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Archive for the 'Big Girl News' Category

Big Girls don’t fry … but they sure do bake

June 25, 2008
Big Girls don’t fry … but they sure do bake

Ted Hesson
InTown Westchester
Growing up, Jody, Aimee and Regina Milano shared everything, from bedrooms to hand-me-down clothes. So when, in 2006, they decided to ditch their “corporatey” jobs and launch Big Girl Baking Co., an all-natural cookie and cake business based in Bronxville, it was a return to their childhood days - when the sisters crammed into a Yonkers apartment with their parents and brother.
Although they don’t use family recipes, for the most part (their mom, if you can believe it, isn’t really a “sweets person”), they want their baked goods to have a hearty, home-style flavor.
“We didn’t want anything that was too cloying, or too sweet, or generic,” Regina says. “Things taste like what they are, when you bite into one of our products.”
With cookies like the salty, Trail Mix Crunchers and spicy Gingersnaps, the women aren’t burying flavors in sugar. But Big Girl is sweet in other ways: Call them up and you’ll hear a message by Regina’s 5-year-old daughter, Penny - a future Big Girl baker.

From left, Aimee, Regina (seated), Penny and Jody Milano of Big Girl Baking Co. 

Published in: Big Girl News | on October 21st, 2008 | 370 Comments »

Big Girl Bakes Hard

BY JULIA SEXTON
We’ve been noticing a grim trend in bakeries over the last few years: things just don’t taste like they should. We’re finding a sensory void where butter should be, natural vanilla is being replaced by synthetic vanillin, and cheap, industrial mixes and canned fillings are being fobbed off as the work of skilled bakers. Take a good, close taste of what’s passing for a corner bakery nowadays. Except for the tippity-top echelon (and price point), it’s a pretty scary world out there in cookie-land.

Of course, it was bound to happen. The cost of the baker’s bag of tricks—flour, eggs, butter, milk and sugar –has skyrocketed, along with rents for Westchester’s commercial spaces. Meanwhile, bakeries have lost customers to supermarket chains and Costco, places where they’ve got cake frosting machines (and licensing deals) to reproduce trademarked cartoon figures in flavor-free, chemical goo. What corner bakery can compete with Dora the Explorer? It’s a no-brainer. Given their situation, bakeries are taking any help they can get, and if that means substituting shortening for butter, cans of filling for fresh fruit, and vanillin for vanilla, so be it.

That’s why we were pleased to see someone breaking out of the death spiral in modern baked goods. Regina, Aimee and Jody Milano have started Bronxville-based Big Girl Baking Company, whose motto is “Truth in Baking”. It’s an apt phrase to describe Big Girl’s products, all of which are delicious, and go a long way toward redeeming our faith in bakers

Recently, we had the pleasure of tucking into a beautifully-packaged basket of Big Girl goodies. (Folks, did we ever say we hated our job?) Of the cookies, we loved our nut-and-seed studded Trail Mix Crunchers; our chewy, dried cherry-studded Black Forest Chunks, and our delicate Sables du Chocolate. While all were yummy, it was the ginger snaps that we fought our tenaciously clutching husband for. These chewy, gritty-with-sugar, seriously snappy gingersnaps, whose buttery hot ginger notes struck our cookie-loving soul, were perfect—balanced, un-cloying and packed with flavor.

Even more sophisticated than the cookies are Big Girl’s biscotti, which are delicate, crumbly morsels offered in thoughtful flavor combinations. Our favorite was lemon-pine nut, but we look forward to trying black pepper-fig, fennel-golden raisin and anise seed. They’re the perfect thing to munch with a cup of tea, if you can wait long enough for the water to boil.

Best of all, Big Girl offers no trademarked cartoons characters replicated in goo. So how does Big Girl do it? They’re avoiding the expense and headache of a bricks and mortar store and are, for the most part, only available online on their cute, jazzy website. Without rents to account for, these tasty baked goods are a bargain, even counting shipping. Or, for those who need an immediate fix, Chocolations in Mamaroneck carries the whole Big Girl line –excepting their fluffy, pecan-encrusted miniature cheesecakes, which require refrigeration.

www.westchestermagazine.com | by JULIA SEXTON | Wednesday, May 27, 2008

Published in: Big Girl News | on October 21st, 2008 | 355 Comments »

Cookies for Big and Little Kids

Anyone with a bit of patience and the right recipe can make a tasty cookie; it takes brains to make a smart cookie. The three Milano sisters of Big Girl Baking are putting out some wicked interesting edibles via their friendly neighborhood bakery and the Internet.

The Bronxville, New York–based bakery walks the line between sweet and savory. Sablés du chocolate are shortbreadlike chocolate cookies spiked with salt; the interplay is both tasty and compelling. Sweet sesame polenta biscuits are mildly sugary biscottilike cookies with a strong sesame bite and a wonderfully delicate buttery, crumble-in-your mouth texture—again, they’re pleasantly restrained. Both these offerings are for locals only, sold in-house but not online. The “Very Gingery Snaps,” which are available on the website, taste almost underbaked in the best possible sense of the word: They have a velvety texture that plays nicely with the cookie’s snappy spice flavor.

www.chow.com | Posted by James Norton | Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Published in: Big Girl News | on October 21st, 2008 | 374 Comments »