In Urdu, the word mazedar is used to describe the magic of food, that elusive quality that makes you want to taste something again and again.
Umber Ahmad, founder and head chef of Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery in New York, grew up based in northern Michigan but also traveling the world. Her family is from Pakistan, which is where she was first inspired by food and learned that, as she says, it has a “language all its own.”
Umber actually studied genetics and business, then went on to have a successful career in finance, handling another kind of dough. But she eventually decided she wanted to combine all her passions – her business acumen, love of baking and science. And thus Mah-Ze-Dahr was born.
Umber’s baked goods were first discovered by Tom Colicchio, acclaimed chef, restauranteur and Top Chef judge. One taste and he thought they were so good he decided to invest.
We get it. We are crazy for Mah-Ze-Dahr. So we recently collaborated with Umber to curate two drop-dead-gorgeous boxes of freshly-baked goodies just in time for the holidays. Both sets are a treasure trove of the most exquisite, freshly baked treats out there (and each pastry comes individually wrapped, so you get to unwrap something, too).
These two boxes are truly mazedar:
The Mah-Ze-Dahr Breakfast Box will make morning something to look forward to – even if you keep running into your spouse’s mom before you’ve had your first cup of coffee. It’s packed with a light, sweet, delicate Coconut Loaf and a sticky Honey Loaf, each scored for eight generous portions. What else? Three Hand Pies with buttery, flaky crusts filled with Nutella and bananas (there’s a kid in all of us). Four round Coffee Cakes studded with fresh blueberries and topped with a healthy dose of streusel. Four thick, moist slices of Banana Bread so satisfying and intense you may be tempted to call it cake. And last but not least, one weighty pouch of granola, made with nuts, dried fruit and chunks of bittersweet chocolate. (Sorry – no partridge in a pear tree.)
The Mah-Ze-Dahr Dessert Box is absolutely the most delectable collection of after-dinner indulgences. Four Dark Chocolate Brownies, so rich they’re almost like a flourless dark chocolate cake. Four Bars, their signature treats made with an oatmeal brown sugar cookie base, topped with toasted pecans and chocolate, smothered in a brown butter salted caramel sauce. Four toasty, nutty Brown Butter Blondies. Six Chocolate Chip Cookies baked to chewy, salty-sweet perfection. Six soft, chewy Gingersnaps rolled in large sugar flakes for an added layer of texture. Five Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, an upgraded treat fit for your daily cappuccino or mug of hot chocolate. And finally, 12 individually wrapped Butter Pecan Shortbread cookies studded with roasted, buttered pecans.
We know, these two heaven-sent boxes from Mah-Ze-Dahr suddenly make spending the holidays with the in-laws (read: having to feed them) sound a million times easier.
P.S. Each assortment comes in one elegant, midnight blue box full of individually wrapped, freshly baked treats. We recommend eating within two to three days, or you can freeze them in their wrappers for up to two months. But trust us, you won’t have that problem.