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d*s video: baked interview and recipe!

by Grace Bonney

sometimes people ask me what my favorite things are. my favorite shop? my favorite place to buy fabric in the city? normally these sorts of questions elicit a long “umm…” from me as i try to decide in my head between all of the great places that exist in new york. but the one question that i can answer quickly and without a doubt in my head is: “what is your favorite bakery in new york?”. that’s easy- it’s baked.

located in red hook, brooklyn- baked is hands down the coolest bakery i know. founded and run by matt lewis and renato poliafito, baked specializes in the sort of classic american desserts that warm your heart before they’ve even hit your mouth. their famous brownies, mini-cupcakes, cookies, and, of course- their infamous sweet and salty cake (made with caramel and salt- so good!)- are worth the trip over to red hook that i take once a month. a bakery that is worth calling a car service or renting a zipcar for is definitely something to hold on to. so i decided that baked (and matt and renato) would be a great subject for our next video.

so i hope you’ll enjoy second installment of d*s videos: baked part 1 (the interview) and baked part 2 (the cooking demo and recipe). in the first segment you’ll hear an interview with matt and renato and get to see the interior of their beautiful store (designed by brooklynites ruby and sather of hivemind design). in the second segment matt and renato will be baking- and sharing- their delicious peanut butter and milk chocolate chunk cookie recipe. it is seriously a must-make. i made 20 of these cookies this week and have had at least one for breakfast since. really, they’re that good.

so just click play below to watch both videos. thanks again to matt and renato for all of their help, and to jimmy benedetto for filming and creating our video. and last but not least- matt and renato have a new book out! their delicious new recipe book, baked: new frontiers in baking (stewart, tabori, and chang, 2008), is on sale now for $29.95 right here (you can choose from several online shops). i’ve been poring through it for the past few weeks and it’s quickly become my new favorite cook book. everything is easy and beautifully shot by photographer tina rupp. click here to check it out. [photos above by tina rupp]

PART ONE: Interview with Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito of Baked

PART TWO: Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookie Recipe and Demo

( Please note: The full recipe and instructions are after the jump! Just click here or click “read more” below to see the ingredient list and recipe)

Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks

courtesy of Baked and their new cookbook, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking.


1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces good milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and peanut butter and beat until just incorporated. (We forgot the peanut butter in the video, sorry!)

Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, very gently press each cookie down so it forms a very tall disk shape. Do not press too hard and do not press it flat.

Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the tops of the cookies just begin to brown.

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  • AGREED! We love Baked at my apartment. Definitely worth the trip to Red Hook. The coffee, desserts, and the store itself are all amazing.

    I love that they have the bakery behind glass so you can see the decorating. And then there’s the pink grout. And the mocha–Yum!

  • I cannot wait to try the sweet and salty cake! The thought of that is enough to get my lazy Park Slope bum off the couch and over to Red Hook (and in the rain!).

    And please excuse the annoying grammar lesson (I can’t help myself), but I think it should be “poring.” http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/pore.html

  • I completely agree about the perfection of Baked! We go a couple times/month to Baked for a family breakfast on the weekend. Definitely every time we have a zip car, but its so good that we just as often take the bus from Boerum Hill.

  • thank you thank you for this video! it’s my dream to open a little bakery just like this someday, and i love seeing how other people have made it work.

    i live too far away to taste them in person, but i’ll be looking for the book to come out so i can try some of those delicious cakes!

    great job grace!

  • This is my favorite NY bakery, and I don’t even live there. Every time I visit, I adjust my schedule to venture over!

  • Thanks for showing the inside of baked. I always enjoy well designed retail spaces and good ones are hard to find online.

  • f-

    just a quick note- the baked guys says dark chocolate actually tastes bitter next to the peanut butter, so to stick to milk chocolate.

    and sorry for the grammar error- just fixed it :)


  • Yay, Baked! Love, love, love the cupcakes, cakes and granola. Driving out to Red Hook is no problem for the pure pleasure of being in Baked heaven.

  • Aw man! I wish I lived in the area. This place looks fantastic. I have a bit of a crush on Matt now.

  • There are many days when I’d trade my quiet wilderness for some great metropolitan delicacies like a fabulous bakery; or a really terrific restaurant. You New Yorkers are lucky ducks!

  • Those look so tasty! A question: The recipe says 2 tsp. soda, but in the video, you just added one. Do you know which is correct? Thanks!

  • josie

    i double checked the recipe book and it’s 2 tsp. of baking soda. i’d trust the book. we may have made a mistake i didn’t know about in the video. sorry!

    we certainly have a lot to learn and improve on with videos, thanks for hanging in there with us as we learn and improve.

    lesson #1 of this week: always invest in a mic so people can hear the sound. sorry about that.


  • I don’t live in New York, but I have been following these guys since I saw them on an episode of “Recipe for Success” on Fine Living Network. As a guy who is opening my own little restaurant soon, Baked is a design and culinary inspiration. The cookies are in the refrigerator right now!

  • I just tried this recipe out, and it was a huge hit with all of my friends! the use of quality chocolate makes a huge difference in this recipe. and how cute is matt!?

  • lane

    the book doesn’t specify so i imagine you can use either. i’d prefer the taste of regular (non sugar free) peanut butter in a cookie though- sounds like it goes better with the whole sweet theme ;)


  • yum!

    grace…i didn’t get a chance to speak with you personally, but i loved your talk at squam. you gave such valuable information and advice. an amazing addition to such an amazing weekend.


  • I made this recipe this morning and even referred to the video as I have a history of baking gone terribly wrong…the dough is chilling in the fridge right now, but based on a little taste i snuck, its going to be FANTASTIC! i am bringing this to a party tonight!

  • Matt and Renato are the best. I was the prop stylist on the book. It was the most fun with dessert plates and forks (and bark and little plastic deer) than i usually get to have. And of course, Tina did a brilliant job as always. Luisa, the creative director was also really great. Very happy to have been be part of the Baked Book team…