Baked by Betsy's homemade Halloween

October 14, 2009 (CHICAGO) It takes a brave person to quit a well-paying job as an attorney to become a baker. But that's precisely what happened in Park Ridge, where the dreams of a rural Iowa girl led to the creation of a sweet business. Butter, sugar and flour have become the tools of her trade-- and she shows no signs of slowing down.

Like many people in the food industry, Betsy D'Attomo did a mid-life career switch. She ditched her job as an attorney, opening up Baked by Betsy in downtown Park Ridge, which in some ways, honors her upbringing in rural Iowa.

"I grew up in a family where my grandma bakes every day. It was very normal to come home from school and find my dad baking a banana cream pie or my mom baking bread. It was just a way of life for us. In fact, I thought we were the poorest people around because we had to have homemade," D'Attomo said.

Mornings begin with cranberry, orange and lemon scones, blueberry or lemon poppy seed muffins. Coffeecakes and pies are also popular for large events. Her series of rich brownies - including fudge, mint, walnut and peanut butter - are truly decadent.

"We go through a lot of butter, everything is baked from scratch: butter, sugar, flour no preservatives no stabilizers, just like your grandma used to make them!" said D'Attomo.

D'Attomo tries to recreate the flavors from her childhood, so that means in addition to killer, milk-craving cookies, there's also cinnamon rolls.

"The little cinnamon rolls came from a restaurant back home that my sister and I used to love, and my mom came up with a recipe and the monster cookie came from where I went college and I searched to recreate that recipe because those were good memories so they all do come from, you know, growing up in Iowa," D'Attomo said.

Clearly, the bakery is a magnet for families, and that's what inspires D'Attomo, who has kids of her own, and loves exposing new customers to her ginger snaps or carrot cupcakes or even a simple, Midwestern apple slice.

"We all had someone that baked for us and we had that, those special times those family events and it's the homemade treats that do that, and that's exactly what we do here everything is from scratch, and it takes people back to those memories that we all had growing up," she said.

Betsy also whips up fruit crisps and homemade caramel corn-- pretty much anything you'll need for a treat-filled Halloween.

Baked by Betsy
124 S. Prospect, Park Ridge


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