Tag Archives: baking

Junior’s moving its Maspeth cheesecake baking operation to New Jersey

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Property Shark/Scott Bintner

Updated 4:43 p.m.


A slice of Queens is heading to New Jersey.

Junior’s, the famous Brooklyn cheesecake institution, is moving its baking operation from 58-42 Maurice Ave. in Maspeth to Burlington, New Jersey, according to the company.

“We can’t afford the real estate around here,” Alan Rosen, grandson of Harry Rosen, who founded the business in 1950, told Crain’s New York Business, which first reported the relocation.

Its new baking facility across the river also affords more space — 103,000 square feet compared to 20,000 square feet in Queens — and features more refrigeration, freezers and loading docks, according to Rosen.

Junior’s has been reportedly renting the Maspeth facility for the last 15 years to supply its four restaurants in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut, as well as its wholesale and mail-order businesses.

According to Rosen, by July its baking operations will be moved to its New Jersey facility. Up to 75 jobs could be affected by the move, the New York Times reported, but only about 15 employees are expected to come to the new place. Workers were told about the relocation in January following the decision to relocate, which Rosen said was made in late 2014.

The product quality won’t be affected, he said.

“Not one iota. I tested cheesecakes there on Monday with my grandfather looking down on me. [Our cheesecake] has not changed one bit in 64 years,” he told The Courier.

Some baking will continue in New York at its flagship location in Brooklyn, according to a Junior’s spokeswoman. Last year, there was talk of the cheesecake maker selling the 386 Flatbush Ave. building, but the owner decided to stay put.

Rumblings about Junior’s relocation of its Maspeth facility began in 2011 when the city was considering the Maspeth bypass plan — a truck route through an industrial part of the neighborhood. The plan converted the segment of Maurice Avenue where Junior’s factory is located from a two-way street to a one-way thoroughfare.

At a Community Board 5 meeting in June 2011, a lawyer for Junior’s stated that the Maspeth bypass plan was untenable due to delivery logistics, adding that the board was “forcing [Junior’s] to move to Jersey” if it had supported the Maspeth bypass. The board recommended the bypass plan’s approval in July, and the DOT implemented it in November of that year.

Rosen said the Maspeth bypass situation had no impact on Junior’s decision to move from the area.


Experts offer help with holiday baking

| Brandpoint@queenscourier.com


The holiday cookie season – and baking season – has arrived, and home bakers are in a flurry finding favorite recipes, purchasing necessary ingredients and planning for the big baking day. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner in the kitchen, everyone can achieve baking bliss with a little help from-the experts. Hershey’s Cookie Headquarters offers step-by-step recipes, professional tips and exclusive access to a team of experts ready to answer your toughest baking questions.

New this year, a team of 12 of the best bloggers in baking and entertaining will also be on-hand at HersheysKitchens.com to ease your baking worries with how-to videos and gift ideas for “The Sweetest Thing to Bring” everyone on your gift list. Bakers can also submit questions to @HersheyKisses on Twitter to receive real-time answers and join in on the latest conversations with fellow baking enthusiasts.

Many holiday bakers need help achieving the perfect cookie consistency. Visit Hershey’s Cookie Headquarters for expert baking tips like:

* To prevent cookies from becoming hard and tough, avoid adding more flour than necessary to the cookie dough or batter. Taking cookies out of the oven 1 to 2 minutes early may also help keep them soft after they cool.

* To avoid cookies that are too flat, try refrigerating the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes before you scoop them on the tray.- This will keep the dough from spreading too much when placed in a hot oven.

For a fool-proof holiday cookie, try this easy recipe for Hershey’s Peanut Butter Blossoms:

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Yields 4 dozen cookies


48 Hershey’s Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Granulated sugar


Heat oven to 375 F. Remove wrappers from chocolates. -Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. -Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. -Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

How baking serves up a batch of skills for children, tweens and teens

| Brandpoint@queenscourier.com


When you think of baking, your mind probably goes right to warm cookies, fruit-filled cobblers or pies and savory bread. While those are all the happy results of spending some time in the kitchen, when children, tweens and teens get involved in baking, they’ll come away from the experience with a lot more than just happy taste buds.

