If you are a sweets enthusiast, it is likely you have heard of Baked, a bakery located in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. For those who have not had the opportunity to visit the store, the accompanying cookbook, Baked Explorations written by Baked’s owners Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, has provided many a homebaker with the resources to create Baked’s famous treats at home.
Red Hook is not an easily accessible area, especially if you take public transit (which explains why I have not been there more often). But clearly that has not stopped throngs of fans venturing from far away places to indulge in a bevy of treats. Baked has a dizzying selection of several confections: cakes, cupcakes, bars, cookies, marshmallows, brownies, macaroons, whoopie pies, biscotti, and more. Above, the Burnt Sugar Bundt.
Certain items have garnered accolades and high praise, one being the Lemon Drop cupcake. I actually tried it for the first time just weeks before Serious Eats proclaimed it one of the best cupcakes in New York in 2010. The buttery, yellow cake is filled with a sweet and velvety lemon curd. A dollop of smooth buttercream adds a pleasant lightness to the rich curd-filled cake.
Another highly regarded item is the Sweet & Salty brownie, who counts among its fans none other than Oprah. I was moved to try the brownie after seeing it on an episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate (though if you watch the episode, be forewarned that they misrepresented the brownie slightly, sadly there is no layer of salted caramel in the middle). The brownie is chewy and moist, not overly decadent, with a dusting of salt on top.
In hindsight, I could have opted for something more exciting than the ordinary chocolate chip cookie, like a whoopie pie or the Burnt Sugar Bundt. But alas, sometimes that old standby just calls, especially when it looks like this. Baked’s version is thick with a crisp, sturdy exterior, slightly melted chocolate chunks and a chewy center. If I were to head back there today, I’d probably order the cookie again. And a slice of the Burnt Sugar Bundt for good measure.
359 Van Brunt St