Apr 15, 2011

Vlog # 12 – “Five Borough Friday” – Staten Island Sweet Journey

We’re starting a new series today called “Five Borough Friday.”  On select Fridays, we will explore a different borough of this amazing city we call home and hopefully give you a little flavor of each of the boroughs.  First stop…. Staten Island.  Our crew hopped on the Staten Island Ferry and headed over to meet husband-wife team James {also known as the “Cake Chef”} and Maria Carrozza, who co-own The Cake Chef and The Cookie Jar.

In Staten Island, you hear more about The Cake Chef than any boss.  He is a celebrity on the Island, and for good reason.  The bakery has been turning out delicious, homemade custom cakes for 22 years. Everything is made with fresh ingredients, right down to the fresh strawberry puree in the strawberry shortcake we made together.  After sampling cakes and pastries at The Cake Chef, we headed over to The Cookie Jar, James and Maria’s other bakery.

Several years ago, James started collecting cookie jars as a hobby and grew a collection to over 1,000 vintage jars. James and Maria’s customers also began asking them to make more of their delicious cookies in addition to his cakes. Soon thereafter, The Cookie Jar was created.  You can view James’ amazing cookie jar collection in the store and taste over 140 handmade cookies in their store.  Just look here to see all of the varieties – you won’t believe how many there are.  What I found so special about this bakery is that James and Maria have mastered making different cookies from all over the globe.  From Dutch shortbread to Italian Florentine to Greek Nut Balls to American classics like peanut butter & jelly cookies and whoopie pies, every single cookie is excellent.  It is rare to master so many different techniques and they have done it.  They also have a selection of some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever tasted {the chocolate peanut butter and red velvets were my faves!}  For non-Staten Islanders, this place is a real hidden gem!

James and Maria now sell their handmade cookies in the cookie jars that cover the walls of the store.  They also ship their cookies all over the U.S.  James and Maria and The Cake Chef/Cookie Jar staff could not be more gracious.  This is definitely worth the trip to Staten Island!

A sampling of the huge collection of Cookie Jars

The Cookies!

Chocolate Chip cookies right out of the oven.

Heading back to Manhattan on the ferry…

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