Susan O’Keefe was looking for a commercial kitchen to expand her wholesale baking business when she came across a sunny retail space in Croton-on-Hudson that changed her perspective. Home to a series of pizza parlors, the storefront is now redolent with the smell of baking cookies, cakes and muffins.
Baked by Susan products are still available at county farmers’ markets, gourmet groceries and coffee shops like Croton’s Black Cow. But fans of the old-fashioned, all-natural goodies can now get them directly from the source as well. There is even window seating if you’d like to eat on the spot with a cup of coffee or tea.
The ingredients listed on Ms. O’Keefe’s packages tell the story: there are no preservatives, additives or colorings in her fare, just the basics, like unsalted butter, eggs, wheat flour and cane sugar. There aren’t a lot of fancy decorations or trendy taste combinations either. But the products are expertly baked fresh daily, and their flavors are deeply satisfying in a Proustian way. (Yes, madeleines are often available.)
My favorites include the crispy chocolate chip or gingersnap cookies ($4 for a bag of 10 or $2 for one large); the moist carrot-raisin muffins ($2 each); and the rich brownies ($2 each or four for $8). Crumb cakes and apple crisps ($16 each) both have buttery, thick toppings.