Women play a leading role in the future of retail baking, and we are proud to profile the multi-talented Christina Tosi on the cover of this month’s issue. A good friend, Tosi of Milk Bar is exhibiting her magic touch once again with the introduction of two new cookie types in grocery stores: bite-sized crunchy cookies (“crunchies”) and ready-to-bake cookie dough. Crunchies are poppable, flavor-loaded cookies made uniquely crispy and airy from puffed rice cereal inside (a nod to the brand’s signature use of cereal starting with Tosi’s creation of Cereal Milk Soft Serve, credited with starting the cereal milk craze).

Ready-to-bake cookie dough will be a limited time offering powered by General Mills, encouraging people to roll up their sleeves and fire up the oven. Tosi and her team joined forces with General Mills to create a dough that bakes perfectly golden brown on the outside, while staying gooey on the inside.

“Cookies are where it all started for me - my first invitation into the kitchen as a kid and a mainstay on the Milk Bar menu ever since. After all, cookies are the most versatile treat in the dessert world: there is a perfect one for every moment, every taste, every craving,” says Tosi, chef, founder and chief executive officer of Milk Bar, and past winner of the coveted James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Award.

This year, Yoli Tortilleria is one of fine finalists for the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Bakery (presented by Guinness). Yoli Tortilleria comes from a desire to find fresh, quality tortillas in Kansas City by founders Mark and Marissa Gencarelli. It is inspired by Marissa’s upbringing; she was born and raised in Sonora, México. They produce stone-ground corn tortillas and Sonoran-style flour tortillas. They are introducing fresh chips under their brand (made with heirloom grains) later this year. “This is the mad scientist part of me,” Marissa says with a smile