone.  Talk about being a kid in a candy store.  I take one look at the glass case of glistening glazed fruit atop an array of pastries in a myriad of colors, and I’m mesmerized.  The pastry case at Ferrara’s is a work of art.  When I talk to people who’ve never been to an Italian bakery, I show them pictures of Ferrara’s.  Everyone in my family will attest to Ferrara’s being the gold standard of New York Italian pastries.

Ferrara's pastries

Ferrara’s pastries

La Bella FerraraLittle Italy, Mulberry Street at Canal, is an old school bakery.  Walk in here and the waft of fresh-baked cookies fills the air.  Many are displayed in the usual bakery case but there’s also a table of cookies that reminds me of the dessert table at a family party.

Veniero's pastry

Veniero’sEast Village, East 11th Street at 1st Avenue, Veniero’s claims to be America’s oldest pastry shop, opening in 1894.  Veniero’s is also owned by Bruce Springsteen’s cousin.  It has a beautiful display of traditional Italian pastries as well as a cafe.

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Pasticceria RoccoWest Village, Bleecker Street near Carmine, is the last man standing in this old Italian neighborhood even though the pastry shop itself is not that old.  (Rocco Generoso apprenticed with the owner of a prior bakery before purchasing it and renaming it in 1974.  Now, Rocco Jr. is at the helm.)  My family came from this area, lived on Carmine Street and went to Our Lady of Pompeii Church across the street.   The big fat cookies in the window beckon you into the bakery, but get the cheesecake.  It’s the best in the city, hands down.  (Yes, better than Junior’s.)

William Greenberg DessertsUpper East Side, Madison Avenue at 82nd Street, Rugelach, black and whites, hamentaschen, rainbow cookies and Linzers…need I say more?  Oh yeah, how about black and whites in custom colors?

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Orwasher’s, Upper East Side, 78th Street at 2nd Avenue, Orwasher’s opened in 1916 and was known for its Eastern European-style bread.  The bakery got a new owner in 2007 who added other European artisanal breads, and there are still the same wonderful pastries.  Did I mention fill-to-order jelly doughnuts and the sweetest staff in NYC?

Fay Davarious locations, While I’m not an expert in Chinese baked goods, I’ve been to many bakeries in Chinatown.  Fay Da is my favorite with consistently fresh and tasty pastries.

Specialty Bakeries

Russ & DaughtersLower East Side, Houston Street at Orchard Street, Celebrating 100 years this year, Russ & Daughters is a classic NYC institution.  It is in this category because it specializes in smoked fish and also has baked goods like babka, rugelach and macaroons.  But it also serves a bit of feminist history.  As the original owner had no sons, he left his shop to his daughters, hence the name.

Kossar’sLower East Side, Grand Street at Essex Street, Kossar’s specializes in bialys.

Yonah SchimmelLower East Side, Houston Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, Yonah Schimmel has specialized in knishes for over 100 years.

Parisi BakeryLittle Italy, two locations at Elizabeth and Mott Streets,  Family-owned for over 100 years, Parisi Bakery specializes in bread and deli sandwiches.

 

–Dina Di Maio

Two for Tuesday: St. Patrick’s Day Treats

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Here are some St. Patrick’s Day treats.  No, they aren’t traditional.  They are just green.  Green desserts are either mint or lime, so here is one of each.  I made brownies with green mint chips.  I had looked all over Manhattan for green chocolate chips and couldn’t find them.   My family found these for me.

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They are Guittard green mint chips.  Just make your favorite homemade or box brownies and add these chips.  To prevent them from settling on the bottom, just flour them before you add them.  They offer a wee bit of green for St. Patty’s Day.

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I also revisited the cherry white chocolate pudding cookies from Valentine’s Day. This time, I used sugar-free lime Jell-O and sugar-free cheesecake pudding to make White Chocolate Lime Cheesecake Cookies to green it up for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Vanilla Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I made these vanilla peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars from Feed Your Soul Too.  I saw this recipe and wanted to try the Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful.  It is pretty wonderful on its own but also very delicious in these bars.

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Two for Tuesday: Protein Brownies

OK, which is better?  A brownie from The Protein Bakery or a homemade black bean brownie?

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Let’s do a side-by-side of the Wicked Mint Brownie vs the standard homemade black bean brownie.  First of all, I love the green mint chips of the Wicked Mint Brownie.  I was looking all over for these for St. Patrick’s Day to no avail.

black bean brownie

Which one is prettier?  Protein Bakery.

Which one tastes more like a brownie?  Protein Bakery.  It’s delicious.  The black bean brownie is kind of bitter but still good.

Which one has a texture more like a brownie?  Protein Bakery–it’s like a real brownie.  The black bean brownie is a little wet.

Which one is healthier?  The homemade one.  Wicked Mint Brownie is 300 calories with 20 g of carbs.  The black bean brownie has 56.5 calories.

What about the protein?  The protein in Wicked Mint Brownie comes from whey while the black bean brownie’s comes from black beans.  I prefer the beans.

Verdict:  I’d save the Wicked Mint brownie for an occasional brownie fix when you really want a brownie.  They are delicious and could potentially be addictive.  The homemade brownies are snacks you can eat on a regular basis, and it would be perfectly OK to eat more than one.

Black Bean Brownies

I saw a recipe in the latest issue of Woman’s World for black bean brownies as part of a diet plan adapted from the South Beach Diet.  I always look for low-carb sweets, so I decided to make them.  The only change I made was using extra dark cocoa powder and adding cocoa nibs.  It’s an easy recipe.  Just combine a can of drained black beans, 4 eggs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup Splenda, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor and process til smooth.  Spray a square cake pan with cooking spray and put batter in pan.  Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Voila.  These are very chocolatey and yummy, especially if you are on a diet!  I would totally make these for kids to fake them out.  Without the cocoa nibs, each square comes to 56.5 calories, 3.1 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of fiber.  If you’re on Weight Watchers, that’s 1 point.  Pretty sweet treat!

Chocolate yum in a box!

I can’t recall ever making chocolate chip cookies or brownies from a box mix, but I recently bought two of Jacques Torres’s mixes from King Arthur flour.  The first, a chocolate chip-type cookie called French Kiss. 

The box included a bag of cookie mix and a bag of chocolate disks.

This is the batter:

and the finished product:

This mix made the most delish, chocolatey cookies ever!  They were great warm from the oven or when they cooled or even microwaved to make the chocolate gooey.

The Pure Bliss brownies were also rich and chocolatey.

The box contained the brownie mix and a bag of chocolate disks.

The brownie batter after baking:

and after the glaze:

The finished product:

These should be cooled before they are cut, but I couldn’t wait.  So the brownie in this pic has jagged edges.  Afterwards, I still couldn’t wait, so I put the brownies in the refrigerator and after a while, they got nice and hard.  They tasted more like a chocolate candy.  These were rich and delicious and VERY chocolatey.