Jim Osorno opened Broadway Baker in 2019 after a first career as a performer on New York’s famed Broadway. The baker operated as an online store for a few years and his small-batch, family recipes garnered accolades far and wide.
Osorno said the bakery’s top-selling sweet is grandma’s mix-up bars, which is based on a recipe Osorno’s Grandma used to make. They’re made with bittersweet chocolate chunks, coconut and crushed pecans drizzled with sweet cream atop a homemade graham cracker crust.
Close behind is lemon raspberry shortbread, Osorno said. The bakery uses his grandmother’s shortbread recipe, infuses it with lemon zest and adds a dollop of organic raspberry preserves on top. Broadway Baker’s salted caramel brownies, which were featured in O Magazine in 2017, are also popular.
His Cranberry Pecan Cornbread is a holiday treat based on one of his favorite NYC restaurants, Home and their Sage Cornbread.
“I took out the Sage, added cranberries, pecans and whole kernel corn for texture, crunch, and extra sweetness,” he said. “I also switched out whole milk for buttermilk (because I enjoy the creamy tangy flavor of buttermilk). And I added sour cream for more moisture and creaminess and of course I added more salt (because I love salt) and more butter too.
He said the bread incorporates fall flavors and staples and is quite hearty. It’s great with salads, to dunk in soup, serve with chili or just eat and enjoy on its own. He said it also pairs nicely with turkey and meats for holiday dinners.
“I love cooking and baking with as many local and organic ingredients as possible,” he said. “This loaf gives me a feeling of comfort when both making it and eating it — it also makes for a wonderful gift: wrap it in clear wrap, place it in a clear cello bag and tie a ribbon and bow and give it to your neighbors, teachers, mail carriers.”
In the Osorno household, holidays are really defined by the gathering of friends and family to share company and food. He said his memories of the holiday season are full of comfort, joy, home, love, friendship, wonderful baking, cooking aromas wafting in the kitchen and entire house.
However, he’s become accustomed to new traditions in his adopted home.
“I don’t miss the NYC cold,” he said. “It’s very fun hanging out on the beach on Christmas Day!!
CRANBERRY PECAN CORN BREAD
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter; softened
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter; softened (for later)
3/4 cup dried cranberries (steep for 10 minutes in water that’s been brought to a boil)
1/2 cup crushed pecans
1 cup fire roasted frozen corn (thawed) or 2 ears fresh Farmers Market corn (if using FM corn, saute w/ butter in skillet for 5-10 minutes).
I love to use as many local and organic ingredients as possible (Santa Monica’s Farmers Markets and Co-opportunity are both wonderful sources for fresh + organic ingredients).
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and parchment line an 8×4-inch loaf pan (at the bakery we bake these into mini loaves).
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low for 1 minute to combine. Add cranberries, pecans + corn. Mix thru.
In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, sour cream and 4 Tablespoons butter.
Pour your buttermilk mixture into stand mixing bowl and mix on low until just combined.
Pour your batter into your butter and parchment lined pan.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Spread the 1 Tablespoon softened butter on the entire top of your loaf.
Bake for 10-15 more minutes until the top is browned to your liking and baked thru.
Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Plate, cut and Enjoy!