It’s no secret that kids learn while they’re at play, but baking is a particularly great way to make learning interactive, effective and fun. With so many positive outcomes wrapped up into one activity, teachers, parents and others responsible for helping young people learn can use baking to create hands-on experiences that relate to everything from science to managing money.

Consider all of the ways that baking can apply to school subjects, everyday life skills and a richer food future:

* Science – Chemistry goes hand in hand with baking. A range of results can be clearly seen when including – or leaving out – key ingredients. Biology, agriculture and local food production become real when kids learn where ingredients like flour, butter, sugar, and leavening come from, or the physical changes that occur in a product when substituting ingredients to meet health and nutritional needs.

*Math – Baking is an activity that applies sequencing, ordering, fractions, weights, measures, dimensions, temperatures, adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying. Children can learn at all ages, from the early days when they can stack measuring cups, count out the number of ingredients that go into a recipe to more complex tasks for older kids, like working with fractions and calculating the costs, and savings of do-it-yourself (DIY) baking.

* Health – As you pick out recipes and ingredients for baked goods, it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about the nutritional value and function of the grains, milk, eggs, fruits, veggies, sugars, butter, leavening and salt used in baking. There’s sometimes a misperception that baking can’t be healthy, but teaching kids how to divide and control portion sizes, and to bake using a wide variety of ingredients actually helps young people try new foods and ingredients.

* Personal economics – Learning about managing household resources is a skill that will benefit kids throughout their lives. Baking not only teaches kids how to make delicious foods for themselves, but it also includes lessons about how much it costs when others prepare food for you, how much you can save with a few DIY food skills, saving and managing money. The economics of an active lifestyle includes food skills that save money and time all while burning calories and building traditions.

* Literacy – Another critical skill comes with reading ingredient lists, recipe directions and sequencing preparation steps. Combining reading with baking emphasizes comprehension, because kids apply what they’re reading to an activity. If you miss a step in the instructions or don’t read it properly, it can have a dramatic effect on what you’re baking. But all is not lost – this leads to evaluating the results, problem solving and critical thinking to improve the product.

Baking at home was far more common, if not essential, in past generations. Many adults have lost those skills. However, research conducted in 2011 by Mintel for the Home Baking Association showed that adults still know baking brings value to life – 33 percent say they would bake from scratch, if only they knew how. Because no one’s too old, or young, to learn to bake, it can be a great way for parents and kids to share a learning experience. And if you try out some of grandma’s or great-grandma’s baking recipes, it can be a tradition-rich, multi-generational family affair.

In the classroom or at home, there are countless opportunities for kids to gain a deeper understanding through baking. For classroom baking lessons, after-school activities, kitchen science experiments, a complete baking glossary, resource links and more visit www.homebaking.org. On the site, you’ll also find the DIY Baking Channel, where you can watch baking videos and learn how to make anything from fruit tarts and whole grain breads to pizza and Confetti Cornbread.

Confetti Cornbread

Makes 12, (2.25 ounces/66 grams) squares or wedges


1 cup white, yellow or whole grain cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour (may alternatively use half whole wheat/half all-purpose flour)

1 or 2 tablespoons sugar, optional

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup low-fat milk or skim milk

3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or reduced fat cheese

1/3 cup chopped green onions

1/3 cup chopped green, red and/or yellow peppers


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch square or round baking pan.

3. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar (optional), baking powder and salt in medium mixing bowl.

4. In separate small mixing bowl, beat egg with fork or whisk. Add milk and melted butter, beating well.

5. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients; mix only until dry ingredients are moistened and combined.

6. Stir in cheese, onions and peppers. Do not over mix, the batter will not be smooth. Pour batter into greased pan.

7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Option: Pour batter into greased muffin cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Excerpted from “Baking with Friends,” the 2012 Purple Dragonfly Award-winning children’s cookbook, by Sharon Davis and Charlene Patton. The book has also received the Benjamin Franklin IBPA and Kansas Notable Book awards.