I never know where I’m going to find delicious Jersey-made foods. Last week, for example, my Manhattan-based chiropractor turned me on to Linden-based Baker’s Bounty, a bakery I’ll be supporting enthusiastically for years to come.
How did Dr. Joe wake up my taste buds, fatigued from too many baked goods this time of year?
With egg nog cake. It sounds like a natural, doesn’t it? Bakers should use creamy, rich egg nog in a cake. When he showed me the cake, it looked like an ordinary loaf cake with crumb topping, which is already perfection, but I knew that the egg nog would make it even better.
And it did. Rich and moist, this densely-flavored but light textured cake delivered. Serve it with a cold glass of milk or with–double your pleasure–egg nog itself.
Or take a page from the cookbooks of the South and serve it with hard sauce . Keep gilding the lily by adding some grated fresh ginger to the hard sauce and BOOM, you’ll be smacking your lips with extra holiday spirit.
Baker’s Bounty has been owned by the LaPrete family since 1978, and is now in its second generation of bakers.They warm my heart with statements like this on their web site:
“We still use no machines, still roll and fold our famous Scratch Danish by hand, and we still bake our fresh handmade breads in brick ovens.
“We also still appreciate and respect the efforts of others who wish to support their families by doing what they love. We are proud that using local fruits and veggies supports our community of small businesses and farmers while helping to bring our customers all-natural baked goods made from the purest, farm fresh ingredients.”
Now that’s a philosophy I want to support, and if I need to buy a lot of Danish to do it, well that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make!
The bakery posts its list of suppliers on the web site. They support customers by posting nutritional information, including lists of ingredients, such as these:
· Anisette Biscotti: Flour, eggs, sugar, baking powder, honey, anise oil.
· Rugelach: Cream cheese, butter, flour, sugar, apricot preserve, raspberry preserve, walnuts, vanilla, salt, currants, cinnamon.
· Carrot Cake with Icing: Flour, sugar, carrots, eggs, vegetable oil, walnuts, pineapple, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cream cheese, butter, vanilla.
Now isn’t that how you’d make it if you did it yourself? No ersatz ingredients, and every thing here can be pronounced by a third grader (shout out to Michael Pollan for his are-you-sure-you-want-to-buy-it test for a purchased food item).
For the Holidays, Baker’s Bounty offers classic goods like mince pie, pear ginger pie, holiday cookies, fruit stollen, and of course that modern classic, egg nog cake.
Although you can visit Baker’s Bounty in Linden, they also bring their products to a wide range of farmers’ markets in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey (Jersey farmers’ markets are closed for the winter, for reasons I have yet to understand.)