Write Up in LoHud.com
How exciting is this!?!? A full page write up about Aunt Mia's Sweets in LoHud.com ~
Orangeburg bakery a favorite of Rosie, Gov. Cuomo's mom
Rosie O'Donnell is an Aunt Mia's fan. So, too, is Matilda Cuomo.
And Maria Caputo, the owner and sole baker behind the Orangeburg bake shop, still can't believe her good fortune. After all, her journey to owning her own place started with a bet she made with her husband more than eight years ago.
At the time she was working as an office manager — a job she held for 25 years — when she bet him she could make black and white cookies as good as the deli down the street.
It took her three months but the Montebello resident, whose nieces and nephews always referred to her as "Aunt Mia," soon perfected the recipe. Not long after, she was baking for family and friends who insisted she do something more with her self-taught talents. That led to additional recipes and cookies — all of which are made without preservatives and in bite-sized portions.
Eventually, she quit her job to devote herself full-time to baking. When it got too hard to bake the quantities she needed at home, she turned to Eva's Catering in Pearl River, who gave her kitchen space. She was there two years before opening her own shop in 2012.
"I literally googled how to open a bakery," she said. "And then I called the Board of Health, because that's what it told me to do."
She's since rebranded her business to reflect the locally made gifts she sells in the front, changing the name from Aunt Mia's Gourmet Cookie Shoppe to Aunt Mia's Gourmet Cookie and Gift Shoppe. Selling local wares — everything from barbecue sauce made in Pearl River (Smokey 'Burbs) to honey made in Palisades (Lomar Farms) to bracelets, mugs, dishtowels, and other kitchen accessories is important to her.
"It's my way of giving back," she said. "I think it's important to give local artisans a showcase and to give area residents a place to find them all in one space."
She also recently renovated, moving up the counters so she has more room in the back to bake. And, thanks to a new edible printer, she can put logos and other designs on cupcakes, cookies and cakes.
Also new for spring — and what drove O'Donnell's chef in the door — are Caputo's hamburger cupcakes, a vanilla cupcake with brownie "hamburger," "cheese" made of fondant and buttercream "ketchup" and "mustard." They are doing so well, she's considering a "cake taco" version.
She's also doing cookie pops — a great shower favor — and cookie pies with a crust made of cookies. Available options include apple crumb, blueberry crumb and brownie caramel with pumpkin and pumpkin cheesecake planned for fall.
Caputo also recently introduced her own homemade Oreo cookie. "It doesn't have a name yet because we can't call it Oreo," she said.
In all, she offers over 45 cookie varieties as well as various versions of cupcakes, brownies and cakes.
Her bite-size black and white cookie, one of her first creations, remains among her top sellers. Also up there: her trademarked Grahamello, a s'mores-like cookie made with a graham cracker cookie, with marshmallow and dipped in chocolate. And she does cookie sandwiches, two chocolate chip cookies with a layer of buttercream studded with sprinkles in between.
Along with her Orangeburg bake shop, customers can find her chocolate chip cookies at Defiant Brewing in Pearl River and her cookie pies at Bailey's Smokehouse in Blauvelt.
Go: 36 Orangetown Shopping Center, Orangeburg, 845-680-2440, GourmetCookieShoppe.com.