Black and White Cookies - The real thing!

Black and White Cookies - The real thing!

Along with many business owners I am not a huge fan of Yelp. I prefer to talk to my customers face to face. When I do respond to online reviews, good or bad, I do my best to be polite and sensitive to the person's point of view. Once in awhile though someone pushes my buttons and I need to respond from the heart. In this case someone submitted a review on Yelp claiming that The Bakery's Black and White Cookies were "not good" because they "should be more cake like". Here is the response I posted:

"I don't usually respond to reviews this way, but you have stated something as if it were a fact that is simply wrong. Everyone has their own idea about how foods should taste and there is no point to arguing about that.

However Black and White Cookies along with Rugulah, Macaroons, Butter Cookies, Babka, Challah, Bagels, Bialys and a few other items are our signature products and we are extremely proud of them. I grew up in Brooklyn during the 1950's and I practically lived on Black and White Cookies. When I opened my bakery almost 40 years ago I went back to the bakeries that I grew up with and spoke to the old time bakers and learned how to make these products so that my Black and Whites and other products were as authentic as could be using old school recipes and techniques.

While it may be true that many bakeries and especially supermarket bakeries today make these cookies as you say "cake like" that is not how an authentic Black and White Cookie should taste.

I have always run my business with the assumption that the customer is always right and we do take all criticism seriously, but there is also a responsibility when you are part of a tradition to make sure that authenticity prevails even if modern tastes sometimes change.”


Gallery Show - June 2018

Janice Racine Cohen grew up in an eccentric family, allowed to follow her curiosities: creating art, reading, thinking, dancing, and spending hours and hours in solitude in nature. An observer and recorder of the world in its complexity and depth, her curiosity took her to New York City, where she enjoyed a career designing, installing and programming mainframe computer systems and managing IT departments. Her colleagues often noted with amusement that her approach to logic flow and problem solving was not like theirs, but rather based upon following the path of visual patterns she saw in her mind – often sketched out by her during business meetings. The president of one company made it known that she could sketch anytime, anywhere, when she was thinking through a problem. Whenever possible, after work Janice would head over to the Salmagundi Club to study watercolor painting, or attend an open sketch session, or just paint on her own. 
Moving to New Paltz, as a busy wife and mom of three, Janice expanded her creative endeavors to landscape design at their home on Mohonk Mountain – a living canvas of the most exquisite luminous nature. Always keeping art in her life, she has studied with Franklin Alexander and Staats Fasoldt at Woodstock School of Art, Barbara Burge, Karen Kaapcke, Minerva Durham, and at the Art Students League and School of Visual Arts. She hopes you enjoy this small representation of art she has created over the years. It includes works in oils, pastels, watercolors, pen and ink, and charcoal. 


Energy Bars get around!

Every once in a while I like to check the metrics for our website, especially now that we are using Squarespace which makes it so easy. The most fun is looking at Referrals which tells you how people found their way to your website.  Of course most are the expected sites like Google, Yahoo, and the local travel sites. But this week I noticed one from a site I hadn't seen before called

Years ago, in 2008, we got a call from Melissa Wagenberg Lasher at Runners World who had tried our Energy Bars and wanted to print the recipe in the magazine. Later it was included in the Runner's World Cookbook.  Now it seems that our Energy Bar recipe has resurfaced in a new food blog for athletes. 

I started making these energy bars in 1975 when I was the baker at the Wildflour Bakery/Cafe. I brought them to The Bakery when we opened in 1981 and we still make them every day. If my math is correct we have served over 100,000 energy bars over the past 40 years!  Originally I got the recipe from a collective bakery in Rochester called the Blessed Thistle. 

If you haven't tried an Energy Bar from The Bakery please stop in. They are healthy and full of natural goodness. Almonds, cashews, dates, apricots, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, sesame tahini, honey, and vanilla. According to the Athlete Food blog they are "the only bars I've ever had that fill me up for three or four hours". 

For more info on the health benefits of running:


Local Ingredients at The Bakery

Cooking at The Bakery yesterday I realized it was really mid summer. Almost everything in the case had locally grown ingredients. Sesame String Beans, Broccoli Crunch Salad, Sauteed Summer Squash, Cucumber Salad, local Lettuce in all our sandwiches, the Eggplant I was grilling for our Purple People Eater Sandwich, the Basil in the Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. Next week Kale Caesar Salad and soon we'll have real homegrown tomatoes for all our sandwiches and salads. For dessert the case is full of local blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and rhubarb.

Much of our produce is grown and cared for by Jerry Nuzzo. Jerry is retired from a lifetime of owning Chez Joey, the iconic New Paltz pizza restaurant. Way before all of us discovered "local produce" Jerry was already growing his own tomatoes, eggplants, basil, parsley, zucchini, broccoli, peppers, and lettuce for his restaurant. If you ordered an eggplant parm hero at Chez Joey in the summer you were getting an eggplant that Jerry grew. Even the pizza sauce was made from tomatoes that he grew and canned for the restaurant. He didn't do it to follow a trend. He's Italian and he lived in the country and that's how his father did it before him.

Jerry is well into his 70's now, but he still grows his fruit and vegetables and that is what your getting at The Bakery. He even grows the flowers  that go out on the tables. 


Halloween Proposal at The Bakery

Halloween was amazing last night!!! Great pumpkins, free food, music, and lots of people in wild costumes. But it was really special for Kyle and Janice who got engaged at The Bakery. Kyle proposed by carving a pumpkin and entering it in the contest. When Janice saw it there was Kyle down on one knee. The pumpkins will be up through the weekend and there is a photo of every pumpkin on our website.

Update: Kyle and Janice got married this summer and sent us this photo. Congratulations!

More Reasons to Shop Local!

There has been much talk lately about local businesses vs chain stores. It's true that both can create jobs, but there is more to it than that. Here are just a few former Bakery employees who have taken what they learned here and started their own business. The benefits of shopping local resonate exponentially. Anna Roberts-cake decorator went on to start Something Sweet Dessert Cafe in Middletown, Justine Leger-chef went on to start Bridge Creek Catering and Cafe in New Paltz, Ursula Woinoski-baker and our first manager went on to start the Wine Hutch in Kingston, Marcella Robin-cake decorator went on to start M. Robin Cake Design in Portland, Oregon, Jarek Wysocki-bakery intern went on to start Babycakes Cafe in Poughkeepsie, Jason White-counter staff went on start Segway of the Hudson Valley, Amara Projanski-cake decorator went on to start Chronogram. And there are many more successful people and job creators who have started their careers at The Bakery and all of our wonderful New Paltz businesses. Shop local - it's an investment in our future.

Simit - A delicious new treat from Turkey


When my son Isaac returned from five months in Istanbul, and  began working at The Bakery, he was happy to find that he was able to speak Turkish to some of our customers. It turns out that there are quite a few Turkish students at SUNY New Paltz and they like The Bakery. I asked him what the most popular bakery food in Turkey was and he said Simit.

Simit is something like a bagel but softer inside, a little sweet, and covered in sesame seeds. It's sold by street vendors all over Turkey. It was easy to find recipes on the internet and even You Tube videos showing how to make it (I love watching professional bakers smoking cigarettes while they bake). When Turkish people living abroad are asked what food they miss most they often say Simit.

We started making Simit and found that it sells out every day. It's great plain or with any of our homemade cream cheese spreads. The Turkish students love it and feel welcome in New Paltz and our American customers are happy to try something new.