Chelsea Market

Located in the Meat-Packing district of Manhattan resides a foodie’s paradise. It stands on a large plot of land that stretches from west 16th street-west 15th street and 9th avenue-10th avenue; if you have ever walked throughout New York City, you know how long avenues can be. It seems to extend very far while walking inside the market but it also is an extremely enjoyable method of walking an avenue. Although it is a major tourist attraction, us locals can still enjoy the market on the regular basis since there is always new things to try from the vendors and recently added seating arrangements, leaving plenty of great places to relax, reflect, and recharge.

Seeing all the people walk and lounge throughout the market makes it hard to see what it used to be, a factory for NABISCO (aka National Biscuit Company). NABISCO started in 1898 by a lawyer/businessman named Adolphus Green in Chicago. He curated a merger plan of 40 small mid-western bakeries and 6 small bakeries from the New York Biscuit Company (created by William Moore). In 1906 the headquarters was moved from Chicago to Manhattan (what is now Chelsea Market) and was labeled the world’s largest bakery of its time. The very popular Oreo cookie was first manufactured between those walls, changing milk for kids nationwide. NABISCO left the building in the 1940’s and left behind the factory space. It is now home to many vendors after complete renovations had been done on the space by Vandeburg Architects in 1998. They stripped the space to its brick facades and utilized recycled industrial objects throughout the market, in a way making the remodel eco-friendly while giving it more of a grungy industrial essence. The market is not only a holding space for stores it’s so much more; it’s a indoor park, cafe, art gallery, historical museum, etc. Just think of getting your coffee, cheese, bread, books, or baking supplies from the same address that used to make your childhood’s favorite dunk-able cookies and infamous crackers that were crumbled over many bowls of soup.

Every time I go into an establishment or a public space I always tend to put it in my own mental category of what I would do there, in my opinion this place is perfect for reading, sketching, writing, or catching up with a friend. Try it out and visit the Chelsea Market or visit it again; if you haven’t been there in the last year ,like me, you will probably see newly added stores and exhibits. Nonetheless, it’s always a fun and exciting 800 foot walk, as you weave through the stores.

Uneeda Biscuit Boy

Wishing well collects spare change and gives it to the Salvation Army.

Cookies for a Cause

a row of white chocolate cranberry cookies in a box

Image by: JustCookNYC

This Sunday marks National Cookie Day and is a day of celebration for cookies. Whether chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin, as well as the holiday favorites like gingerbread and sugar cookies, all cookies are celebrated on this particular day. My love for baking has brought me to prepare many cookies. But one of my biggest appreciations of being a baker is when the baked good that you have made, serve a greater purpose. I have written about childhood cancer a few times in terms of how they utilize food in order to fundraise for better treatments for children facing cancer. I’ve always had a place in my heart for children who are battling cancer but this year, it has affected me on a more personal level.

Gretchen and Larry Witt founded Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in 2008, just one year after their son, Liam was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. As childhood cancer did not have enough effective treatments to irrevocably cure cancer and readily allow children to be in remission. The Witts were determined to fundraise with bake sales of cookies to help further the research required to create newer and better treatments of chemotherapy, radiation, and other therapies. Although Liam passed away in early 2011, the Witts continue to fundraise with their non-profit organization aimed towards childhood cancers. Their main focus is to build communities to fight against a disease that children simply battle alone. Childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer of children in the United States as thirty-six children are diagnosed with cancer every day. And with the help of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, nine treatments have been created to help cure pediatric cancers. They encourage others to sell cookies under their organization’s name in order to raise more money to the contribution of benefiting pediatric cancer patients. It allows everyone to get involved with this amazing cause that continues to aid many children. Each child that is remission due to these new progressive medicines makes the Witts’ campaign even more important and valuable. As it allows the ‘C’ to only stand for cookies as it continues to minimize the tragic effects of childhood cancer.

cookie dough being placed on a sheet pan

Image by: Luis

My main goal with baking as I aspire to be a pastry chef is to bring the world together by way of desserts, and this cause truly benefits children who desperately need our help. Something as simple and minute as a cookie has been an advocate for a greater cause and that is what I am trying to portray. So “Be a Good Cookie” as the Witts proclaim, and find ways to help out your community whether it be for childhood cancer or for any other cause. Our greatest gift on earth is to be able to serve and help others to may this world a better place.

Comment some ways in which you serve your community or organizations you wish to work with/donate to.

National Cookie Day

This past Friday marked National Cookie Day, some places had a few sales but many did not. The day almost went by completely unnoticed as some still shared their favorite cookie recipes.

Over the weekend, I made a bunch of cookies to celebrate the special day. I made a variety of cookies. While I made some of the classics like chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and white chocolate chip chocolate cookies, it allowed me to have time to try out some new ones. But I tried some new cookies which are called alfajores, these cookies are of a Spanish origin and varies from different countries such as Spain, Argentina as they each have their own way of the production of this particular cookie. It is a sandwich cookie and taste like a cross between a shortbread and a butter cookie. The cookie itself is extremely low in sugar which is counteracted by the sweetness of the dulce de leche that sandwiched between the cookies. The cookie has a lighter finish as it uses corn starch instead of the usual flour so it crumbles easily. And the flavor is just simply divine and almost indescribable. It is unlike any other cookie I have ever tasted in my life. I placed the recipe that I used below so you all can have a chance to make your own alfajores.


Prep time:  20 mins

Cook time:  8 mins

Total time:  28 mins

Serves: 35 alfajores


2 cups corn starch, sifted

⅔ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

4 egg yolks

2 tablespoons fresh milk (if necessary)

1 (14-ounce) can dulce de leche

Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed, for 3 minutes; add the butter and continue beating. Stop the mixer.

Add the corn starch and baking powder in three parts, using a spatula, then knead lightly with your hand until the dough is no longer sticky. If the dough feels dry add the milk.

On a floured table, roll the dough with a floured rolling pin to form a very thin layer, about a ⅛ inch.

To make the cookies cut the dough with round cookie cutters, and bake for 8 minutes in ungreased baking sheets. If you don’t have cookie cutters, be creative. You can use the top of a glass or cup, which will make slightly bigger alfajores.

Cool the cookies on racks. When completely cool, fill them with a teaspoon dulce de leche. Place another cookie on top, like a sandwich, and sift the confectioner’s sugar over the alfajores.

Recipe adapted from PeruDelights

I also had the pleasure of making my own dulce de leche which is remarkably easy. I used four cans of sweetened condensed milk, peeled off the label and placed it in a big pot of water. By gradually adding water so that the cans were always covered, it was fully cooked it about six hours but can vary depending on the heat applied and how the cans lay, it is better if it is on its side.

So share and comment, what your favorite cookie recipe is or simply your favorite cookie. And have you ever heard of this cookie before? During this time with the holidays approaching, it is almost necessary to know how to cook or bake certain items. Christmas marks a time for food, family, and activities.