Bite is a weekly column highlighting food we think you should sink your teeth into.
All images by Pay Chen
If it’s true that you should pick one thing and do it well, Mad Batter Bakers has the gingerbread cookie locked down after 18 years in Liberty Village. Famous for a cookie that resembles sinking your teeth into a lightly spiced molasses cookie pillow, it is joyfully not too sweet.
Known for their whimsical and colourfully decorated gingerbread cookies, they’ve branched out into sugar cookies, shortbread, other classic flavours and gluten-free options. But one thing remains the same; this is the place to get your specially decorated chewy gingerbread ALL year round. Not just for holidays. Prices can vary but most of the gingerbread go for $3.49 or four for $12.99.
Leona Knaup calls Mad Batter Bakers a family business. Started with a cousin and with the help of their husbands and now her daughter, she includes long-time staff as extended family members. The business started as a school fundraiser with their gingerbread houses and soon they had to upgrade their digs to accommodate a year-round business and find a permanent home (not made of gingerbread as they are probably hard to insure).
I told Leona that when I worked at YTV back in 1998, she was one of the only businesses in the area. It was the go-to place for birthday treats and last minute hostess gifts. With changing seasons and trends, Leona can’t pick just one popular cookie shape but admits the classic gingerbread boy never goes out of style. The day I visit, the store is set for summer with colourful cookie flowers, butterflies, bees, frogs and ladybugs. Custom work is a huge part of Mad Batter Bakers and their cookies have become a tradition in many family homes. They’ve done special orders for engagement parties that lead to showers, the wedding, birth announcements, christenings and then birthday parties. Sure, not everyone orders cookies in this order, but you can see why costumers often go in to show photos of their children and celebrations.
The bakers work hard in the winter so they tend to keep irregular hours in the summer. Try your luck or call ahead to make sure you can pop in for your gingerbread fix.
Mad Batter Bakers
135 Jefferson Ave