By Maureen Cullnan
In the front window of Laine’s Bake Shop, 11057 S. Homewood Ave., the sign reads, “The artisan bakery with a social mission.”
Intriguing. I stepped inside the store and was instantly distracted by the banana pudding with vanilla wafers in a mason jar. A total sucker for food in mason jars, I have my sights set next on the peach cobbler.
I got to talking with Elaine Rodgers, the mother of Laine’s Bake Shop CEO Rachel Bernier-Green. Rodgers explained that she was minding the store while her daughter was at the Tech Thursdays Chicago 2016 annual conference, catering breakfast.
Bernier-Green creates or adapts all the recipes at the small shop, plus she runs the kitchen and oversees the retail and wholesale ends of the business.
Laine’s homey menu includes maple bacon biscuits, pumpkin pecan scones, blueberry danish, and banana walnut muffins, all made fresh, from scratch, with locally sourced ingredients and no preservatives. That’s one part of the shop’s social mission.
The other part of the mission is to partner with Catholic Charities to employ people who have been chronically underemployed. Over the summer four interns learned culinary skills and earned their food handlers licenses.
Laine’s now provides four cookies to 24 Whole Foods International Cookie Bars: Butter Pecan, Honey Nut Peanut Butter, Mocha Raspberry Thumbprint and Bourbon Caramel Thumbprint cookies. And starting this fall, the Starbucks in Englewood will offer Laine’s Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies.
Laine’s makes dessert trays, custom decorated cookies for special occasions from First Communions to bridal and baby showers, sandwich cookies, pies, cakes, including pineapple upside down cake and tres leches cake; breads, peach cobbler, banana pudding, and bread pudding.
But parting with the recipe for her amazing peach cobbler was not in the cards I am afraid. Instead Bernier-Green shared the fall favorite printed. Find out more about Laine’s Bake Shop, 773-432-4308 or www.lainesbakeshop.com
Laine’s Bakeshop Pumpkin Pecan Scones
(Recipe adapted from Mockingbird Bakery.)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup, 6 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 cup buttermilk, cold
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place rack in the upper third of oven. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
- Incorporate cold butter into dry ingredients, using fingers or a pastry cutter. Work quickly so butter remains cold and stop when the mixture is the size of small peas.
- Whisk buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
- Combine wet with dry ingredients.
- Add pecans and stir until no dry flour bits remain.
- Use a large ice cream scoop to place 1/2 cup of dough onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until browned slightly with dry tops.